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How to Make the Most of Your Kayaking Tour

By: Derek Edwards https://dedwards.me/

Are you interested in learning how to kayak? Or, are you a seasoned pro who’s looking for a little adventure? Kayaking tours are perfect for newbies and advanced kayakers alike. Here’s some tips on how to make the most of your tour and what to expect when you hit the waters.

What is a Kayaking Tour?

What is a Kayaking Tour?

A kayaking tour is just what it sounds like. It’s a planned kayaking trip with a guide that will take you through set courses. Kayaking tours are generally available to all levels of kayakers, though there are some that offer advanced or immediate courses. Tour guides will be able to help keep you safe, as they know the area well and can offer advice and anecdotes along the way.

Where should I go to kayak?

When you’re planning your vacation—a kayak-focused one or otherwise—you’d be surprised at how many states in the U.S. have kayaking tour options. From the Great Lakes to the Pacific or Atlantic to Las Vegas (yes, there’s even kayaking in Vegas!), it’s likely there will be a guided tour available to you.

What if I’ve never kayaked before?

Even if you’re not an avid kayaker, you can try it for the first time when you’re on the tour. In fact, one of the best ways to learn how to kayak properly and safely is with an experienced guide who knows how to teach.

There’s so much to learn about kayaking from what kayak paddle size is right for you to the best type of gear you should bring on each trip. A guided tour will help you understand if you want to continue your kayaking adventures into something that you want to invest in, as well as what kind of gear is optimal for you.

Know What’s Included in the Kayak Tour Package

Know What’s Included in the Kayak Tour Package

No matter where you’ll be kayaking, schedule and reserve a tour in advance. A kayak tour company will generally offer packages that include kayaking equipment, guides, and water. There are some that may not offer all of these amenities. Additionally, make sure you know what will be offered and what other gear you’ll need to bring, such as drybags, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.

In some areas, shuttle services are offered so that you don’t have to travel to the destination. You’ll be picked up with the rest of your group, will get to know the guide before you hit the water, and can get comfortable with the people around you.

Stay mindful of the rules around alcohol consumption. Generally, drinking before or during the tour isn’t allowed for safety reasons. Once you get back to your destination, feel free to unwind with a drink of your choice.

Blazin’ Paddles Offers Tours to All Types of Kayakers

Believe it or not, Las Vegas is a hotspot for kayaking. Blazin’ Paddles helps the National Park Service preserve natural and cultural resources around the area by providing guided excursions so as not to disturb the local environment. Our professional guides are here to teach you about kayaking, but also about the natural surroundings that you’ll see in the middle of a desert.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page that tells you all you’ll need to know about our kayak tours including what you should wear, where you should stay, and everything you should pack to be prepared.

Top 10 Things to Do When Visiting the Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is one of the greatest feats of engineering in the United States, and it is still among the most iconic structures of the Southwest today. The Hoover Dam was constructed in the 1930s. It is a National Historic Landmark and considered to be one of the Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. The Hoover Dam is a top destination for visitors, and many say a trip to Las Vegas isn’t complete without paying the Dam a visit. From water to air, there are many ways to incorporate a visit to the Dam into your plans.

1). Kayak the Hoover Dam

If you want to explore the Hoover Dam while getting away from the crowds, a Las Vegas kayak tour of the Hoover Dam is a perfect activity. You can kayak Hoover Dam with Blazin’ Paddles, where you’ll find many options to explore the natural areas around Las Vegas by boat. One of the best ways to get a personalized tour of the Hoover Dam is through a day tour that takes you on a scenic journey down the Colorado River. Along with getting great views of the Dam, you’ll travel through the Black Canyon by boat and learn about the area’s natural history as you go along. For convenience, Blazin’ Paddles even has a complimentary shuttle with convenient pickup points along the Las Vegas Strip.

2). Schedule a Power Plant Tour

The Power Plant Tour is one of two tours that you can join to learn more about the Hoover Dam. Note that tours run from 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM daily, and they start at the Visitor Center. With the Power Plant Tour you can (and should) purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are available online. The Power Plant Tour starts with an introductory video of the Hoover Dam’s history, followed by a 30-minute guided walk out to an observation deck. The tour then proceeds to the Nevada wing, which is a publicly accessible part of the Power Plant. This tour also includes a presentation at the Original Exhibit Building that dates back to the 1940s.

3). Take a Guided Dam Tour

The Guided Dam Tour is another option for those who want to learn more about the history of the Hoover Dam. The Guided Dam Tour is a longer tour with a minimum age requirement of eight years. The Guided Dam Tour also begins with a brief introductory video explaining the history of the Dam. The tour continues with a one-hour guided walking tour out to an observation platform overlooking the Power Plant. You’ll pass through the Power Plant on this tour, and you will also stop at the inspection tunnel. The tour concludes with a presentation at the Original Exhibit Building, which was built not long after the Hoover Dam was constructed.

4). Check out Lake Mead

If you’re paying a visit to the Hoover Dam, you may also want to include a visit to Lake Mead. Lake Mead was formed by the Hoover Dam. It is a vast reservoir that is also the country’s first and largest recreation areas. Lake Mead is another prime spot for kayaking. The reservoir is also open for fishing, boating, and swimming. Hiking and camping are available along the perimeter of Lake Mead. Be sure to bring a camera when you go, as you’ll get stunning views of the park’s valleys, canyons, and mountains along with its majestic blue waters.

5). Cross the Memorial Bridge

Although the Hoover Dam is considered the main attraction, another engineering marvel at the park is the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The bridge is comparatively new in relation to the Dam. It was constructed in 2010 and spans the Colorado River to connect the Dam on the Nevada and Colorado sides. If you’re looking for a great photo opp, you can pause for a picture at the “Welcome to Nevada” sign on the bridge.

6). Catch a Glimpse of Bighorn Sheep

Although the Hoover Dam is a man-made attraction, there is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy great wildlife sightings nearby. Resident Bighorn sheep are a common sight at the Hoover Dam. You can spot them from the Memorial Bridge, hiking around Lake Mead, or on a kayak Hoover Dam tour.

7). Stop at the Visitor Center

The Visitor Center at the Hoover Dam is a natural stopping point for many visitors. The Visitor Center offers restrooms, a cafe, and a gift shop. You can join tours from the Visitor Center and have the opportunity to learn more about the Dam’s history at your own pace with topographical maps and other historical information located onsite.

8). Visit the Boulder Dam Hotel

The Boulder Dam Hotel is located in nearby Boulder City. The Hotel was constructed in 1933, just a few years before the Dam’s construction was complete. The Boulder Dam Hotel originally provided lodging for construction workers as they finished work on the Dam. The Hotel remains operational today, and it has over 20 guest rooms available for rent. The Boulder Dam Hotel also includes an art gallery and a restaurant.

9). Take a Self-Guided Audio Tour

If you want to take a tour of the Hoover Dam but do so at your own speed, consider a self-guided audio walking tour. A tour called Walk BC is available for those who want to learn more about the history of Hoover Dam and the adjacent Boulder City. The tour takes you through the Hoover Dam and the historic district of Boulder City, which is in the National Register of Historic Places.

10.) Visit Boulder City

Boulder City is also worth a visit if you’re exploring Hoover Dam. Boulder City contains several historical landmarks along with museums dedicated to the town itself and the Hoover Dam. Boulder City also has wonderful restaurants and shops that provide great opportunities for an afternoon of urban exploration and relaxation.

From the water to the sky, there are many unique and memorable ways to explore Hoover Dam and the surrounding area. Don’t hesitate to contact the friendly staff at Blazin’ Paddles if you want to add a kayaking tour of the Hoover Dam to your list of Las Vegas activities.

Must Do Daytime Activities for a Las Vegas Bachelor Party

If you’re planning a bachelor party, what better place than Las Vegas? Las Vegas is one of the top destinations in the country for weddings and its accompanying ceremonies. While there’s no shortage of events to partake in after the sun sets in Sin City, there are just as many daytime activities in the area that will make for a fun and memorable event.

Schedule a Kayak Tour

While there are many things to do in Las Vegas within city limits, there are many beautiful outdoor areas worth exploring just outside of the city, too. One unique and enjoyable activity for all is kayaking. With Blazin’ Paddles you can choose from a range of packages designed for all skill levels and interests, including half-day and full-day Colorado River kayaking tours. Additionally, you can partake in an evening kayaking excursion with a campfire on the beach. No matter which kayaking adventure you choose, you’ll learn about the local history of the area and have the chance to spot wildlife.

Explore the Grand Canyon

One of the most majestic natural wonders in the United States is the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is just a short distance from Las Vegas, and it is a “must-visit” destination for locals and visitors alike. There are several ways to enjoy an outing at the Grand Canyon depending on everyone’s preferences. If you want to see the Canyon by foot, there are many great hiking trails that you can explore within the park. A helicopter tour is another option. Helicopter tours will give you a stunning bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon. You may also be able to see other renowned attractions from the air including Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, which are equally iconic landmarks.

Race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

For those who are looking for a bit of excitement during the day, the opportunity to drive a race car on the famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway is an essential activity. The Speedway holds NASCAR races throughout the year, and it’s one of the most popular sporting events in the area. Several private companies give you the chance to get into the driver’s seat of some of the fastest cars in the world, including Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and more. Driving the track with a professional instructor in the passenger’s seat is a great way to satisfy your need for speed.

Jet Ski Lake Mead

Lake Mead is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States. It is only 24 miles away from the famous Las Vegas Strip, which makes it an easily accessible destination for a daytime bachelor’s party activity. Lake Mead, which was created through the Hoover Dam, is an attractive destination for water sports of all kinds. Along with kayaking and recreational boating, it is also a great place to go for jet-skiing. It’s easy to make a day full of fun at Lake Mead, too. There are also many nice beaches to enjoy at Lake Mead, which makes it an equally good destination for sunbathing and a picnic lunch.

Lounge at the Mandalay Beach Pool

While you can choose from an assortment of adrenaline-pumping and heart-racing activities in and around Las Vegas, you may want to include some more relaxing options as well. If the bachelor and party-goers want to relax or get a reprieve from the midday heat, heading to the poolside is a natural choice. The Mandalay Beach Pool is a top choice, as it contains its own beach complete with artificial waves. While you can feel like you’re at the ocean at the Mandalay Beach, you’ll have the added benefit of poolside drinks and comfortable lounge chairs. The Mandalay Bay Hotel where the pool is located also periodically has concerts in the evening that are worth sticking around for.

Go Paintballing

If you are looking for a fun activity that’s a little more active, paintballing is a good option. A paintball fight is a great way to build a bond with a team, and it will burn off some calories before the rest of the wedding’s ceremonies begin. There are several different paintball centers in the city, but it’s wise to call ahead to make reservations, as they tend to get quite busy during the day.

Watch the Golden Knights

The Golden Knights is Sin City’s beloved hockey team and a source of pride for Las Vegas residents. Therefore, catching an exciting game starring the Golden Knights is a great activity for a bachelor’s party. Games are conveniently located on the Strip, which makes it easy to schedule a game before heading out for an evening filled with bachelor activities in the City. In addition to the convenient location, attending a Knights game also provides the opportunity for celebrity sightings, as stars are often spotted sitting in the audience.

Head to the Stratosphere

With many different activities to offer, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon at the Stratosphere Tower. The Stratosphere is a hotel that doubles as a makeshift skydiving destination. Although you won’t be jumping from a plane, you can get your adrenaline fix nonetheless by jumping from a height of nearly 830 feet off the top of the building. You’ll enjoy an exhilarating free fall jump with the potential to reach speeds of up to 40 MPH. If you want to catch all the action to replay later on, you can also order a video cam to take along for the ride that’s attached to your wrist.

Buffet Dinner

Las Vegas is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Scheduling a buffet-style dinner for a bachelor’s party will quite literally give everyone a taste of Las Vegas. The Wicked Spoon restaurant, located at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, is an especially notable destination for an exceptionally delicious and diverse buffet-style dinner. Some of its standout dishes include pumpkin risotto, Thai tea, pasta, Italian sausage, and seafood scampi.

From touring the Colorado in a kayak Las Vegas to catching a hockey game and lounging by the pool, there are many great Las Vegas activities to enjoy for a bachelor’s party. Contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information on booking a kayaking adventure and planning an unforgettable day.

Kayaking Checklist: What to Pack on Your Las Vegas Kayak Trip

A Colorado River kayaking trip is one of the most unique ways to experience the great outdoors around Las Vegas. In order to make your trip as relaxing and enjoyable as possible, you’ll want to put some thought and planning into what you’ll need to bring along. Having the proper items on your kayak Las Vegas expedition will make your outing on the water safer and even more fun. Whether you’re planning to go out for just a few hours or you are preparing for a full day’s adventure, Blazin’ Paddles has recommendations on what to bring along and important considerations to keep in mind.

Consider Your Boat’s Size

Before you start planning what to pack for your trip, you will need to consider the type of kayak that you’ll be using. The largest type of kayak that you may be paddling on a kayak outing is a touring kayak. A touring kayak is designed for multi-day adventures, which means it has the most storage space out of any boat type. Sea kayaks also have a considerable amount of space. Both kinds of kayaks often have watertight storage spaces for stashing your gear. Whitewater kayaks have less internal storage capacity, but you can sometimes bring along more gear if the boat has a crossover-style hull with open storage space.

What Clothing Should I Pack?

This is one of the most common questions among kayakers who are preparing for a trip, and for good reason. Clothing is one of the most important items you’ll take along on your adventure. Ultimately, the key to success for packing clothing for a kayaking trip is bringing (and wearing) layers. You should have two sets of synthetic base layers so that you can wear one set boating and the other back on land. Since temperatures can drop when the sun goes down or if there’s a breeze, you’ll want to bring a fleece or other lightweight jacket along. Board shorts are also recommended. You can wear sandals kayaking in warm weather, but you might want to bring other waterproof footwear for better traction and a separate pair of shoes to wear after exiting the water.

Along with clothing, consider bringing along any accessories you may need for sun protection and protection against the elements, including:

  • Sun hat or visor
  • Beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Neck gaiter

Equipment

Having the right equipment is also essential when you’re preparing for a Black Canyon kayaking outing. Along with the boat and paddles, consider taking along the following items:

  • Food bags
  • Water and water storage
  • Repair equipment
  • Spare paddle
  • Spray Skirt

Food bags will keep your food dry and safe from spoilage. If you are heading out on a longer kayak adventure, consider labeling the bags based on the meal or the type of food in the bags to make access easier.

Bringing plenty of water along for your ride is also critical in order to prevent dehydration. For a day’s outing, pack extra water bottles or bring along a water bladder to hold excess water.

If you’re planning to go out by yourself on the water without a group or a guide, you should have repair equipment along as well in case emergency repairs are necessary while you’re out paddling. A basic repair kit should contain zip ties, heavy-duty tape, a needle and thread, and spare parts made by the manufacturer. Your repair kit should also include a spare paddle. Depending on your experience and comfort level, you may also want to take a spray skirt along to keep yourself and your belongings dry.

Safety and First Aid

Having a basic set of safety gear is also highly recommended when you are going on a kayaking tour. Your safety gear checklist should include a personal flotation device (PFD) that is approved for kayaking by the US Coast Guard. Your PFD should be properly fitted and suitable for the type of water that you will be kayaking in. A first aid kit should be included in your safety gear checklist as well with basic provisions such as band aids, scissors, tape, gauze, alcohol cleansing wipes, and over-the-counter medications for scrapes, pain relief, and insect bites. Any regular medication that you take should be included in the package too, including extras of your daily medicines and allergy medication. A compass, knife, and satellite communication device should be packed into the boat as well.

Valuables and Other Personal Items

Many people want to bring along valuable items and personal electronics such as cell phones and cameras. If you prefer to take your valuables with you, be sure to put them in a waterproof bag so that they do not get wet and consequently damaged. If you’re taking a phone or camera along, remember to charge the battery before leaving home.

What to Bring Sea Kayaking

If you’ll be venturing out into the ocean or even a large lake or other fast-moving body of water, you’ll want to bring along additional supplemental gear. Your open-water kayaking kit should include nautical charts and maps, a radio, a signal flare, a sponge and bailer in case excess water gets into your boat, waste bags, and bowlines.

Specific Gear for River Kayaking

Similarly, river kayaking will require some additional items. A river kayaking kit should include a groover, pin kit, river guide book or map of the area, and a helmet if you plan to do any whitewater river kayaking.

Las Vegas Kayaking with Blazin’ Paddles

Now that you know what type of gear to bring along for kayaking, it’s time to hit the water. If you’re wondering “where can I find a good place to kayak near me?”, Blazin’ Paddles is your solution. Blazin’ Paddles offers a variety of tours for all kayakers. You can embark on a group trip or take your own self-guided Colorado River kayaking tour if you are a more seasoned kayaker. Blazin’ Paddles will answer all your questions about the proper gear to bring along, too. Don’t hesitate to ask the expert staff today to ensure a smooth and enjoyable kayak tour.

 

Confidence: How This Simple Act Can Transform Your Life and Fulfill Your Soul

Image from Unsplash

This article is one of several terrific pieces of content you can find on the Blazin’ Paddles blog.

We’ve all been through rough patches where we seemingly hit rock bottom. We forget our life’s purpose. We doubt ourselves. We lack the motivation to pursue the important things in life. If you’re finding it impossible to live your best life and achieve your goals, don’t worry! Start by taking a deep breath.

You aren’t faced with these adversities because you’re less competent, talented, or intelligent than your points of comparison. In reality, reaching your goals and leading a successful life is dependent on one thing and one thing only: confidence. The power of believing in yourself should not be taken lightly. According to Psychology Today, confidence is directly linked to greater motivation, resilience, improved relationships, and decreased anxiety. All these elements work together to create a better, more self-assured you.

Confidence has the power to help you achieve your goals and become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Here are some practical confidence tips you can implement today.

Negativity Is a Big No-No

We are the media we consume, the people we surround ourselves with, and the values we hold. It’s time to let go of the things that make you unhappy and move forward with your life. Many people credit the toxic effects of social media in creating feelings of comparison and self-doubt. Watching the news every day can send people down an endless spiral of guilt and sadness. Sometimes, it’s our loved ones that bring out our worst side, like a complaining aunt or a ranting friend. Identify your trigger and work around it to improve yourself. Whether that means muting, unfollowing, or blocking someone (or something), just do it. You’ll be better off in the long run.

Your Comfort Zone Exists to Be Broken

It may seem contradictory to try to battle your confidence by doing something that makes you uncomfortable. But by challenging yourself, you’re working towards feeling free and liberated. Take a public speaking seminar or watch a movie by yourself. Make an effort to learn that language you’ve been putting off or go explore the outdoors. The science is in: The more you open yourself up to new experiences, the more you grow and boost your confidence.

Declutter Your Surroundings (and Your Mind)

You know what they say about a messy house leading to a messy mind. Do a deep clean, organize your closet, put things away, and do some light dusting. VeryWell Mind reports that cleaning and mental health are intrinsically connected — so much so that cleaning can be more therapeutic than yoga or meditation for some!

The more you care about yourself, the more your confidence grows. This applies to other aspects of your life too. For example, finances are a significant source of anxiety for most people. Apply the cleaning mindset to money by paying off old dues to start afresh. Saving can go a long way in improving your sense of self too. Consider limiting unnecessary expenses to save up for an important purchase or start saving a little more each month. Refinancing your home is another effective option to free up cash as it can help you decrease the equity in your home and reduce your monthly mortgage payment.

Our last piece of advice: Give yourself a break. Stop the comparison, the self-hatred, and the constant self-deprecation. Instead, hype yourself up in everything you do and say to yourself. Give yourself a break. You are enough. Just keep working on yourself consistently, and pat yourself on the back for your progress, no matter how small. Ten steps ahead is still ahead and may be just the boost of confidence needed to transform your life.

Do you want to work on your confidence in the Las Vegas area? Blazin’ Paddles can help you push your comfort zone with our adventurous kayak tours! Call today to make an appointment at 702-428-009, or contact us here.

Top Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas 2021

Las Vegas might be known for its nightlife, but there are also many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the spectacular natural sights surrounding the city. From kayaking to hiking and even taking a helicopter tour, there are many great opportunities for recreational activities just outside of the city. If you’re looking for a break from the action but still want to find some fun things to do in Las Vegas, consider giving these can’t-miss activities a try.

1. Kayak the Colorado River

One of the most rewarding, inspiring, and invigorating of all outdoor Las Vegas activities is a Las Vegas kayak expedition. You’ll find many kayaking opportunities through Blazin’ Paddles, which offers kayaking excursions for kayakers of all ages and experience levels. Various tour packages are available to meet a wide range of interests and needs. You can start out with a half-day tour that includes a four-mile trip with exceptional views of the Black Canyon and shuttle service that conveniently starts and ends at the Las Vegas Strip. You can also sign up for longer tours, such as the Half Day self-guided tour, which allows you to try out Colorado River kayaking at your own pace. More ambitious and experienced kayakers can sign up for a full-day tour, and special tours such as evening outings on the Colorado River, complete with a riverside campfire, are also available.

2. Experience the Grand Canyon

If you are looking for other Las Vegas activities that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, hiking in the Grand Canyon is an exceptional choice. The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful, historic, and majestic natural landmarks in the United States. It offers a peaceful and relaxing escape from the city, and you can certainly work up a sweat hiking its many trails. The Grand Canyon is located just a few hours from Las Vegas. It is easily accessible as a day trip. You can drive to the Grand Canyon if you are renting a car, and you can also get there from Las Vegas by bus. Helicopter tours of the Canyon are also available if you prefer to see the Canyon from above. If you want to explore the Grand Canyon by foot with a more unique twist, consider walking along the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which has a glass bottom. If you decide that one day isn’t enough to explore the Canyon, you can look into camping options available for multi-day stays at the park.

3. Explore Boulder City

Boulder City is another great destination to escape the crowds of Sin City. Boulder City is less than an hour from Las Vegas. It has plenty of small-town charm with friendly and welcoming residents. Its relaxed and laid-back vibe is a refreshing contrast to the fast pace of life in Las Vegas for visitors who want to slow down a bit. There are many quaint cafes and top-notch restaurants to enjoy in Boulder City, too. Several other cultural attractions in the vicinity worth a visit are the Monster Museum and the Dam Short Film Festival. You’ll have to plan a visit around the Film Festival, which takes place once each year, while the Monster Museum is open year-round with entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Top Las Vegas Outdoor Excursions

4. Check Out the Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country, and it is a registered National Historic Landmark. Therefore, a trip to Las Vegas isn’t complete without a trip out to the dam. Hoover Dam was constructed in 1936, and it was once the world’s largest dam. Now you can visit Hoover Dam on foot or take a helicopter tour to get a bird’s eye view of the National Historic Landmark. Tours are available for those who want to learn more about the Hoover Dam, and there is also a visitor’s center onsite with tourism information and a gift shop.

One of the best ways to experience the Hoover Dam is from below on a Las Vegas kayaking tour. Many visitors prefer this option in the summer as a way to beat the heat while still getting to enjoy the historic area.

5. Visit Bryce and Zion National Parks

Bryce and Zion are two majestic national parks located in Southwestern Utah. They offer stunning views, plenty of hiking, and some of the most unique rock formations in the United States. Plant and animal life are also teeming in both parks. If you’re looking to truly get away from it all, you’ll be glad to know that Bryce and Zion aren’t as heavily trafficked as the Grand Canyon. Bryce and Zion are located within a few hours of Las Vegas, which makes them a perfect option for a day trip from the city.

6. Head to Lake Mead

Although Lake Mead is a man-made lake, it is still a great place to go if outdoor activities are on your list when exploring Las Vegas. Lake Mead has all the amenities you need to enjoy a day’s outing, including showers, dining facilities, and more. Here you can be as active or inactive as you’d like, with options ranging from lounging in the sun to hiking, boating, swimming, and jet skiing. Lake Mead also has plenty of picnic spots and beaches. Overall, the lake has 820 miles of shoreline.

7. Hike Valley of Fire State Park

The Valley of Fire State Park is another spectacular natural wonder that you can easily spend a day exploring. Valley of Fire is located less than 10 miles from Lake Mead, which makes it easy to visit both attractions on the same day. Valley of Fire State Park earns its name from the awe-inspiring red sandstone rock formations that are found within its borders. Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada, and it is one of the most popular parks in the region for photography. Wildlife abounds in this state park, and there are many hiking trails to explore with varying degrees of difficulty.

If you’re looking for a different way to experience Las Vegas, there are many wonderful opportunities to get outside and explore nature and historical landmarks in the area. Contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information and recommendations for enjoying the natural beauty and outdoor activities around Las Vegas.

How to Pull Off the Perfect Self-Care Getaway

Article by Jessie Clark with Soulful-Travel.com

In today’s busy world, self-care has become a “must,” instead of just an indulgence. In fact, there’s plenty of science-backed data that illustrates how self-care offers long- and short-term benefits to both the mind and body, so that you have more energy and respond better to challenging situations, which, in turn, makes you more productive, patient, and efficient.

Needless to say, making room for self-care in your life will do you a load of good. But beyond just spending many a lazy hour in bed, self-care may also entail leaving your comfort zone and immersing in the sights and sounds of a new and/or beloved place. It can even be argued that traveling is an essential part of self-care and may be exactly what you need at any given moment. So, without further ado, here’s how you can pull off the perfect self-care getaway.

Turn to Tools

Are you one of the many people who recently started an entrepreneurial venture? If so, it can be a bit scary to step away from your budding business for a vacay. Yet that might be just what you need to stay productive and efficient.

Taking the time to ensure your business is established as professionally as possible can alleviate much of the worry involved with taking time away. In part, this involves making outside services and tools part of your management plan. For instance, your bank can play an important role in helping you financially, thanks to the types of accounts, loans and services it provides. You can also lean on your registered agent to tend legal notices and correspondence, and deadlines won’t even cross your mind if you have a compliance tool in your arsenal of tech goodies. Look into services and tools that set your business up for success, then pack your bags.

Go with the Flow

Traveling is undoubtedly a real treat to the senses. However, the need to do and see everything can add a lot of pressure, which can be counter-productive to your self-care goals. It definitely will not serve to follow a packed itinerary to the letter. Choose, instead, to go with the flow.

Of course, this is easier said than done. When you’re visiting a new place, FOMO (fear of missing out) can be real. However, the truth is that there’s really no need to feel guilty about skipping attractions and activities and choosing to explore at your own pace, nor should you feel bad for choosing to sleep in or while the hours away in your well-appointed hotel room. You’ll find that not stretching yourself to capacity is actually the best way to make the most out of your trip and practice self-care while you’re at it.

Disconnect to Reconnect

Bear in mind that self-care is about reconnecting with yourself and tuning in to find out what it is that your mind and body need to stay in tip-top shape. However, letting in outside noise can interfere with this, so why not take your self-care trip as an opportunity to disconnect?

It’s wise to unplug from social media, turn off your push notifications, and not even think about opening those work emails. These, of course, are just a few ways you can go on a digital detox while on vacation, which is arguably one of the best self-care moves you can make. As a bonus, doing so will also alleviate much of the pressure that social media imposes (unbeknownst to you or otherwise), so you can actually have a good time for real, instead of just looking like it.

Indulge in Something New

Now, self-indulgence (but in a good way) is the very tenet of self-care. Indeed, there’s no better time to shift your mindset and make a healthy change than when you’re traveling, and this is no doubt an important self-care step that you should not miss.

For example, if you love the outdoors and want to try something a little different, give Blazin’ Paddles kayak tours a whirl. Even if you’ve never used a kayak before, this unique tour of the Colorado River could be exactly what you need to relax and unwind. The idea is to go beyond what you’re used to and truly embrace changes outside as well as in.

Indeed, few pursuits are as worthwhile as the pursuit of the best life for your best self. Taking a self-care journey definitely gets you closer to that objective, so start planning yours today.

Photo via Pexels

Top Kayaking Safety Tips for An Unforgettable Excursion

Of all the Las Vegas activities you can participate in, kayaking tops the list. After all, nothing beats a glorious afternoon paddling down the Colorado River with family and friends. To make the most of your Las Vegas kayak experience, you’ll want to know some basic safety tips for when you are out on the water, regardless of whether you are paddling solo or venturing down the river with others.

Use a Life Jacket

According to the American Canoe Association, nearly half of all kayaking fatalities result from not wearing a personal flotation device. For canoers, that statistic is even higher. Simply investing in a life jacket and taking several seconds to put it on before you get out in the water can save your life! If you need help selecting a life jacket, you can always ask the experts at Blazin’ Paddles for recommendations or follow guidelines on personal flotation devices set by the US Coast Guard. No matter what brand of life jacket you choose, be sure to get one that is specifically made for kayaking for maximum safety and comfort.

Wear a Helmet

If you will be kayaking in rougher conditions such as fast-flowing rivers, you may want to wear head protection. Some locations may even require you to wear a helmet when you are out boating. As with a life jacket, you’ll want to look for a comfortable helmet, fits snugly, and is designed for kayaking. A kayaking helmet should also be waterproof, which is important for the helmet’s safety and longevity.

Choose Your Spot


The ideal spot for your Las Vegas kayak outing varies depending on your abilities, experience, skill level, and goals. No matter where you choose to start, your chosen launch spot should have numerous places to go ashore, minimal boat traffic, and easy access for launching. If you are not yet comfortable loading and unloading the boat on your own, ask a friend or fellow kayaker to go with you for assistance. If you’re new to kayaking, it never hurts to have another person out on the water with you, either.

Along with having easy access to the water, look for a kayaking spot that has shallow waters for launching. You should also aim to launch in calmer waters, such as tranquil rivers, ponds, or quiet lakes if you are new to kayaking. As your skills improve, you can start in areas with choppier waters, windy places, and streams or rivers with small waves.

Dress for the Weather

When you’re planning outdoor activities in Las Vegas, it’s important to dress for the weather. Temperatures can get very hot during the day, especially in the summer, but they can be significantly lower in the morning and evening. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dress in layers to prepare for fluctuating temperatures. Additionally, you’ll want to either wear clothing with sun protection or use sunscreen, as you may be exposed to the sun for long periods out on the water. If your eyes are sensitive to the sun’s rays, consider wearing protective eye wear as well. The footwear that you use for kayaking should be comfortable, water-resistant, and not slippery. No matter when and where you are planning to kayak, always check the weather forecast before heading out. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms or severe weather, consider other things to do in Las Vegas for the day and save kayaking for a clear day.

Follow the Rules

As with driving a car, there are “rules of the road” that boaters must follow on waterways. If you’re boating alone, look up the local boating rules in advance. Along with knowing the local regulations, it’s always a good idea to wear brightly colored clothing for visibility and put reflective tape on your paddles. You should also wear a whistle around your neck or otherwise keep it within close reach. If you are kayaking in a spot with buoys, make sure you know what the colors mean.

Practice Re-Entering

Getting into and out of your kayak onshore may not seem that difficult, but re-entering your boat on the water can be a different story. If you fall out or flip your boat on the water, learning to climb back in and turn the boat right-side up can be challenging. Before heading out on a more serious kayaking adventure or kayaking alone, practice re-entering in a safe place with calm waters.

Practice Safety Maneuvers

At the very least, you should know three safety maneuvers when kayaking:

  • Capsize
  • Wet entry
  • Eskimo roll

Capsizing is one of the primary risks when kayaking. If you are kayaking in a sit-in kayak or using a spray skirt, you’ll need to learn how to release the skirt when you’re in the water and propel yourself out of the cockpit. After you’ve capsized, the next step is getting back in. If you are just learning to re-enter your boat, try to find a buddy who can stabilize your boat as you climb back in. The Eskimo roll is a more advanced maneuver that involves righting your kayak after capsizing while remaining in the boat. This technique should be learned by a skilled instructor and practiced in a pool or still waters to start.

Check Your Equipment

Before each outing in your kayaking, check your equipment to make sure it is working properly. That includes giving your boat a physical inspection and checking your personal safety equipment including your life jacket and a helmet if you plan to use one.

Stay Vigilant

Although it’s natural to get caught up in the breathtaking scenery around Las Vegas, remember to stay aware of your surroundings when you’re out kayaking. Before you leave, tell others about your plans and your approximate itinerary.

For kayak safety tips or to perfect your kayaking skills, contact Blazin’ Paddles. Blazin’ Paddles offers half-day to full-day kayaking tours led by experienced professional guides. A tour is a great way to learn about local kayaking hot spots while meeting new people and building your confidence and skills.

10 Amazing Physical Benefits of Kayaking!

Written by: Calvin Furrow
Site: kayakfisherly.com

Are you wondering about such sports that could improve your mental and physical health? Kayaking could offer you these benefits with a lot of fun and enjoyment. You could not only keep your heart, brain and body healthy but also explore the natural beauty as well as discovering new places which you didn’t know existed. These benefits are enough to inspire you for going out on a kayaking experience with the best pedal kayak out there!

Proven physical benefits of kayaking:

1. Helps you achieve an ideal body weight

Kayaking is like an exercise that could help to reduce some weight. Through paddling at five mph, you could burn almost 500 per hour. Maybe you are thinking that you could burn more than this by doing other exercises like running but kayaking is worth the time as you would find more fun and enjoyment than using a treadmill.

Most people do kayaking for the whole afternoon that indicates burning calories about 1600 per session. If you want to lose weight, kayaking would be great for you and keep kayaking a few days per week until you attain your desirable weight.

2. Increases your muscle strength

You have to use your arms when kayaking and thus, your body parts could become toned. The exertion when kayaking would extend the upper muscles like your shoulders, chest and back. Paddling more could help exercising these muscles.

For traveling miles, you would need doing 500 strokes per mile and this depends on some factors. If you just travel two miles, you have done about 1000 repetitions that could increase the strength of the upper body muscles.

3. Develops toned leg

Although your shoulders, back and arms could be developed through kayaking, it could also affect your legs. You use your legs when kayaking and the movements are impactful on your lower limbs like the upper parts.

Your legs should be pressed for keeping balance on your kayak when kayaking. You may loosen and tighten your legs muscles while maneuvering or turn the kayak and you may not know this fact!

4. Strengthens the core muscles

Your oblique, lower back and abdomen are engaged when you do kayaking. You would be contracting the abs in per strokes and contract the muscles on your lower back while you pull. Any twisted motions would engage the oblique. Another effective way for keeping balance is to sit upright or sit on. Thus, kayaking could help to keep the core muscles engaged through the entire activity.

5. Increases endurance

As you do kayaking for hours, it could allow improving your stamina that means you could endure long periods of exertion even without getting fatigue easily. Kayaking for 3 times per week could increase the energy levels up to 20 percent. This may enable you doing your activity longer as well as increase your energy that you could spend on the daily activities.

6. Improves your heart health

Kayaking is a well known aerobic sport that is called cardiac exercise. This workout could strengthen the muscles of your heart and improve the effectiveness to pump your blood. Kayaking also improves the efficiency of the blood circulation and increases the red blood cells amount in your body. It keeps the heart level in control. By doing this workout consistently, you would be working out the heart regularly and make it stronger and more robust.

7. Triggers Vitamin D production

You may find vitamin D in some foods like cheese, fatty fish and beef liver but the area of consuming vitamin D is not limited. We all have vitamin D in the system of our body but they remain inactive. Thus, you need to expose yourself to sunlight for exhibiting its effect.

It is important for making the bones stronger, boosting your immune system, brain development, supporting muscle function and keeping your heart healthy. Luckily, kayaking enables anyone to bask in the ray of the sun that allows the body to exhibit vitamin D.

8. Helps build an optimistic self-image

While paddling a long distance, you could build your confidence level as well as positive self-image. When you face the wilderness of the sea, you find solutions on your own to get rid of problems and this would increase your self-satisfaction and confidence as well as increasing your social skills.

9. Reduces stress

Kayaking is a great way to reduce your stress. You watch your kayak moving by the water through your effort, spend hours under the beautiful sky, see the blue colors of the water, and watch the natural beauty of greens, browns and grays- all of these things could relax your mind and give you an enjoyable experience. You would start to feel amazing even when you are all alone!

10. Improves your mental health

Kayaking positively affects your overall mental health. As your entire body works together for navigating the water, you would be able to clear the mind of negative and unwanted thoughts. Kayaking releases such chemicals into your body that could lift the self-worth, mood and confidence and also provides the sense of keeping your body and mind healthy.

The physical benefits of too many to describe and I have tried to give some of them here. I hope you could easily understand them and start kayaking as a form or aerobic exercise and connect yourself with nature!

 

Enjoy the Benefits of Colorado River Kayaking with Blazin’ Paddles!

If you’re in Las Vegas and looking to escape the heat, Blazin’ Paddles offers Colorado River kayaking tours that allow those to see and experience the Hoover Dam from a completely unique perspective.

For information on the half-day tour, click here.

For information on the full-day tour, click here.

For information on the twilight tour, click here.

Learn to Kayak: Guide to Different Kayaking Strokes

Learning to kayak in Las Vegas is a rewarding and enriching experience. After all, you’ll get in shape, explore fantastic sights, and even make new friends along the way. As with other sports, learning to kayak takes some training. There are some technicalities to master if you want to be a pro on the water, which includes learning the different types of strokes that kayakers use.

Get a Grip

Before you learn the different types of strokes required for kayaking, you will want to learn the correct way to grip the paddle. There are two types of grips that kayakers use, which are called “low-hold” and “high-hold.” A low-hold grip is the type of grip you’ll use for propelling the boat forward and maneuvering. A high-hold grip is used to avoid capsizing the boat, rolling, steering, and other more advanced techniques. Both grips can be used to move the boat forward or backward.

Forward Stroke

The forward stroke is the stroke that you will use most often when kayaking. Therefore, you’ll want to practice this stroke frequently to become comfortable and familiar with it. When you are using the forward stroke correctly, the nose of the boat, which is the front of the boat, will have minimal movement. The type of boat that you use may make it easier or more difficult to control the nose with a forward stroke. Either way, having proper technique is helpful.

There are three phases to the forward stroke, which are:

  • Reach
  • Power
  • Alternating Side

During the reach phase, you will use your torso, or core, to reach forward with the paddle to about the level of your feet. Dip the blade into the water on the same side so that the blade is about three-quarters of the way in the water.

The power phase is next. Using your back, keep the shaft parallel to the boat as you draw the blade in a straight line smoothly back towards the bow, parallel to your body. The blade shouldn’t make any splashes.

Lastly, when you complete the stroke, lift the blade out of the water and place it back in the water on the other side of the boat. Repeat the process on the other side.

Over time, you will learn to repeat the alternating stroke faster and more efficiently. As you are building your forward stroke skills, make your strokes as smooth as possible and avoid excess movement in the front of the boat. Also, remember to use your torso for the stroke movements rather than your arms. Ultimately, you should be able to use the forward stroke comfortably for even a day-long Colorado River kayaking adventure.

Reverse Stroke

The reverse stroke, as the name implies, is used to help move the boat backward. The reverse stroke is generally a short and fast stroke used to respond to a tight situation, such as if you need to reverse your boat quickly for any reason. To perform this stroke, turn your body clockwise so that you are facing to the right-hand side and your shoulders line up parallel with the boat. Then, dip the blade into the water towards the back of the boat. Push the paddle forward and away from the boat. The blade should face the kayak’s side. Finally, pull the paddle towards the boat, which brings the paddle and kayak closer together. The blade should ultimately end up a few inches from the boat. Pull the paddle towards the back of the kayak and repeat the stroke as needed.

Forward Sweep Stroke

The forward sweep stroke is a stroke that’s used to move the boat sideways when you are paddling in a straight line. For this stroke, turn the paddle horizontally and put the blade in the water on the opposite side of your boat from the direction you intend to turn. Then, move the blade in a “C” shape from the tip of the boat to the rear, creating an arc shape as you go. Once the paddle has reached the end of the boat, pull the blade out of the water quickly and repeat the stroke on the opposite side of the boat. Repeat the steps of the forward sweep stroke until the boat has turned in the direction that you want to go.

Reverse Sweep Stroke

The reverse sweep stroke is similar to the forward sweep stroke, but you’ll use it to turn your kayak to the side as you are moving backward rather than forwards. To start, move the paddle over the side of your boat in a horizontal position. Dip the paddle blade into the water on the side of the boat in the direction you aim to turn. Push the paddle’s blade from the rear of the kayak to the nose. As with the forward sweep stroke, pull the blade rapidly out of the water until you have fully turned in the direction you want to turn.

Kayak Spin

The kayak spin is a stroke used to turn the boat around when you are otherwise sitting in stationary water. This stroke uses a combination of the front sweep stroke and reverse sweep stroke. Start with the forward sweep stroke, and then switch to the reverse sweep stroke to move the boat in a circle. Repeat both strokes as often as necessary to spin your kayak in a full circle or your desired direction.

Learning to paddle a kayak correctly takes practice and patience, but it is nonetheless a rewarding experience. Practicing your paddling skills is the best way to learn and continue improving. If you want to know “where can I kayak near me?”, contact Blazin’ Paddles for more information. Blazin’ Paddles offers full-day and half-day tours for kayakers of all skill levels and ages. Even if you are just learning the sport, you can get the hang of paddling through a scenic outing such as the Black Canyon kayaking tour. All tours are led by experienced guides who can help you improve along the way.

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