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Planning Your Sea Kayaking Trip

By Ann Beman - March 14th, 2002

Find More:
Setting Out
You can make your beginning sea kayak trips more enjoyable if you answer basic questions about what you want to get out of sea kayaking.
  • relaxation and idleness
  • challenge and adventure
  • exploration of the natural world
  • new countries and cultures.
    Your awareness of what you want from kayaking will help you plan the most rewarding trips.

Being Prepared
Try to anticipate your needs during the coming day.

  • Are food and water readily available?
  • Do you have sunscreen, skin blister remedies, sea sickness tablets, and aspirin handy?
  • Do you have a change of clothing handy in case the weather changes?

Having a Plan
Discuss the plan for the day among the group. When everyone knows how far it will be between the planned rest stops, where and when the group will land, and what the options are if the weather changes or someone gets sick, it is much easier to keep the group together and make safe decisions.

Mapping it Out
From driving a car, you already know how to read a map, find the map scale to measure distance, figure speed, travel time, and direction. And you gauge your progress by taking note of landmarks you pass along the way. All you need to learn to navigate a kayak is how to read a nautical chart or topographic map and how to use a compass.

Keeping Comfortable
Dress for paddling in clothing that keeps you warm when you and your clothing are wet. Some paddling conditions call for a wetsuit. The best wetsuit for paddling is a Farmer John style sleeveless suit that won't chafe your armpits. Neoprene boots and sandals make the best footwear. Take time to adjust the foot braces and the seat to fit you.


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