Kayak touring is a great way to get out into nature and have a lot of fun doing it. You can paddle through and explore a wide range of waterscapes, from calm rivers and lakes to wild ocean waves. Kayaking is a sport that people of all ages and physical abilities can enjoy because it is easy to learn, cheap to get started, and light.
When it comes to kayak touring, you’ll need a few essential pieces of gear before you hit the water. You should choose a kayak based on your size, how well you can paddle, and the type of water you want to explore. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the basics of kayak touring, from features of kayak touring to selecting the kayak essential items for a successful trip.
What Is Kayak Touring?
Kayak touring is an outdoor activity where you paddle a kayak over open water, usually to explore and find your way through different bodies of water. Kayak touring can be done on rivers, lakes, marshes, the ocean, and any other body of water. You can do it alone or with a group, and you can do it for any amount of time.
Kayak touring is the perfect outdoor activity for people who don’t want to bring a lot of gear or be very strong. People like kayaking because it’s peaceful and gives them a sense of accomplishment when they finish a trip.
What Is A Touring Kayak?
A touring kayak is a type of boat that is made to be paddled for long distances. Most of the time, touring kayaks are longer, narrower, and more stable than recreational kayaks. They also have a lot of room for storing camping gear and other important things. The best part is that you can paddle them on lakes, rivers, and even the ocean when the water is calm.
It’s important to pick a touring kayak that fits your needs. In general, a kayak will move through the water faster if it is longer and narrower. So, if you want to paddle for long distances, you should get a longer touring kayak. On the other hand, if you want to explore smaller bodies of water or just go on short trips, you should probably get a shorter, wider kayak.
Features of A Touring Kayak
Touring kayaks are made to be easy to carry, stable, and comfy. We’ll look at some of the things that make kayaks good for long-distance trips. Here are the things that make up a touring kayak:
- Lightweight: Most touring kayaks are made of light materials like fibreglass or carbon fibre. Because of this, they are easier to carry and move than similar items that are heavier.
- Speed and Ability to Turn: Touring kayaks are made to move quickly through the water. Because of this, they are longer and narrower than kayaks used for fun. This makes them easier to move in currents or in places with little room to move.
- Comfort: Most touring kayaks have footrests that can be moved so you can paddle in a comfortable way. They also have extra padding on the seat and backrest to make sure you are comfortable on the water.
- Storage: Touring kayaks have a lot of storage space because they are made for long trips. This is important if you want to take camping gear or other things with you.
- Durability: As with any outdoor activity, it’s important to have a kayak that can handle wear and tear. Touring kayaks are made of strong materials like fibreglass or carbon, so you can be sure they will last.
- Safety: One of the things that makes a touring kayak stand out is that it puts safety first. Most touring kayaks have a number of safety features and equipment, like bungee cords, reflective tape, and other similar things. So, you won’t have to worry about your safety while you’re out on the water.
- Tracking: When you’re out on the water, it’s important to always be able to figure out where you are. A tracking device should be put in a touring kayak so the paddler can be sure they are going in the right direction. GPS is another piece of gear that could be useful if you are going to be gone for a long time.
How To Choose The Right Touring Kayak?
It can be hard to choose the right touring kayak, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few of the most important things to think about when buying a touring kayak:
- Length: Choose a kayak length that works for you based on your level of experience and how you plan to use it. Longer kayaks are usually a little bit faster and more stable, while shorter ones are easier to turn.
- Width: Along with the length, you should also think about how wide your kayak is. A wider kayak will be more stable on the water, but it won’t be as fast or easy to move around as a narrower one.
- Weight: How easy it is to carry and move your kayak depends on how much it weighs. If you want to take your kayak on trips, look for one that is light and has handles that make it easy to carry.
- Storage: Touring kayaks need a lot of space for storing camping gear and other things. Look for a boat with a lot of storage space, like hatches, bulkheads, or dry bags.
- Comfort: You should always think about comfort when choosing a touring kayak since you’ll probably be in it for a long time. Make sure to pick one with comfortable seats and footrests that can be moved.
- Budget: Last but not least, when choosing a kayak, you should think about how much money you have. Even though touring kayaks can get pricey, there are many options at different price points that you can choose from based on your needs and preferences.
11 Useful Tips For Kayak Touring
Kayak touring is fun and rewarding, but if you don’t take the right precautions, it can also be dangerous. Here are some safety tips to keep you from getting hurt while kayaking:
- Check the Weather: If you are going on a long trip, check the weather before you leave. Before you leave, make sure you will be able to finish the trip safely.
- Check Your Gear: Before going on a kayak tour, make sure all of your gear, like paddles and life vests, is in good shape.
- Tell Someone Where You’re Going: Before you leave, you should let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This way, if your trip takes longer than expected, they can come to look for you.
- Know Your Limits: You should only go on trips you know you can safely finish. Don’t try too hard, and remember to stop when you need to.
- Always be ready for emergencies: Even if you pay attention to the weather and carefully plan your trip, you should always be ready for an emergency. If something goes wrong, make sure you have a first-aid kit, flares, and other emergency supplies.
- Be Safe: When you’re kayaking, make sure you always follow the right safety rules. Wear a life jacket and always be aware of what’s going on around you.
- Get the Right Kayak: Make sure you get a kayak that is made for touring. It should be easy to carry, comfortable, and have a lot of room to store things. You might also want to think about getting a shorter, wider kayak. This will make it easier to control in strong currents or small spaces.
- Have patience: Kayaking is a great way to see new places and explore, but it takes time. Don’t rush through your trip; take your time and enjoy it.
- Be Aware: Even if the water looks calm, you should always be aware when you’re kayaking. Be ready for turns you didn’t see coming, and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
- Be Ready: Finally, when you go kayaking, you should be ready for anything. Bring a few extra things with you, like snacks and water, sunblock, bug spray, and a map or GPS device, just in case.
- Use Good Paddling Techniques: When you’re out on the water, make sure you get trained and use good paddling techniques. Paddle with control and keep your paddle close to your body when turning or trusting.
Is Kayak Touring Safe?
Yes, kayak touring is a very safe thing to do as long as you take the right steps. Before you go on a trip, make sure to check the weather forecast and the state of the water. Even if you know how to swim, you should always wear a life jacket and carry safety gear like flares or an emergency beacon.
Other ways to stay safe are to bring a friend, keep an eye out for possible dangers or animals, and don’t paddle in areas that are too shallow. Always be aware of what’s going on around you and take the right steps to keep yourself and your fellow adventurers safe. With a little planning and knowledge, touring by kayak can be a very safe and fun thing to do.
Choosing The Right Gear For Your Touring Kayak
When going on a kayak tour, you need the right gear. Here are some of the things you should bring with you when you go kayaking:
- Life Jacket: Every kayaker should always wear a life jacket, which is an important piece of gear. Not only does it help you stay afloat in an emergency, but it also protects you from cold or rough water.
- Paddle: Any paddle can be used for kayaking, but touring paddles are made with features that help you move faster. Look for a paddle that is easy to carry and has a shaft length that can be changed.
- Spray Skirt: A spray skirt keeps water out of your boat and keeps you warmer in cold water. Make sure you get the right size for your kayak and always wear it on your tour.
- Dry Bags: When you go kayaking, you need a good waterproof dry bag to keep your things safe and dry. Choose a dry bag that is big enough to hold all of your gear, like food and extra clothes.
- Navigation: When touring in a kayak, it’s important to stay on the route you planned. Make sure you have a GPS or another way to find your way with you to stay safe and on the right path.
- Wear the right clothes: Before you go out on the lake or river, make sure you’re wearing clothes made for kayaking. Choose fabrics that will keep you warm and dry and won’t restrict your movement. Don’t forget sun protection like a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
- First Aid Kit: You never know when you might need one, so it’s best to always have one with you on your tour. Make sure it has everything you need for small cuts and scrapes and any over-the-counter medicines you might need.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes a touring kayak different from a sea kayak?
Touring kayaks are made for going long distances, while sea kayaks are made for going out on the open ocean. Touring kayaks are longer and thinner, which makes them faster, more agile, and more efficient on flat water. Sea kayaks, on the other hand, are usually shorter and wider, which makes them more stable in rough ocean conditions.
2. Are touring kayaks good for beginners?
Touring kayaks can be great for people who have never paddled before because they are stable and comfortable. Beginners should look for a touring kayak that is easy to carry and has a lot of storage space for gear or extra layers of clothing.
3. Are shorter or longer kayaks faster?
In general, longer kayaks are faster than shorter ones because they have a longer waterline. This makes it easier for them to move through the water. But when thinking about speed, it’s important to think about other things like a kayak’s weight and the shape of its hull. Both of these things can affect how well a kayak performs.
4. What can you do with a touring kayak?
Touring kayaks are made for paddling long distances on flat water and can be used for fun things like fishing or sightseeing. They are comfortable to ride and have a lot of storage space, which makes them perfect for long trips on the water.
Kayak touring is a great way to explore lakes, rivers, and oceans. Knowing the right gear and what to bring with you can make your tour safe and enjoyable. Remember to always wear a life jacket and take a GPS or other navigation device so you know where you’re going. With the right preparation and knowledge, kayaking can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Enjoy the adventure!