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kayak safety

19 posts in this topic

What are some of your go to safety items this time of year as water temperatures start to drop:

Kayak Pump to remove water 

Kayak  compass to find my way home 

Pfd to help stay above water.

Gloves to  help keep hands warm

Hat to help keep head warm

Good base layer to help keep warm

 

Keep in mind your kayak fishing trip does not always end as  planned,  This time of year it is very important to plan for the worst.

Some kayakers never come home from their trips. It is normally a combination of the things that go wrong. Maybe the wind picked up

suddenly. Maybe the kayak took on water  and sank. Maybe you got lost in the fog. Maybe you were alone and you were too far from shore

to swim back. Maybe your dry suit sprung a leak? Maybe you had some type of health issue like a heart attack or a kidney stone.

Maybe your self rescue skills that worked perfectly fine in warm water on a calm day failed you in cold water on a rough day.

Stuff  happens out there. Be safe,

 

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First and foremost #1 should be to have a planned destination and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Not that I've had any issue that involved an issue, but consider that you could encounter something before or after you hit the water.

That means the travel to and from the water.

 

Also helps to have some basic (you can decide just how basic) first aid, water to drink, sun protection (eye, face, hands).

 

Also keep in mind that you don't HAVE to go out. If conditions are not favorable why push your luck just to catch a fish?

Sure, it's a pain having traveled to a spot and decide to head back because of bad weather/conditions, but what good is it if the odds are stacked against you even before you hit the water? I've canned a couple of trips because the conditions were not within my comfort or safety level.

 

Ironically, I've done this and heard afterwards that someone else ignored their nagging suspicions and either went missing or had to be rescued, and I just repeat to myself "I made the right choice". (Not that I'm better than anyone else, just that for me my choice was right.)

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All good points.  May want to add water. Sometimes I find myself dehydrated on the water.

It is no fun to run out of water. I have had many kayak failures. Failed launch and landing.

Kayak drain plug left unplugged. Kayak sprung a leak. Semi dry suit sprung a leak. Failed

launch in wet suit resulted in cold water causing me to go back to truck and go home. Keep in mind

we are floating around on a thin piece of plastic in cold weather in cold water outside of  our swimming range. This is serious stuff fishing this time of year. I have also left trips early when weather got bad

or decided not to launch when surf looked too big,   Luckily it normally takes more then one bad decision to end up not coming back. I consider myself lucky. I have always made it back to my truck

with my  kayak. This is not always the case  for all kayak fisherman. Sometimes  the wind may take us

far away from our launch sites. Sometimes we have health issues. Sometimes the clothing we wore was not appropriate. Sometimes we end up getting rescued by a  boater.  Sometimes our paddle or drive may break. Stuff happens out there. Be safe out there.

 

 

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Having 2 water bottles is a good idea even if you don't plan on drinking that much. I had one accidentally open and leak out this summer! That was a parched day.

 

Might as well post my checklist for people who haven't seen it before. My solution is to never take most of it out of the van! Doesn't work if you have to share it with the dear wife. I've taken to keeping small 3 piece paddle in the hull as insurance. Had a paddle with a molded plastic joint break in half on me a few years ago. Fortunately I was in a small flat river close to the launch.

 

5f99d1e15f641_kayaklist2.PNG.0dff5144121f5ace8c83e73b34cbcafd.PNG

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13 mins ago, The Riddler said:

My go to safety item is common sense. 

A good choice, but unfortunately some people don't seem to have it in stock...

 

While I'm reposting my classics, this was 1st week in May, Raritan Bay. Not even any PFDs. And that water is still very cold.

 

post-15110-0-53173700-1431014146.jpg

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23 mins ago, gellfex said:

Having 2 water bottles is a good idea even if you don't plan on drinking that much. I had one accidentally open and leak out this summer! That was a parched day.

 

Might as well post my checklist for people who haven't seen it before. My solution is to never take most of it out of the van! Doesn't work if you have to share it with the dear wife. I've taken to keeping small 3 piece paddle in the hull as insurance. Had a paddle with a molded plastic joint break in half on me a few years ago. Fortunately I was in a small flat river close to the launch.

 

5f99d1e15f641_kayaklist2.PNG.0dff5144121f5ace8c83e73b34cbcafd.PNG

Great list. You forgot bug spray though...it's a definite seasonal product

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24 mins ago, hybrid hunter said:

Great list. You forgot bug spray though...it's a definite seasonal product

I suppose you're right, but it's not usually an issue where I fish. Occasionally flies find and annoy me but rarely biting insects.

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5 hours ago, gellfex said:

Having 2 water bottles is a good idea even if you don't plan on drinking that much. I had one accidentally open and leak out this summer! That was a parched day.

 

Might as well post my checklist for people who haven't seen it before. My solution is to never take most of it out of the van! Doesn't work if you have to share it with the dear wife. I've taken to keeping small 3 piece paddle in the hull as insurance. Had a paddle with a molded plastic joint break in half on me a few years ago. Fortunately I was in a small flat river close to the launch.

 

5f99d1e15f641_kayaklist2.PNG.0dff5144121f5ace8c83e73b34cbcafd.PNG

I’d definitely add an audible signaling device - air horn or whistle. 

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33 mins ago, NewAtIt said:

I’d definitely add an audible signaling device - air horn or whistle. 

Well, given that it's CG regulation I didn't think it needed saying! Besides, mine is permanently clipped to the PFD. Other permanent occupants of the PFD are the license, headlamp, VHF radio, hook sharpener, "dumb" car key, safety knife, asthma inhaler (rarely used but I know I'd be nervous if it wasn't there) and small bottle of sunscreen for touch ups on the water.

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23 mins ago, gellfex said:

Well, given that it's CG regulation I didn't think it needed saying! Besides, mine is permanently clipped to the PFD. Other permanent occupants of the PFD are the license, headlamp, VHF radio, hook sharpener, "dumb" car key, safety knife, asthma inhaler (rarely used but I know I'd be nervous if it wasn't there) and small bottle of sunscreen for touch ups on the water.

No worries. I didn’t mean to say you were negligent- the only reason I mentioned it was if some one newer to kayaking saw this list they might want to add it. 

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14 hours ago, Dieseldog13 said:

Your list is very similar to mine. The older I get, the more checklists I have for my various hobbies. Good job.

Checklists are key! I recently got all the way to launch only to realize that I forgot my seat -- it majorly delayed me and my launch.

 

My list (although I'm going to modify based on Gellfex's critical/seasonal/optional):

 

Kayak
pedal drive
spare prop nut
seat
rod holders
PFD
VHF radio
paddle
depth finder/GPS
depth finder battery
fishing rods
tackle boxes including spool of line (fluorocarbon)
pliers
emergency knife
water
pee cup
dry suit
crate
bug spray
boga grip/landing net
pedal shoes
camera
headlamp
Q beam
Kayak wheels
Night light (for the kayak)

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I keep a small ACR brand personal locator beacon in my PFD as a last resort. Considering the amount of money people spend on the kayak, rods, reels and other gear another $200 that could potentially save your life is a no brainer to me. Your cellphone may get wet and your VHF may do you know good if you do not know your location.

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