Proper Safety Equipment For Kayaking

Have you ever thought of buying or renting a kayak? Are you interested in navigating the oceans, rivers, lakes or rapids? This can be so much fun and beyond  thrilling. However, along with the enjoyment you will feel, you need to keep yourself safe at the same time. This can only be achieved by bringing along a few safety items. Having the right safety equipment increases the chances of survival in case of an accident.

It is not always advisable to get your kayak from the garage and head straight into the water without even checking if you have the right safety tools. This article is going to take you through the most important safety equipment that you should always have while kayaking, or boating in general.


1. Life Jacket

 

 

Life jackets are life savers, pure and simple. For any kind of kayaking activity, no matter how safe it is, it is important to always have your life jacket on. Water conditions can drastically change at any time, such as with a river. In case of an accident, life jackets would prevent you from drowning, especially in the case of exhaustion. You should always keep them in mind as your first priority. You can check out some great life jackets reviews to help you choose the best one for your needs.


2. A Flotation Device

 

 

Even the best swimmers will find it hard to handle rough water conditions. In the case of an accident, floaters, which are  just like life jackets, will keep you from drowning when you hold onto them. A good flotation device will include lights and reflectors so that you can be spotted by rescuers more easily.


3. Spray Skirts

 

 

When paddling through rough waters, spray skirts help keep water and waves out of the cockpit. Even if the kayak flipped over, it would still keep the water out. If the kayak starts accumulating water in the cockpit, it increases the chances of it sinking. With spray skirts, this would never happen unless there is a leak in the kayak. Also, they hold you in place so that if the kayak flips, you will be able to flip it back over, which is a maneuver known as the Eskimo Roll.


4. Helmet

 

 

Most people tend to forget to bring a helmet with them during their kayaking trips. It is very important to protect your head from injury. Large water bodies are very unpredictable, especially if they have rapids. In fact, rapids are created by the formation of various rocks. When navigating rapids, one can easily lose control, and the waters may lead you straight into the rocks. Without a helmet, you may be knocked unconscious and drown, or even worse, end up with fatal head injuries.


5. Restraints

 

 

Restraints are basically devices that are used to hold anything that's on the kayak firmly in place. In the case of a kayak, it's usually bungee cords that strap everything in . Even when the boat flips over, the restraints still manage to keep the things in place. You would not want your paddle, floaters or first aid kit to be washed away, would you?


6. A Mechanical Compass

 

 

A mechanical compass is a one of a kind compass that is water resistant and practically unbreakable, and it even floats on water. Other types of electronic compasses may be stated as water proof, but they have not been tested in salty water. Ocean water is extremely corrosive. A mechanical compass will ensure that no matter how rough the waters are, it would still function and lead you back to land.


7. Flagging devices

 

 

When talking about flagging devices, that means a very loud whistle, a flare gun and a 360 degree white lamp with strong batteries or solar powered. This lamp should be able to last you 3 - 4 days in case you get lost or stranded at sea. During the day, the whistle is used to get the attention of passing boats or planes. During the night, the flare gun is used with the lamp to guide rescuers in your direction.


8. First Aid Kit

 

 

Accidents are prone to happen anytime while kayaking or boating. It is always important to bring along a first aid kit with pain killers, wound dressings, cleaners and splints.


With the right safety equipment, you can greatly reduce the chances of something bad happening by using these items. If anything goes wrong, without the proper safety equipment, there is a much higher chance you will be doomed. There's no nicer way to say it, so take the precautions with you and you won't have to worry about not having supplies in the event of an emergency. Stay safe out there!