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How to Plan a Safe and Sound Kayaking Trip with Kids

Why let your children miss out on the fantastic experience of kayaking? Although the thought of being in the water with your children can be intimidating, especially if you are new at kayaking, with proper planning and organization, you can make the experience worthwhile for yourself and your kids.

In this article, we will guide you with everything you need to plan a safe and fun kayaking trip with your kids. So, keep your stress levels in check and brace yourself for a reassuring read.

Planning the Trip

There are four things that serve as fundamental pillars of a workable plan. These include specifying the number of people, including the children, specifying the location, duration of the trip, and lastly, your expertise in kayaking. Once the latter four aspects are assured, a safe and fantastic trip is guaranteed.

Let’s discuss each of these components in detail:

Who Can Go Kayaking?

Kayaking is an extreme water sport; therefore, it is not a safe realm to toy with. It is imperative for people to know swimming because even if the kayak tips off, you can swim your way out, so swimming is a must. Apart from that, you must know how to paddle a kayak because if you do not know how to control and direct your motion in the water, you are in for a problem. If you are an experienced paddler, you can bring a child with you but make sure that he wears all the necessary protective gear. It is not wise for more than two persons to be on a kayak because these boats are designed to sit low in the water. Additional weight can expose you to the risk of sinking.

How to Choose a Safe Spot for Kayaking?

It is always wise to start small with baby steps, and the same goes for your children. Initially, you can opt for small lakes, bays, and slow rivers for your first-timers. The latter will help you slowly build your skill and once you have mastered calm waters, then opt for high to medium current. But again, if the fear lingers, please stay out of high current because prevention is always better than cure. If at all you want to sail, then take an experienced peddler with you. Usually, all beginners start on calm and minimal current to be safe. Once you have mastered the art, you can repeat the same practice with your children. However, never attempt to rush into kayaking because water can be ruthless.

After learning the required skills, your options to choose a place broadens, mostly people opt for lakes with lots of greenery around, in the outskirts of cities. The reason is, that it provides them a much-needed break from the chaotic lives of cities and provides them with an opportunity to detach for the time being. Chassahowitzka River is one of the most primitive and undeveloped rivers left in west-central Florida. It is deemed an Outstanding Waterway!

What factors to consider while opting for a place?

There are always preventive measures you can keep in hindsight when opting for a place. Some of these factors are given below:

  • Choose a place with variety.
  • Do basic research about the water currents in your finalized water body.
  • Map out bathroom destination around especially if you are going with children
  • It’s better to find a kid-friendly destination, and you can contact your local REI to help you find destinations where your children will enjoy the most. Besides, you can also connect with experienced paddlers who take their children kayaking, which will also help you achieve some helpful insight.

How to Plan the Duration of the trip?

Always be strict about the length of your trip because your entire supply of things is mapped around that. Half an hour to one hour is ideal for all first-timers, including children. The perfect time for toddlers and babies should not be more than a few moments because babies are sensitive, and it is advisable not to expose them to water at such a young age, but if at all cannot avoid, you must minimize their stay in the water. One rule of thumb you can follow while with children is to prepare 1/3rd of the preparation you will train with your adult counterpart. Moreover, there are some other factors related to children that you need to take care of before going in the water with them, for instance:

  • Familiarity with water
  • Experience with boats and paddling
  • Age or level of maturity
  • Swimming ability
  • Physical strength
  • Coordination level

Kayaking Safety Gear

It would help if you never skipped or compromised when it comes to choosing a reliable and safe life jacket. A good life jacket can save you from drowning or mitigate your chances of fatal consequences. If you are having a hard time buying a safe jacket, you can check out US coast guard approved life jackets and personal flotation devices. These jackets are available in different sizes based on age group. For instance, infant PFD is available for babies weighing between 8-30 Ibs. The infant jackets come with an extra pad for the neck, which helps them keep their head positioned appropriately. For children and adults, there are PFDs available as well.

What is the use of Lines and Floats in Safe Keeping?

Lines and Floats are types of safety gear that are used in case of emergencies. It is imperative to know the safety tips beforehand. For instance, one should know how to perform wet exits. The latter is an emergency in which if a kayak starts to fill up with water, you can jump and turn the boat upside down to drain the water and then jump in back. It is necessary to know such techniques for one’s safety in the waters.

Some of the critical Line safety gears include:

  • Paddle float for each adult
  • Throw-bag for each adult
  • Towline for each boat.

Packing for the Trip

If you are an experienced paddler, packing would be a piece of cake for you. However, if you are going kayaking with children, you need to pause and thoroughly think about what you need to pack for children because our needs and tolerance levels are highly different from those of children. It is also a good idea to split the packaging responsibilities. Kids older than seven years should be made in charge of their packing. You can make a list of supplies for them to follow and let them know that you will double-check before leaving for the trip.

What Food items can you bring to the trip?

It is necessary to bring dried food on the trips because such foods have lower prospects of getting contaminated. Soft and moist food tends to rot quickly and catch fungus easily. For instance, you can bring smoked salmon, boiled eggs, apples, mangoes, fresh red peppers, dried fruits and nuts like pine nuts and pumpkin seeds rich in calories and cheese, dried veggies like carrots, and tomatoes, and nutritious cookies and snacks bars.

What Clothes to Pack?

When kayaking, avoid taking cotton clothes because it is not water-resistant. Therefore, choose fabrics that are water-resistant as well as picture resistant. If you are going in summers, then choose light and breathable clothes that dry quickly. However, if you are going in winters, it is wise to pack clothes made of polyester to keep you dry. The same applies to children, but since children tend to create more mess, it will be necessary to pack a few more pairs of pants.

You can get a good idea about clothes from the list given below:

  • Wide hat for protection from rain and sun
  • Knee-high waterproof boots
  • Fit rain gear
  • Sun protection clothes
  • Bathroom necessities

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