Posts Tagged ‘kayak hoover dam’

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.

 

Leave No Trace: 7 Principles

Your Blazin’ Paddles Black Canyon kayaking tour takes place on the amazing Black Canyon Water Trail on the Colorado River, within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Annually, over 7 million people visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area which also includes Lake Mohave!

In order for everyone to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing environmental impact and preserving resources for the future, Blazin’ Paddles follows the Leave No Trace: 7 Principles for Outdoor Ethics. These should be followed anytime you are in the great outdoors. Here’s how Blazin’ Paddles ensures that each principle is closely followed.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Even though your guides know the river like the back of their hands, the staff is constantly checking conditions to ensure safety on the water via weather radar apps and updates from the Park Service. Guides are well-stocked with water, snacks, and emergency safety equipment like first aid kits and tow ropes. The central office is aware of who is on every tour, the bus locations via GPS monitoring, and current weather conditions. Every pickup and drop off location is confirmed in advance so guests can have fun on tour, knowing it is safe and well-planned!

Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces

You will notice that when we make stops on tour, they are not random. Stops may include swim beaches, hot springs, or historical sites, but we always stay on existing trails and beaches instead of creating new ones. This helps with many things including native plant protection, erosion control, and preserving the visual beauty of the Black Canyon!

Dispose of Waste Properly

Everyone loves a snack break while on tour. We bring lots of delicious treats like fig bars and cheez-its. However, you’ll notice that your guides don’t just hand out snacks, they also collect your trash and stash it until it can be discarded properly so it doesn’t end up on the trail or in the water by accident. Litter is certainly unsightly, but more importantly it does not belong in our wild ecosystems. This includes food waste such as bread, nuts and fruit peels. They don’t biodegrade quickly and may cause harm to wildlife.

Leave What You Find

Collecting of any kind is illegal in the National Parks. However, even when you’re not in a designated park, the principle is still important: what if each visitor took something? That would take a huge toll! That’s why your guides always point out cool things like plants, lizards, and even minerals, and encourage you to take photos so the resources remain for others to enjoy!

Minimize Campfire Impact

Fire safety is extremely important in the dry, hot desert. On the Twilight Tour, our guests enjoy roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a beach campfire when the National Park Service does not have a red flag warning about fire safety. We always stay 100 feet away from shrubbery, and when we are done with the fire we dispose of the fire ring and make sure the coals are completely extinguished and either buried at an appropriate depth or packed out.

Respect Wildlife

Wildlife spotting is one of the most exciting parts of the tour. There’s so much to see in the Black Canyon like bald eagles, bighorn sheep, chuckwalla lizards, and even rattlesnakes. However, a safe distance must always kept, which is important for both the animals and guests. Instead of approaching wildlife, take your time to observe their behaviors and learn something new!

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

In addition to sharing the Black Canyon with wildlife, it is shared with other visitors who come to fish, camp, paddle or hike. When launching or making a stop at a beach, our kayaks are kept close together to leave space for other groups. Even in places like Emerald Cave, we take in the view but recognize others may be waiting to come inside and have a look, so we stay for a reasonable amount of time and then move to the next beautiful stop. We all need the outdoors to relax, recharge and be inspired. Consideration of others goes a long way to preserve the peace and serenity of the Black Canyon!

For more information about the Leave No Trace principles, visit www.lnt.org!

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