Kayak vacation destinations

Kayak vacation destinations

Kayak vacations are so amazing, that it’s hard to even describe all the different reasons you’ll love taking them. Here’s my weak attempt:

 

In the most practical terms, kayak vacations are insanely inexpensive. And since you’re gonna be outdoors, you aren’t tempted to shop or spend unnecessary money. You just have to pay for food and somewhere to sleep. Or, bring a tent, and just plan your route to go by camping sites each night, so you can go even cheaper and have more of an adventurous experience.

 

Since kayaks are super quiet and smooth on the water, when you’re boating, you get to see wildlife that most tourists miss. You can float in the middle of a lagoon and watch the fish ripple past or paddle right up to the edge of an island to see a rare bird.

 

Kayaking as opposed to taking motor boats also gets you access to protected areas like national parks and wildlife reserves where motors are banned. So, you can take your vacation adventure wherever you want, while the lazy folks in the cruise ship can’t even get close to the coolest and most pristine sites.

 

When you take a kayak vacation, you’ll be staying active and getting in even better shape during your time off. One of the hardest parts of normal vacations where you completely let yourself go is the fact that you then have to try and get back on the wagon when your vacation is over. At least in the exercise department, you’ll be even better off when you get back than you were when you left!

 

So where should you take a kayak vacation? There are options just about anywhere. You could take the Thames through London, explore the Galapagos, or check out the coastal villages of Italy. Here are some of my favorite spots a little closer to home that are easy to get to, relatively inexpensive, and still lots of fun!

 

Channel Islands National Park

California

The Channel Islands National Park has to be one of the most underrated spots to take a vacation in America. It’s a series of islands off the coast of California, home to some of America’s most interesting wildlife. The islands abound with lots of seals, sea lions, dolphins, and tons of sea birds. There’s also the benefit of a low visitor rate, which means the park is rarely busy, and never crowded! I love all the different trails on the islands themselves: its great for paddling, picnicking, and then taking a hike for the day before heading back to the campsite. One other great selling point is that this is a national park, so big parts of it are protected from motorboats and fishing. It’s all pristine, and there for you to explore. I especilly recommend the caves around the edges of the islands, and the kelp forest that floats on the surface, which is home to lots of exotic wildlife.

 

If you’re in search of something a bit more quintessentially American, I recommend:

 

Congaree National Park

South Carolina

This one is also on the coast, but it’s an inland network of rivers, swamps, and creeks which are super fun to explore. It’s one of the oldest hardwood forests in the country, and it’s been carefully protected from hunting and trapping. There are lots of familiar animals like deer, otters, and raccoons, and turtles abound. Tours are offered as well as day passes, which is a good option for new kayakers. Congaree is a great stop for people who want an active adventure but don’t have the skills or gear to handle the open seas in CA.

 

Finally on my list is the ultimate choice for adventurers, Glacier National Park in Alaska!

 

Glacier National Park

Alaska

Glacier National Park definitely has the most stunning scenery and sights of my Top Three places to visit with kayaks and it’s perfect for people who want to paddle around in true wilderness! There’s so much to see, from mountains, to lakes, to of course the glaciers. There’s moose, wolves, and even whales in the Park, and like with Congaree, you can sign up for guided tours. I don’t recommend Glacier for new kayakers, but it’s an amazing experience for people who are confident on the water.

 

You can find some more options here: http://www.active.com/outdoors/articles/5-destinations-for-epic-kayak-trips?page=2

Buying your first kayak

Buying your first kayak

Hi folks, today I want to do kind of a buying guide for people who are shopping for their first kayak. It’s a big deal to buy your first boat, and while it can definitely be rewarding, it’s a big decision that you want to make carefully. I’ll help you figure out what kind of a boat you’re looking for, and tell you about some of the things I look for when I’m buying a boat.

 

The first decision to make is whether you’re gonna buy a single or tandem kayak. Most people probably want to get a single one, unless you’re gonna be kayaking as a family activity. If you’re gonna take lots of trips with a partner, you’ll probably want to spend some more time figuring out if you can each afford and handle your own boat, or if you’re going to be just as happy saving money and transport effort to use just the one boat. You have to research and learn more about the best touring kayak before making your purchase. 

 

Next up, figure out how much money you want to spend. I would suggest spending around $500 or more, no matter how good you are. Even beginners are just gonna get frustrated by cheap boats, since they’re hard to handle as well as being kinda flimsy. But as a general rule, boats cost between $500 and $1500, depending on the size and quality. So, if it’s gonna be a learner boat, probably good to aim at the bottom of that range, but if you’ve rented lots of boats and are good in the water, but just haven’t owned a boat before, you should be able to handle something around $1000.

At the same time you’re figuring out the money side of things, it’s a good idea to think about size. Basically, that depends on two things: how much boat you can handle (so, how strong you are), and the amount of room you need for things like a picnic cooler, camping gear, or a dog. Shop according to your skill level, meaning that beginners should get a smaller boat, and experienced people should go longer unless they’re gonna be mostly out at sea. Size is also pretty important to think about up front because you’re gonna have to move the boat around eventually, so you have to be prepared for whatever length you go for. Figure out what can fit on your car or truck, and where you can store it.

 

The best kayaks have a really high storage to size ratio. That makes sense, right? You want to have as much storage space as possible in as small a boat as possible. So, you can get more onboard without needing a camper-sized boat. If you get a good storage ration, you also end up spending your paddling energy on moving the gear, not the boat, which is what you want.

 

I also look really carefully at durability, since a kayak is such a big investment. Most boats are molded these days from some sort of plastic or nylon compound, so you don’t necessarily need to look at the material. You should focus on whether it’s a single piece, or something made from glued components that has seams. Ideally, always buy a kayak without seams. Seams are a sign of cheapness, and they’re asking for trouble with leaks and such. There should be a drag plate on the bottom of the hull, too, to keep rocks from knocking a hole in your craft.

 

Ok, so storage space, size, price, and durability are my key tips to look out for on your new boat. Hope this is helpful! I highly recommend visiting bestkayaks.reviews for your kayaking needs.  Happy boating.

Kayaking tips by Alex O’Neil

Kayaking tips by Alex O’Neil

Hey guys!

Alex here. Today, I’m going to be telling you some of my tips for kayakers, with stuff for everyone to learn or be reminded of, whether you’re just starting or have a lifetime of experience behind you.

 

-Check water forecasts instead of weather forecasts

 

A lot of kayakers focus on what the weather will be doing on the day of their outing, and pack based on that. Sure, it’s important to know whether it’s going to rain, but it doesn’t really matter how you dress once you’re in the water, unless you’re wearing layers that also work in the water. So, wear enough quick-dry and water-wicking layers to keep you warm if you take a plunge, rather than sweaters that are warm on the surface but will make you even colder when they’re wet.

 

-Make sure your boat suits your strength and experience level

Like any tool, a kayak will respond to how much power and finesse you put into it. Make sure your boat is the right length, weight, and shape for you! It’s always better to have something you’re a little too good for, so that you’re always in control.

 

-Take basic rescue training

 

Before you take any solo trip, and I really recommend it before any trip at all, you should take some basic rescue training. There are pretty reasonable prices for courses all over the country, and I think it’s kind of a requirement that you should know how to save yourself and your partner(s) if something goes wrong on the water.

 

-Be sure you know how to adjust the fit of the boat.

 

After you get the right size kayak for your body, you have to know how to fine tune it right. Ideally, you should be making contact at three points: the small of the back, the balls of your feet (with slightly bent knees), and the sides of the boat (with your knees). Once you’re locked in at those points, you start to be able to use the boat as an extension of your body.

 

-Work on your torso pivot as you row

One huge mistake a lot of kayakers make is to use just their arms to power the boat. Your arms are going to get strong that way, but it puts your shoulder joints at risk and overworks your arms. You should be pivoting around your core and torso with each stroke. Those muscles are way, way stronger than your arms, and they’re much safer to use since they’re not jointed.

 

-Know how to seal a dry bag the right way

Dry bags seem pretty straightforward and a lot of them definitely are. But if you make these little tweaks, your dry bags are going to work a lot better for you. Make sure the softer things are at the top of the bag, so there’s less pressure on the closure point. Keep bulges out of the bag where you can, and after you’ve lined up the edges and squeezed the air out, fold the bag and crease the edge three times instead of just rolling it up. You end up with a way better seal that way.

 

Ok, hope those help you! Let me know if you have any good tips to share. Thanks for reading.