Kayaking is a great water activity for individuals of all ages and abilities. It’s a sport that almost anybody can pick up and enjoy on a daily basis in a variety of magnificent settings. Kayaking, like other water activities, comes with its own set of risks and dangers. These may be reduced by taking precautionary actions and planning ahead.
Is kayaking dangerous or safe? What do you need to know about paddling safely while kayaking? We’ll look at the most common hazards, what you can do to avoid them, and how to kayak as safely as possible. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about kayaking dangers. And we’ll recommend some simple but effective products that will improve kayaking safety.
Is Kayaking Dangerous? Perceived Risk vs. Real Risk
Skydiving is an example of an activity with a high perceived risk. It seems to be pretty frightening, although it is quite unlikely to do injury. Driving a car is an activity that has low perceived risk but high real risk. We don’t give much thought to the possibility of personal injury, yet it’s rather high.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the difference between perceived and real risk. Perceived risk refers to how dangerous you consider a situation to be; actual risk is the degree to which a situation is really dangerous.
Paddling near to shore in a small flat-water lake or canal is usually considered safe, barring bad weather. No matter how experienced you are, kayaking through class IV whitewater rapids is always dangerous. Many sorts of extreme sports, like kayaking, have a larger perceived risk than the real risk.
When the perceived risk is minimal, but the real risk is significant, accidents occur. The dangers aren’t always clear, especially if you’re new to watersports. When you believe something is safe yet it is really dangerous, that instance can make you hesitant to step out on the water. Hopefully, this essay will assist you in achieving a healthy balance.
When paddling in unknown areas, it’s simple to paddle into a dangerous position since these risks are sometimes unseen from the water’s surface. Matching your impression of a risk to its real degree is a skill that can only be learned through practice. We always advise beginners to pair up with an experienced paddler or join a kayak club.
Going out on the open sea may be an incredible experience, but if you lose sight of the shoreline and your sense of direction, this may be rather dangerous. Often, you won’t realize how long you’ve been paddling until it’s too late, and then you’ll be stuck with no idea where to go. Getting too far away from where you started might also be dangerous.
Other boats may collide with you.
Aside from avoiding shallow water, keep a safe distance from big boats and other vessels with engines. These ships are difficult to manage and represent a greater hazard than storms at sea since they have the potential to run you down.
Hypothermia And Cold Water Shock
Even if you’re wearing a life jacket, never fall into the water until you’re near enough to the shore for the jacket to keep you safe. If you fall in by mistake, the sense of being trapped might lead to hypothermia if you are not cautious. Being wet is not dangerous unless you fall into really cold water.
Cold water paddlers face the risks of hypothermia and cold shock. Hypothermia is characterized by shivering, numb fingers and toes, and slurred speech. Cold shock may result in drowning or cardiac arrest in the worst-case scenario. When paddling in cold weather, either dress adequately in a wetsuit or drysuit or remain off the water.
Kayakers often tip over because they have been out on the water for too long and have fallen asleep. This usually occurs on hot days when you get overheated and fall asleep. When utilizing your kayak on hotter days of the year, remember to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats!
Waters that are shallow
Another typical reason for kayakers to tip over their boats is attempting to maneuver in shallow water. Only go kayaking in places where the water will be at least two feet deep for the duration of your excursion. That way, even if things go bumpy or turbulent, you’ll have a good chance of keeping safe.
Being on the water can be just as dangerous as being in a tornado – especially if there is a lot of wind. If you’re kayaking on a river or lake, go on days when the weather is calm and steady to prevent being injured by the risk of churning up waves.
Most novices are concerned about capsizing, especially when paddling a sit-in kayak with a spray deck. How dangerous is it, though? Unless you’re paddling in frigid water, getting wet isn’t dangerous. Capsizing a few meters from shore on flat water is also not a big deal. You can hold on to the kayak or splash to land.
Capsizing may happen to even the most experienced kayakers. A strong wave, a misdirected paddle stroke, or just exhaustion may quickly tip your world upside down. Capsizing risks are greatly reduced by wearing a properly fitting buoyancy aid – plus, for whitewater paddling, a helmet. Capsize recovery exercises, kayak evacuation, and self-rescue should all be practiced so that a capsize is annoying rather than life-threatening.
The Life Jacket Fitting is Incorrect
Personal floatation devices (PFDs) may save your life, but only if you use them properly. Be sure it can be adjusted to match your size and form. You shouldn’t be able to slide it over your head without opening or loosening it. The weight capacity of a PFD should always be listed with the size.
If you’ve got a proper PFD, it’s time to learn how to pick the right kayak for the water you’ll be paddling on. Begin training in a recreational kayak with a large cockpit if you’ve never paddled a sit-inside kayak before. If you’re new to kayaking, avoid tippy touring kayaks until you’ve mastered wet exits. It’s a recipe for catastrophe to take a touring kayak down a section of river rapids while attempting to paddle a playboat across a lake.
Spending too much time in the sun may cause heatstroke, fatigue, and dehydration. Repeated exposure to high-intensity ultraviolet radiation (U.V.) may cause skin cancer. Long-term exposure to radiation may result in more serious skin and eye diseases.
The majority of skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Always wear UV-resistant clothes (including a sun hat and sunglasses) and pack lots of water. Paddling in the early morning or late afternoon throughout the summer will help you avoid unneeded risks.
Dehydration may be caused by a combination of long-term sun exposure and physical exertion. Symptoms include dizziness and weariness – neither of these things will help you in the water. Always pack plenty of water (more than you think you’ll need) while kayaking. Make sure you can access your bottle from the cockpit – a pair of carabiner clips will come in handy here.
Weather Conditions that are Unfavorable
If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, kayaking during a storm is never a good idea. High gusts, fog, and direct sunlight may all put you at risk. Kayaks, as you would expect, don’t provide much in the way of weather protection. While a little rain won’t hurt you, a little wind might.
There are days when the weather suddenly changes and you may feel like it’s time to get into the water for the first time. When the wind comes up, stay near to shore and be ready to exit the water if circumstances deteriorate. Learn to read the indications in these situations and always err on the side of caution.
Currents, Tides, And Waves
The best way to avoid danger is to have a thorough understanding of the waterways you’re paddling in. You may assume that enormous waves are the worst of your problems, but you’re just as likely to be caught in a concealed rip tide or current, which can send you sailing off course.
Another reason to plan your kayaking route or paddle with someone who understands the region is because of this. After severe rain, for example, class III rapids might become class IV or V. When a moderate canal floods, it might become a fast-flowing river. Water levels are affected by the weather on the day and in the days leading up to it.
Sweepers And Strainers
Strainers and sweepers are two of the most dangerous obstacles you’ll encounter on the water. Sweepers are impediments in the form of low-hanging branches that protrude above the water’s surface. Strainers are similar, but the obstructions protrude from the water, obstructing the passage of trash.
The objective of these waterfalls is to strain the water while trapping anything that is too huge to flow through, which includes your kayak. Because strainers are partly or fully underwater, they might be difficult to notice, so keep an eye on them closely!
Low Head Dams/Weirs
Low head dams, or weirs, are man-made structures that regulate river levels. These helpful river features have acquired a number of terrible nicknames: ‘drowning machines’ and ‘killer in our river,’ therefore they deserve to be included in this essay. Why are low-head dams and weirs so dangerous?
Water falling over a weir generates a looping flow, similar to that of a washing machine, which may trap swimmers and small boats. Some weirs are safe to paddle over since they only have a tiny drop and a weak pull-back. When kayaking on rivers, you should have a safe understanding of the river you’re paddling on as well as the safety guidelines for weirs.
Always wear a properly fitting PFD and a helmet anytime there are rapids, especially Class I rapids. When fast-moving water erodes the rock or mud under the surface, it creates a type of balcony for the water to travel under. Kayaks, as well as other river detritus, are prone to be pulled under, making exiting the kayak difficult.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of kayaking is the opportunity to see what creatures you share the water with. A pair of sunbathing seals, jellyfish, and a group of furious swans were the most intriguing animals I’ve ever seen. Water snakes, alligators, crocodiles, bears, or even an inquisitive shark could be a concern.
Wildlife attacks on kayakers are not uncommon, but they are rare. The majority of wild animals attack only when they feel threatened and will give you a wide berth if you treat them with respect. No matter how wonderful you think the selfie would be, don’t attempt to approach too near, especially during mating seasons and thereafter!
On a branching river, it’s conceivable to miss a turn, but while paddling on open water, getting lost is more likely. The farther you travel from shore, the more difficult it becomes to locate familiar landmarks, particularly when visibility is bad. This is especially true when there is a high tide or river underneath your kayak.
Keep the coastline in sight at all times to avoid drifting too far out to sea. Paddling a group and carrying a waterproof GPS gadget will also reduce the danger of becoming lost. Installing a compass in front of your cockpit and learning how to use it as a backup is also a good idea.
Sun exposure, dehydration, meteorological conditions, and physical work all deplete your energy more quickly than you would imagine. Allowing oneself to grow weary when paddling increases your risk of making a mistake. Sun exposure, dehydration, meteorological conditions, and physical work all deplete your energy more quickly than you would imagine. Allowing oneself to grow weary when paddling increases your risk of making a mistake.
Injuries caused by sports
There’s always the risk of straining a muscle or breaking a limb, just as in any other activity. However, unless you get into danger when whitewater rafting, the latter is unusual. The repeated movement of paddling causes considerably greater strains in the neck, shoulder blades, lower back, and wrists.
After a long day on the water, strains and pains are to be expected. Beginners will almost certainly benefit from them as well. However, gradually increasing your distances should avoid major injury. On harder rapids, maintaining your skill level will safeguard your bones, muscles, and joints.
Other Boating Traffic
Kayaks aren’t the most visible watercraft on the water, and in comparison to sailing boats, ferries, and tankers, they’re a speck. Even on a peaceful river, without an engine to indicate your presence, it’s doubtful that another boater would hear you approaching. High-traffic rivers may be a nightmare for kayakers as other boats may not be able to see or hear them.
Wearing bright clothing and adding reflective strips to your kayak can also help you be more visible. When paddling in low light or traveling through tunnels, you should also carry a kayak light. Keep an eye out for bigger vessels, make sure you’re not paddling across a shipping channel, and be ready to change your path if necessary.
Paddling And Drinking
Boating while inebriated (BUI) may impair your eyesight, and sense of direction, and cause your body to become numb to the cold. Alcohol, as well as recreational substances and certain prescription prescriptions, may also impair your balance, reaction times, and common sense. Boating while BUI is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
After a few drinks, you’re likely to overlook the indicators of hypothermia we outlined before. BUI is a federal violation that applies to kayaks in all 50 states and Canada, with penalties ranging from fines to prison time. More significantly, kayaking while inebriated or drunk may cost you or someone else their life.
Lack of experience
Operator inexperience accounted for slightly over a quarter of all kayaking fatalities. Because they’ve spent years training and acquiring expertise, advanced paddlers can handle big waves on open water and class IV rapids. It’s one thing to push your kayaking talents, but it’s a risk you shouldn’t take.
Before venturing into deeper seas, practice wet departures and capsize recoveries. Check your routes with experienced paddlers as you go, and avoid paddling alone. If you’re new to kayaking, enroll in a class so you can stay on calm waters during the class.
Kayaking may appear fraught with perils, especially to those new or not properly equipped for the adventure, but this is a misconception that need not deter enthusiasts. Selecting the best beginner kayaks, and there are kayaks specifically tailored to newcomers, focusing on balance and user-friendliness. This ensures a gentle introduction to the sport. When this wise selection is paired with a strict following of safety practices, the world of kayaking opens up as a pleasurable and secure pastime for enthusiasts at any stage of their journey.
Kayaking Safety Tips
Make a trip that fits your ability
You and your pals don’t have to be professionals, but you must all be capable paddlers who can easily complete the return distance. Everyone in the group must know how to execute a wet escape and how to self-rescue in a sit-in kayak. At least one person must also be able to T- rescue in a canoe or kayak if someone gets into difficulty on the water.
Do some research on the weather and hazards in your area
While paddling, keep an eye on the weather prediction and updates (use a phone app or a VHF radio’s weather channel, or scan the horizon for storm clouds). If the weather forecast is uncertain, go on another day. Cut the day short if a storm approaches.
If lightning strikes, get out of the water as soon as possible. Consult the local government body that guards the water, as well as local paddle stores and clubs. Big boats can’t always notice kayaks, so it’s best to paddle as though you never had the right of way in the first place.
Put on a wetsuit if you’re going to be immersed
It’s critical to treat hypothermia seriously when there’s water, water everywhere. As a result, you must be aware of the water temperature and dress appropriately. According to the Coast Guard’s safety guidelines, you should wear a wetsuit or dry suit if the water is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit where you’re going. Read What to Wear Kayaking for a complete discussion.
Do Not Go It Alone
If you’re a novice kayaker, there’s no need to bring a buddy with you if you’re paddling solo, but bringing a friend will reduce your margin for mistake. A buddy rescue is faster than a self-rescue, and it’s more enjoyable to share the adventure. Everyone should always be within hearing distance (or a whistle blast) of another paddler. If the group extends out into a succession of lone paddlers, having companions isn’t really useful.
Make and distribute a float plan
Leave your plans with the person who is most likely to miss you. Your parents may be more concerned, but a flatmate may notice that you haven’t returned sooner. Make copies of the plan and keep them in your car and kayak (in case your boat gets separated from you).
Choose your skill level and paddle accordingly.
Seek tranquil bays, peaceful lakes, and riverways with little or no current. Find a paddling site that is suitable for your ability level. Wind and wave protection, decent access points for launching and landing, plenty of places to get ashore, and limited motorized boat traffic are all features of the perfect kayaking setting.
If you paddle into water that is not protected from wind and waves, or if you paddle further from shore than you can comfortably swim, you are entering a new world. You must protect yourself and the people you are paddling with by taking a sea kayaking course, which teaches you valuable exposed water rescue skills.
Avoid places with a lot of speed boats and jet skis as they generate strong, artificial currents that make kayaking challenging, if not dangerous. When kayaking, stay near to the shore and make sure you’re constantly visible – especially in shallow water.
Experiment with Kayak Re-Entry.
The fifth and last kayaking safety tip we’ll look at is practicing re-entering your kayak from the water before you need to do so in a real situation. A bulkhead is basically a wall in the kayak that divides the compartments so that the entire thing doesn’t flood if you flip. In reality, emptying your sit-inside kayak on the water is a significant struggle, particularly if it lacks a bulkhead. It’s simply common sense to keep near enough to shore to comfortably swim if necessary.
Be Aware Of The Temperature
Once you know the weather forecast for the day, you can start to pack and dress appropriately. For those clear summer days, bring sunscreen and a neck gaiter, for example. Check the day’s weather prediction to make sure the temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.
Be Familiar With Wildlife
What creatures might you expect to see in the water where you wish to kayak, and do you need to be concerned about them? Kayaking in Texas, for example, may reveal alligators in the water. You must make the greatest — and safest — choice for yourself and those with whom you will be kayaking.
Check the temperature of the water
Check the water temperature before going into the ocean – if it’s above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure you’re dressed appropriately to avoid hypothermia if you get wet or fall into the water.
Make sure to check the water level, wind, and weather forecast.
Check the weather forecast to see if there will be strong winds or large waves for kayaking on a lake or in the ocean. If you’re heading out on a river, check the water level to see what’s likely to happen. Taking the time to check the forecast can guarantee you don’t get caught in large waves, capsize, or be pushed farther away from the coast.
Safety Equipment for Kayaking
In the event of a wave or capsize, a bilge pump will drain extra water from your cockpit or storage hatch. A modest manual pump will generally be enough, and it may be tucked away or secured with bungee and kept within easy reach. A simple video lesson on what to look for in a portable pump was created by the Canadian Safety Boating Council. If you’re a stickler for a dry cockpit, bring a sponge with you to soak up the last few droplets.
Extra paddles are important because even new paddles may break or become misplaced. Some people pack two different kinds of paddles (e.g., bent shaft, Greenland) to switch gear during a prolonged expedition. Most people bungee their paddle to the front deck so it’s easy to reach, but some keep them in the cockpit, on the back deck, or in a bag or hatch if they fit.
Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Whether you call it a buoyancy aid, a personal flotation device, or a life jacket, a PFD is the most crucial piece of kayak safety equipment you will ever use. The US Coast Guard has a classification system for PFDs based on buoyancy, intended use, and size of the wearer.
Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) save lives by providing buoyancy if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly, such as when a large wave overturns you. They also keep you afloat if you’re unable to do so due to exhaustion, injury, cold, or incapacity to swim. The basic line is that you must put it on.
Flotation bags are designed to keep your kayak buoyant even after being filled with water and to raise it higher in the water when it is overturned. Flotation bags displace water that would otherwise swamp your boat, making emptying or righting it difficult or impossible. This little film gives an excellent summary of how to use them and explains what they do.
Creative kayakers like to improvise by adding other inflatable devices, but float bags made specifically for kayaks are preferred because they are shaped to fit the curvatures of the boat and are more durable. Float bags can be secured inside with rings or straps and are usually waterproof and easy to clean.
Devices for Lighting and Visual Signaling
There are two types of illumination for night kayaking: normal lighting and emergency lighting, such as pinpoint or parachute flares. The sort of illumination you employ, like every other safety equipment on this list, is determined by the nature of your expedition.
For short trips on smaller bodies of water, suction-cup mounted LED stern lights, pole lights that fit into tracks, strip lights, or even glowsticks may be sufficient. Other open water circumstances may need the use of marine LED lights, strobe lights, flares, torches, and anchor illumination. There are rules on using lights at night in kayaks, so check with the US Coast Guard or your local laws for more information.
Tow Rope/Tow Belt
A tow rope is useful when another paddler is too weak to paddle or requires assistance going over a difficult section of water. A tow rope of 8 to 10 feet (or longer) may be worn directly on the paddler in a tow belt or coiled and stowed in or on the kayak. There are procedures for completing a safe tow, just as there are for everything else in kayaking.
First Aid Kit
A first-aid kit is a must-have for the well-prepared paddler. The contents of that first aid kit range from simple burns and abrasions (such as bandages and antibiotics) to major emergencies (e.g., tourniquets, CPR barriers, and splints).
Paddle leashes are a point of contention in the paddling world, with many debating whether they are a benefit or a safety risk. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, but the majority are attached via a loop, carabiner, or Velcro straps. Not everyone likes to use them because they can get in the way and entangle the paddler. Instead, these paddlers prefer to have a spare paddle on hand.
Stirrup & Paddle Float
A paddle float is an inflatable bag that aids paddlers in returning to their kayak following an overturn. It attaches to one end of a paddle and works as an outrigger, assisting the paddler in re-entering the kayak. Here’s a video of someone demonstrating the method.
There are a variety of DIY and commercial varieties available, as well as ways for utilizing them. Kayak stirrups are another option for both flipping a kayak back upright and entering the kayak. We suggest practicing in a test set to determine what works for you.
The dry bag is the workhorse that carries most of the kayaking safety gear. Use them to contain additional clothes, a first-aid kit, sunscreen, food, water, and a variety of other items. Dry bags may make or ruin your vacation, there’s no doubt about it. Material, size, closure type, and d-rings for securing to your kayak are things to consider.
Clothes, food, and water
Having the correct protection on your person or in your dry bag or hatch can’t be overstated, whether the weather is cold, rainy, hot, or windy. Dry suits, spray skirts, extra layers of clothing, sunscreen, and helmets are all required equipment. Even on short travels, it’s a good idea to always have drinking water on board. Have some refreshments on hand for longer excursions or to prepare for the unexpected.
Knife, Pliers, and/or Multi-Purpose Tool (if available)
A knife, pliers, or other forms of portable equipment can be used to cut a rope, untangle a fishing net from an animal, or clean a fish. There are many different styles to choose from but look for marine-grade stainless steel or titanium, as well as a tethering cord. Consider using a multi-purpose tool for other tasks, such as hook removal.
Devices for Communication and Signaling
Having a communication or signaling device with you can literally mean the difference between life and death. Dom Jackson, Ellie’s brother, died in a sea kayak accident a few years ago. “It was winter, his phone was in his back hatch, and he didn’t have a VHF or PLB,” she says.
There are many aspects to consider when picking your communication equipment, including your paddling environment and satellite and cell service region. Plan ahead to ensure you’re bringing the most appropriate items for the situation. Each of these objects has the ability to attract passers-notice, notify rescue services, or allow boaters to communicate with one another.
A whistle is the most fundamental form of communication. They’re compact, portable, and may be used for a variety of tasks. Make sure you have a good whistle and that it is attached to your life jacket. Choose one without a cork ball, which does not hold up well in rainy conditions. Cell phones can be useful for monitoring your activities, capturing photographs, and utilizing GPS.
If you don’t have a backup charging device, attach a flotation device to your phone to keep it from sinking to the bottom. PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) are satellite-connected devices that broadcast a one-way SOS signal to rescue organizations as well as your position. They have longer battery life and are capable of sending a stronger signal than satellite messengers. Their main benefit is the capacity to conduct two-way conversations in addition to delivering SOS signals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Kayak Safety Important?
Why should you take kayak safety seriously? Your amount of enjoyment and excitement, like any other watersport, is determined by how healthy you are at the end. A Washington State Park study found that 84 percent of those who perished in a boating accident weren’t wearing life jackets. Simply wearing a life jacket while on the water may significantly lower your risks.
You need to know how to kayak safely because wind and weather can make the water dangerous. If someone goes out on the water without a life jacket, for example, they are putting themselves at risk in the event of an accident. Kayakers who do not adhere to kayaking safety precautions risk drowning.
Following safety standards can help you limit and avoid harm, allowing you to get back out on the water sooner. You may become burnt when kayaking, but you also risk injuring your arms, wrists, head, and other body parts. Alligators, for example, may be found in some ponds and rivers, and following safety considerations could help you avoid such situations or safely traverse them.
How safely you go about kayaking determines whether you get out of the water ready for the next experience. It is essential to study and follow kayaking safety tips, as they will assist you in kayaking safely. Paddling on your favorite lake or ocean with a group of friends is a thrilling experience, but you must return to shore safely each time.
Read more: How to paddle a kayak for beginners?
Is Kayaking Safe for Non-Swimmers?
Is kayaking safe for people who can’t swim? People who are unable to swim often avoid any water activities. Unfortunately, this prevents you from taking advantage of some of the most incredible outdoor activities. Kayaking does not need the ability to swim. Some of the persons aboard kayaks are either non-swimmers or lack the ability to swim in particular water circumstances.
You don’t need to know how to swim to kayak, but you do need to be bold, resolute, and knowledgeable of suitable procedures to aid yourself if you fall in the water. You’ll also need a skilled teacher or guide who can assist you if you run into any problems.
Do kayaks have a tendency to tip over?
The risk of tipping over on a kayak depends on the kind of kayak you’re using and the type of water you’re paddling in. When paddling a recreational kayak on a relatively calm river, for example, it’s extremely difficult to tip over unless you really try.
Is It Possible For Beginners To Kayak On A Lake?
Many first-time kayakers learn how to paddle their boat on lakes. You can practice your skills along the shoreline, where the water is usually shallower, as a beginner. You should also go with a companion and only paddle out as far as you can realistically swim back.
Is Kayaking With Kids On Calm Lakes Safe?
Most children are not ready for their own kayak until they are around the age of ten. If your child has never kayaked before, it may be best to take them in a tandem kayak with you. Starting them out on a quiet lake will make them feel like they’re on a grand adventure, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Stay close to the shore if you’re taking a young child kayaking for the first time. You should also double-check the water conditions and make your trip as short as possible. Many families prefer to bring a tow rope that they may use to keep their kayaks together. It’s usually a good rule of thumb to be ready to tow a tired youngster back to safety.
Are There Any Dangers for Kayakers on the Water?
As a kayaker, you must be aware of the two most significant potential dangers: currents and waves. Currents are locations where water flows in a definite direction. Strong currents can put you at risk if they pull you further away from the shore than you intended. If you are trapped in one after falling out of your kayak, they may be incredibly dangerous.
The largest wave ever recorded on Lake Michigan was 23 feet, which would be impossible to navigate in a kayak. Large and popular lakes tend to have warnings issued when currents or waves are at dangerous levels. The majority of lakes only produce tiny waves and rough water, which are manageable for most kayakers.
Is It True That Some Lakes Are Safer Than Others?
Lake Michigan is notorious for being the deadliest out of the Great Lakes. Small lakes that do not feed into or originate from large rivers should be sought out. Even if you’re on a lake that has been recognized as safe for kayaking, keep in mind that all lakes pose a risk.
Is Kayaking Alone on a Busy Lake Safe?
Many lakes are attractive destinations for those who like leisure activities on the water, but it can be tempting to choose to go kayaking alone. While most boaters would promptly assist someone in an emergency, they may not be aware that you are being sought. Ideally, you should always plan to kayak with at least one other person who is committed to you two watching out for each other.
Can You Kayak On a Lake at Night?
Anglers who use kayaks for fishing prefer to go out at dawn or dusk when the fish are more active. To comply with regulations and remain visible to others, a flashlight or lantern that emits white light is usually sufficient. At the very least, most public use lake locations have rules requiring you to have a hand-held light with you to serve as a signal.
How Common Are Animal Attacks On Kayakers On Lakes?
Lake kayaking is fun for many, but it can also pose a risk to kayakers if they are attacked by animals that live in or near the water. An attack on a kayaker is rare but can be avoided if you know what to do in the case of an encounter. Alligators can live in lakes, and locals in Florida advise that you assume one could be in any place with enough water to cover them.
Venomous snakes are another danger that may be found around any lake. If they see you first, they’ll usually slither away like alligators. If one does approach near your boat, smack the water with your paddle. This is usually enough to persuade them to change course.
Is it riskier to kayak by yourself?
Kayaking alone isn’t any more dangerous than kayaking with others, as long as you have all of the appropriate safety equipment. If you’re kayaking alone, make sure you notify a friend or family member where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. Consider utilizing an app on your smartphone (stored in your drybag) so your whereabouts can be traced.