Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas kayak tours’

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.

 

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.

8 Best Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

Las Vegas may be best known for its nightlife, but its natural surroundings are just as notable. Las Vegas is surrounded by some of the top recreational areas in the United States, including the famous Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the oldest and largest national recreation area in the country. From kayaking to hiking and more adrenaline-pumping activities, consider these options for enjoying the city’s surrounding beautiful natural places.

1. Kayak the Colorado River

To literally “get your feet wet” in the region’s outdoor scene. Blazin’ Paddles, a kayaking company based in Las Vegas, offers Black Canyon kayak tours on the Colorado River. Half-day to full-day Las Vegas kayak tours are available for kayakers of all ages. Your Black Canyon kayaking adventure may include wildlife sightings, a stop at natural hot springs, and a chance to cool off in the river on hot days. You can also go on an evening kayaking excursion down the Colorado River with the chance to watch the sunset as you roast marshmallows on the beach.

Book your kayak tours here: https://www.blazinpaddles.com/

2. Red Rock National Conservation Area

Red Rock National Conservation Area is a beautiful natural recreation area located just 30 minutes away from the city. The area has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Rock climbing is also an option at Red Rock. If you prefer sight-seeing from your car, you can go on a longer 13-mile scenic drive that starts at the outdoor visitor’s center. Younger visitors will enjoy the Children’s Discovery Trail, which has various ecosystems to explore, along with several cultural spots, including Native American remnants.

Outdoor Adventures Around Las Vegas

3. Bootleg Canyon

If seeing Las Vegas on two wheels is your cup of tea, a trip to Bootleg Canyon for quality biking is a must. Bootleg Canyon is another destination that’s just 30 minutes from Las Vegas. The Canyon contains over 20 trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you don’t want to bring your bike or don’t have yours with you when you visit, you can rent bicycles at Bootleg Canyon. Along with riding the trails on your own, you can join a guided tour of the Canyon’s trails instead.

4. Red Rock Canyon

Chock full of quality climbing opportunities, Red Rock Canyon is the premier rock climbing destination for Las Vegas residents and visitors alike. Red Rock Canyon has more than 2,500 climbing routes ranging from easy to challenging. Whether you choose to stay within your comfort zone or push the limits, you’ll enjoy dramatic scenery and possible bighorn sheep sightings as you tackle the Canyon’s vertical trails. Red Rock Canyon is just a little over a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas.

5. Snowboarding at Lee Canyon

Most people don’t think of Las Vegas as a prime place for winter sports, but a trip to Lee Canyon will show you otherwise. Lee Canyon, nicknamed the “Coolest Place in Las Vegas,” is an hour’s drive from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Lee Canyon’s trails are open for hiking during the summer months, but they are typically covered with snow from December through early spring. When the snow falls, the Canyon has 24 trails maintained for snowboarding and other snow sports, including tubing.

6. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is appropriately named, considering it has six hot springs located within its boundaries. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park has hiking trails, a picnic area, and living history events that showcase the lives of settlers and pioneers who once lived in the region. During the winter months, the adjacent Mount Charleston at Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is popular for snowboarding, skiing, and tubing.

Outdoor Adventures In Las Vegas, Nevada

7. Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, which was built in 1931, is the most recognized dam in the United States. Along with seeing Hoover Dam from the water through the full-day Las Vegas kayak tour, you can also check out the famous national attraction on foot. Guided hiking tours are an option if you’d prefer an educational outing at Hoover Dam. Bald eagles, coyotes, and bighorn sheep sightings are all possible on land and from the water. Before or after touring Hoover Dam, you can also do some shopping at the visitor’s center gift shop. Once you’ve finished exploring the dam, be sure to stop over at Boulder City, which is an equally historic stop. Boulder City was built around the same time as the dam to provide lodging for workers while completing the dam’s construction. Hoover Dam is within an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, making it a perfect day trip from the city.

8. Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is the largest and oldest State Park in Nevada. Valley of Fire has many great hiking trails to explore, which gives you plenty of opportunities to marvel at its stunning natural beauty. Comprising the State Park’s majestic landscape are the sands of the Mojave Desert, red sandstone formations, and many types of desert plants. Valley of Fire State Park has several particularly notable trails, including Elephant Rock, Petroglyph Canyon, and Fire Wave. Petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years are also popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Before embarking on a hike, you can stop in at the visitor’s center to get more information about the hikes available at the park and learn more about the area’s natural history and topography.

There are dozens of unique and unforgettable ways to explore Las Vegas’s spectacular natural areas at any time of the year. Many top recreational destinations are located within easy reach of the city, which means you can make time for exploring nature in addition to enjoying all the sites and attractions within the city’s limits.

Ask-A-Guide Series: Best Part of a Blazin’ Paddles Tour

Written By: Burton Miller (Blazin’ Paddles Tour Guide)

What makes a Blazin’ Paddles Las Vegas kayak tour so fun is that your tour guides are having fun right along with you. We love our jobs, our guests, and we love kayaking on the Colorado River! Here’s what your tour guides had to say about their favorite part of a Blazin’ Paddles tour. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more kayaking inspiration!

Lauren

I really enjoy meeting people from all over the world, and the almost daily encounters with desert wildlife. I feel so lucky to have the Colorado River as my office, and I enjoy every tour!

Dani

I love being on the river and in Black Canyon, so it’s hard to choose a favorite part! I love every part!

Edgar

Enjoying the crystal clear water and jaw dropping views while paddling with people who enjoy the outdoors as much as I do makes every day unforgettable.

Burton

My favorite part of the tour is on the half-day, after leaving the overlook and you approach the narrowing canyon. All of a sudden you can’t see the bottom of the river anymore and the canyon walls get higher and higher. That view never gets old!

Liz

If you are lucky enough to see the Desert Bighorn Sheep in their natural habitat, and all the other desert wildlife!

Seth

Arizona hot springs on the full day tour. It’s always great to soak!

Ryan

Swimming in the refreshing 52 degree Colorado River and sharing that experience with our guest! Best way to beat the heat in the desert.

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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