4 whitewater kayaking safety tips

November 3, 2015

Whitewater kayaking is a popular activity for outdoor adventurists of all skill levels. Regardless of your level of experience, follow the below tips to ensure a fun and safe outing on the rapids.

4 whitewater kayaking safety tips

1. Wear a life jacket

No matter what your skill level, it's critical to wear a life jacket while you're out on the water. It's one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. Many experienced kayakers feel they can handle themselves on the water because they are more skilled, but whitewater rapids are extremely unpredictable. Wearing a life jacket are vital in emergencies.

2. Wear a helmet

In addition to a life jacket, all kayakers should wear helmets to protect their heads. A blow to the head is one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself while whitewater kayaking. If your kayak flips, you could get tossed out and hit your head on a rock, the river bottom or the kayak itself. A helmet might be the only thing that saves your life and keeps you conscious until help arrives.

3. Bring a first-aid kit

No matter where you are going or for how long, keep a waterproof first-aid kit in your kayak at all times. It's important to be prepared for a medical emergency whether you are going alone or with a small group of people. You don't want to overload your kayak with too much gear, but a small first-aid kit doesn't take up too much space or add much weight.

4. Kayak with others

You should always kayak with others, especially if you are going whitewater kayaking. If you're experienced or the water seems calm, you might be tempted to go out on the water alone. But the waters are hard to predict, and there won't be anyone to help you or report danger if you are alone. It's also important to check the weather report beforehand to make sure you don't head out before any big storms. Safety in numbers is the best option.

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