Emergency preparations for Kayak Expeditions
Kayaking may result to injuries such as impact injuries of collisions with other watercrafts or rock glaciers, strains and sprains, sunburns, dehydration, hypothermia or heat stress as well as drowning.
Proper emergency preparations to mitigate risks is paramount and can reduce incidences of accidents or death due to drowning. Therefore before taking off for the expeditions, it’s vital to be well equipped with the skills necessary for your safety and enable you have fun and adventure in peace.
Types of Injuries Associated with Kayaking
Impact injuries — These can occur incase of collisions with watercrafts or in the event of a kayak capsizing because of water and you end up falling in water. In such incidence the kayak may hit you and cause bodily harm or you get hit by another object in water.
Dehydration and heat stress — Kayaking mostly takes place during summer in the open waters, thus the sun’s exposure on you is evident and can lead to dehydration or heat stress.
Sunburns — The exposure to sun can lead to sunburn and damages to skin. Also the reflection of sun radiation by water can increase the exposure of ultra violet rays on you as you adventure leading to skin damages.
Body injuries — Muscular force is required to push the paddle or oar through the waters and this can increase the chances of shoulder sprain or strain. Also the wrist joints could be injured as you paddle repeatedly through the waters.
Hypothermia — This is a condition which results from sudden drop of body temperature and is dangerous and can be fatal. It can occur if you capsize of fall the cold water.
Drowning — This is an incidence whereby you capsize in water and fall short of breath if you can’t swim or keep yourself floating hence die in water.
Mitigation of Kayak Risks
Skills — you need to equip yourself with the necessary skills needed for water experiences. These include swimming and expertise in paddling and navigation in water.
Protective gear — wearing wet suits could help prevent occurrences of hypothermia, while reflective clothing can help other freighters and water users spot you and thus mitigate incidences of collisions. Life savers should always be, worn, whether you are a beginner or experienced kayaks. If you are kayaking on rapid moving waters, consider wearing a helmet.
Choose the right waterway — If you are inexperienced, do not attempt to choose rapid moving waters or other waterways that are beyond skills of both paddling and swimming.
Body fitness — To minimize incidences of body sprain or strain, consider keeping your body fit and ensure you are in good physical condition before you go for a kayaking expedition.
Emergency equipments — Before you pack for a kayak trip, ensure that you carry with yourself any equipment which can be of help incase of any emergency. These include: a waterproof flashlight, a cell phone in a waterproof bag, also you may carry a throw-rope/tow rope, reflective material or clothing, floating line, whistles etc.
Techniques — learn survival techniques, for instance if you fall in water, ensure you keep a form grip on your paddle and kayak. You will need them to navigate back to the shore. Also you need to learn to administer first aid and the skills to deal with emergencies.
Avoid drinking or using any drugs while kayaking. Alcohol and drugs can carry you away and make you forget what you are doing or they can induce you to try kayaking in some risky regions.
Paddle or schedule your kayaking trips during the evening or in the morning while the sun is cool to avoid sunburns and heat stress.
Always check of a waterway first while you are on land before you get your kayak on it. Then make a decision based on your skills and the nature of the water-way. If it’s not easily navigable, do not attempt to kayak.
Be alert and on the on the lookout for floating objects in the water and avoid them. Also if you spot any incoming freighter on your water-way, try to avoid them. Also avoid sea caves especially if you are alone.
Get information about a waterway you have used before.
Incase of accidents, stop immediately before further injuries are afflicted and treat the soft injuries by administering first aid etc.
Incase of hypothermia move and lie in sun exposed area.