Kayaking is a popular way of traveling across the water. Some people use kayaks as part of search and rescue operations during flooding, for example. But others use kayaks for wilderness exploration and as part of other adventure activities.
It’s one of those things that people of all ages can enjoy. Are you planning to go on vacation with your family soon? If so, and you want a memorable experience, have you considered going on a kayaking vacation?
This kayaking primer for parents will tell you all you need to know about arranging and staying safe on your kayaking vacation.
Are you a good paddler?
One of the mistakes that parents often make on kayaking vacations is that at least one of them isn’t good at paddling! Are you an inexperienced paddler? If so, I recommend taking some kayaking lessons before embarking on a kayaking vacation with your family.
The last thing you want to do is make your vacation memorable – but for the wrong reasons! There are plenty of places in the US and beyond where you can pay for kayaking lessons.
Are you all good at swimming?
Before you do any kayaking, you should all be able to swim. If things go wrong when you are all kayaking in open water, you don’t want to come to any harm. That is why it is important everyone is competent at swimming before they go kayaking.
Swimming lessons are affordable, and you are bound to find a local swimming center near you. If you have your own swimming pool at home, you can always have someone come out and teach you swimming skills at your home.
Do You Have All The Gear?
Being prepared is key when you go kayaking. You need to make sure that everyone has the appropriate kayaks and gear for the trip. It’s a good idea to research what type of clothing is suitable for kayaking, as well as picking up some essential items like sunscreen, waterproof cameras, and first aid kits. Here’s a complete list of gear we keep on hand for our outings:
|Safety Gear||Link to Purchase on Amazon|
|Life Jacket (General search)||https://amzn.to/46GK6k3|
|Bell Rally Kids Kayaking Helmet||https://amzn.to/3PxYIew|
|Waterproof First Aid Kit||https://amzn.to/48uCeUc|
|Earth Pack Waterproof Dry Bag||https://amzn.to/46fL1ru|
|NTR Water Rescue Rescue Throw Bag||https://amzn.to/3EOba4K|
|Botepon Kayak Navigation Lights||https://amzn.to/3ZswEgY|
|Distress E-Flare and Flag||https://amzn.to/3rp2oHh|
|Emergency Survival Kit||https://amzn.to/3PNQ10Y|
Arranging your kayaking vacation
At this point, you are ready to organize your kayaking vacation. Many travel agencies offer kayaking vacation packages. These packages include the hire of kayaks, paddles, and safety equipment.
Some even include transport to and from the airport. Of course, some families prefer to plan their own bespoke travel itineraries. The Internet is great for comparing prices on flights and accommodation. And you can also make arrangements with kayaking clubs yourself.
For a real outdoor experience, consider camping in a tent. Nothing beats spending a summer’s evening by a creek, gazing up at the stars or sitting around a campfire!
Regardless of your vacation destination, I recommend taking out outdoor adventure insurance. It will provide cover for you and your family in case one or more family members gets injured whilst kayaking. To help you start planning, I’ve included a list of the top kayaking destinations in the US here:
|No.||Destination||Google Maps Link||Average Star Rating||Total Reviews|
|1||Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota||Link||4.8||186|
|2||Isle Royale National Park, Michigan||Link||4.8||460|
|3||Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska||Link||4.7||3,459|
|4||Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho||Link||4.4||15|
|5||Na Pali Coast, Hawaii||Link||4.8||1,813|
A lot of people ask me what clothing they should wear on a kayaking vacation. In my experience, it’s best to pack a mixture of clothing for all weather conditions.
When you go out on a kayak, you should wear some waterproof clothing for obvious reasons. On land, wear clothing appropriate to the current climate. And if you’re camping, it’s best to wear warm clothes at night, as the evenings are far colder than the daytime.
Keeping The Kids Safe And Entertained While Kayaking
Kayaking is a great family activity, but it’s important to keep an eye on your kids at all times. Make sure they wear life jackets and that you have enough prepared activities to keep them entertained during the trip. It’s also important to teach them about safety before you go out on the water. Kayaking with kids is a great way to bond, but make sure you’re all prepared first.
- Pack Plenty Of Food And Water
- Don’t forget to bring plenty of food and water for everyone in the family.
- Pack items that are easy to eat on the go like sandwiches, granola bars, and fruit.
- Pack Sunscreen And Insect Repellent
I hope you enjoy your kayaking vacation. It’s moments like these that make life with kids so special, and it’s important to remember to be prepared.