Normally, this time of year I am heavily involved in Press trips and reviewing places or helping tourism boards advertise what they have to offer. This year we made a conscious decision to explore State parks and get outdoors to less populated areas and attractions. One of our first purchases in doing this, was kayaks!
Our first family trip was to Chapman State Park in Pennsylvania. Some things I would suggest you invest in if you are interested in kayaking as a family (especially with kids).
1. Kayaks (pay attention to weight restrictions) We bought a 10 footer & 8 footers. Keep in mind you have to account for the weight of personal items! We got two with the understanding my son would learned some “boat safety” and get comfortable with rowing, he could get his own.
2. Life vests. Surprisingly the kid versions do not have a high weight limit. I was rather surprised my son was in an adult size because it goes off weight.
3. Ores. Surprisingly enough many Kayaks don’t come with a paddle?! Luckily, ours did but the very next week the same store that sold ours sold them without for the same price?!
4. Waterproof Phone Case. I HIGHLY recommend having a phone in case of emergencies! We also use it to take photos but you just never know what you will encounter so get yourself a waterproof one. They sell them here for pretty cheap!
5. Whistle. I am pretty sure this is a requirement if you are kayaking but in case it’s not just toss one in a First aid kit! It helps you alert boaters of your position or if you need help!
6. First Aid Kit. These come in compact sizes to fit in any size kayak.
7. Food. Once you are out on the water you kind of loose track of time. It’s always a good ideas to have lunch packed and plenty of snacks! Especially if you get in a bind, stuck or emergency situation best to be prepared.
8. Sunscreen & bug spray. We always apply this before we go because it seems the bugs and sun follow us. If you are going swimming as well I would recommend reapplying. The sun reflecting off the water can really burn you QUICKLY. Learn from our mistakes make sure you are well covered!
9. Water Shoes (optional). Some of you might be ok with wet shoes but I know many aren’t. I personally kayak with flip flops because getting in or out of the kayak always seems to give wet feet.
10. Map out your route and research current patterns. We choose a State park because it had open water, restrooms and easily accessible docks to get in and out. When you get comfortable may streams have some rapids or currents. You want to make sure you know where they are and are comfortable enough with your kayaks to attempt them. Marking out routes and pit stops are a good idea when you take kids out!
What do you take Kayaking??
What would you add to my List??