With summer coming to an end, it is the perfect time to get on the water. The sweltering heat is beginning to subside, making it a lot easier to enjoy a day in the kayak. But if you are a beginner, it can be kind of hard to find a good kayaking route. However, with a little guidance and practice, it can become pretty easy to know what to look for.
Getting Started: The Water
The first step is knowing what kind of water you want to kayak on. Pretty much any body of water can be kayaked, but there are perks to each. Flat water, like a lake or reservoir, can be a bit of a work out. Without much of a current to pull you along, you rely on your paddling to move. On the other hand, it is easier to go at your own pace.
Moving water, such as a river, has a current to help pull you along. This makes it a bit faster paced but less strenuous on the muscles. Your paddling will be mostly to help pull you along faster or to keep yourself straight. Moving water also doesn't necessarily mean rapids, although some rivers may have faster spots that require more attention.
Picture Credit: Google Images of Gunpowder River, a local favorite kayaking spot in Northern Maryland.
Going the Distance
The next step after you decide what type of water would best suit your style is to decide how far you plan to kayak. As a beginner, you want to try to keep it a bit shorter. There is no shame in starting out at only a mile or two, especially on flat water. On moving water, since it is a bit easier, you can cover a bit more ground to start.
Another thing that effects this is the weather. Be sure to keep a close eye on it when you plan your trip. However, even if there was no call for storms, that does not mean they won't show. When planning your route, make sure there are some spots to get out of the water and take shelter.
More than the Water
Some of the best memories made on a kayaking trip are those out of the boat. Finding places to pull your boat to shore and explore or hike, can really solidify a great day on the water.
However, the best part of a great kayaking trip is the company. Kayaking alone isn't recommended even for the most experienced, and should never be attempted by a beginner. Having a partner or a group to laugh and joke with makes it even more fun.
Have a Plan
After you have your spot and your friends picked out for the trip, make sure to set up a full plan for the day that includes:
- When you plan to leave
- How far you plan to travel
- Places to rest/explore
- Where you will end the journey
Have this plan and making sure someone else (a family member, park ranger, etc.) has the layout as well. This will help if anything goes wrong, so people will know where to look for you.
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember, the two most important parts of any trip are safety and fun. If you are cautious, then fun will follow. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can also leave a comment telling us about your kayaking trip, or any other tips we might have forgotten!