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NIGHT KAYAKING TIPS

NIGHT KAYAKING TIPS

NIGHT KAYAKING TIPS

Kayaking at night can be a magical experience. Being out on the water after the sun goes down gives you a chance to focus on the paddling without all of the visual distractions that come with daytime adventures.

But anyone who wants to paddle at night must come prepared with the right equipment. Read on for our quick guide to taking kayaks out at night.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN BE SEEN

We suggest a waterproof light source attached to your person - think a strobe, torch or light stick and a back up light. If you have light attached to you, you will still be visible if you end up in the water separated from your boat.

you can open the LED flashlight of your handheld two way radio.

It's not just other people who need to see you, you also need to be able to see.

KNOW YOUR ROUTE

When paddling after dark, it's best to stick to routes you know well. Stay around an area you paddle often. Take your chart or map, and mark buoy positions and beacons that you see on the way - these won't change, but they might become less visible. The other alternative is to take a local guide for new paddling spots, or if it's your first time.

NIGHTTIME REFERENCE-POINTS

If there's a beacon you spot at night that you haven't seen before, take its bearing in reference to a known point and research it. If the weather takes a sudden turn, it might become the only navigation light you can seen.

LEAVE YOUR PLAN

Even if it's a well-worn route for you, always leave a plan with family or friends before you launch, and do not deviate from the plan. Make sure it includes your ETAs.

You could also leave a paddle plan at your locally-based coast guard station via phone.

TAKE YOUR FRIENDS

It's best to keep others around you and to paddle as a group after dark, for many safety reasons. Groups are more visible by other traffic on the water, and you're there to help each other out if something goes wrong.

It's also just fun to have the company!

DON'T USE NEW KIT

Just like you don't want to try a new route after dark, you also don't want to try new kit at night. Make sure you're comfortable with all the kayaking kit you're using so you're not trying for anything for the first time.

COMMUNICATION

Don't forget that, for safety, you need to carry some form of communication device with you. A waterproof walkie talkie is a good idea,the LED flashlight of your two way radio can  illuminate the dark.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

At any time of day, it's important to remember to dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature. A swim at night can have an extreme effect on you, so be prepared to be disorientated, and practice some safety drills for when things go wrong.

Learn about what to wear when kayaking.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) is required by law when kayaking. As such, a good quality life jacket is a must. But this is even more important when kayaking at night, and becoming separated from your kayak may have more serious consequences.


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