Okay, don’t freak out. We all know that doing water-involving with children maybe terrifying. In fact, everything related to children can imply risks, but with the 05 tips for kayak with kids, we can get over it quite well.
However, the tips below can be only applied if you are going to take children, not toddlers, along. Since kayaking maybe very dangerous when your kid is too young or he and she can get too excited, you should leave him or her at home with a responsible nanny. It’s ways better than let your child take part in a trip that he or she can barely remember or comprehend the concept while putting him/her at risks.
05 tips for kayaking with kids – Detailed guide with care
A kayak trip will be an unforgettable memory for your children. You can give it to your kids as a present on special occasions, or just because they have been obedient. Follow the instructions below carefully to have a perfect trip without anything going off the road.
What to pack before we go
In the preparation period, you should make a list of what to bring and follow it. If you are not the only one responsible for packing, make sure you and your partner know exactly who is in charge of what on the list. We don’t want to be starved or dehydrated on the way.
Food and Water
Although you and your family members may enjoy many kinds of food, you should bring just the dry, easy-to-pack things such as bread, smoked salmon, cheese, nuts, apples, oranges, bananas, etc. You could possibly make sandwiches at home to enjoy on the way since it saves the time and most kids love the food item.
Water is vital, so bring as much as possible because we don’t know when we will have a chance to refill the bottles. You should contain water in a water pillow, as it can be easily arranged under your seats, in turns saves the space on the small kayak.
Flamboyant items have to be left at home. You should make your children where layers of water-resistant, breathable materials such as merino wool, rashguards, etc. Small kids often get dirty and wet easier, so be mindful enough to bring extra clothes for them. Store all of the clothing in a waterproof bag and strap it tightly inside the boat.
Kids need more than adults in term of layering, so get your precious children wide-brimmed hats to prevent the extreme sunshine, waterproof boots in winter and sandals in summer. Raingear should be prepared, too, in case it suddenly rains. Sunscreen can be considered as well.
Keep your kids safe
Even though the area you are taking your kids to is famous for having no accidents happening, or incredibly calm water, you mustn’t skimp on safety. Get a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) for each member of your family that fits them and let them move comfortably. You may not need the safety gear when you are kayaking alone, but kids can be uncooperative if they have to wear something they don’t want when their parents do not. In most of the cases, children would like to imitate their parents, so please be the good role models for them.
When emergencies happen, you will know the benefits of having lines and floats on the vessel. A decent set of safety gear includes a paddle float for each adult, a throw-bag for each adult, and a tow line for each boat. They may seem easy to use, but you have to do some research in advance to not make yourself at a loss when the stuff is needed. For the best preparation, take a class to practice before taking your kids anywhere.
Somebody may think it is safer to tie or tether the boy/girl of yours to the boat. Don’t you ever try it, because it makes the trip riskier than more guaranteed.
What to Keep in Mind While on the Way
Advance slowly: If you need 2 hours to finish the way on your own, now with your kids tagging along, you will need 5. Keep all the family members in your reach. If there are more than one kayaks, stay close to each other, but not too close because it may generate troubles if you face high waves.
Talk and teach. Don’t just take the paddling as your responsibility, the youngsters want to contribute their effort, too. Let them have a paddle and show them how to do it correctly so they can learn from your words and your actions at the same time. It is also a method to keep them focused and highly excited all the way.
Be strict with your rules: Accident may happen if you are a soft supervisor. Make rules, and make sure your kids follow it. Tell them that they won’t have desserts for weeks, or have to stay at home on the next family trip if they stand up or lean too far to a side. You must be serious to show them it’s really risky.
How to Enjoy the Trip
Now all the necessary things are available and the trip starts to go on well, take your time to enjoy the family bonding time. You can create a game for your kids, such as tag or follow the leader. Paddling can be an interesting game if you know how to organize. For example, make your kids solve quizzes, and the winner of each turn can lead the kayak.
Don’t be so serious about the young paddlers’ performance as long as they follow the safety rules. Tell them to enjoy the scenery too. It is one of the core value of a kayaking trip.
If things go off the rail
Though we have done all the preparation, things may not go as planned. You shouldn’t show your disappointment. Keep your spirit up so your children won’t get bored and become fussy. Tell the exciting stories, make jokes, or sing a tune can help, most of the time. Children’s spirit can be down easily, but after some minutes you will see your kids singing along or starting chit-chat as if they have never been down-mood.
If a young paddler show signs of exhaustion, make him or her rest and take it as your responsibility. The tow line will be useful with he/she is in a single kayak.
Now, with the 05 tips for kayak with kids, I hope you know what to do and how to do it in the next family trips on the water. Be a hero on the way for your children, and don’t forget to take many photos of their exciting face.