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Going Kayaking? Here's How To Stay Safe On The Water | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #34

Going Kayaking? Here's How To Stay Safe On The Water | THE SHED KNIVES BLOG #34

Welcome back to The S.K. Blog for edition #34. If you're new here, welcome! Kayaking is a thrilling outdoor activity that allows you to explore scenic waterways and connect with nature. Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, safety should always be a top priority. In this blog post, we will guide you through essential safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience. From proper equipment to understanding weather conditions and navigation techniques, these guidelines will help you stay safe on the water and make the most of your kayaking adventure.

Choose the Right Kayak and Gear


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Before hitting the water, it's crucial to choose the right kayak and gear for your kayaking expedition. Select a kayak that suits your skill level and the type of water you'll be paddling in. Ensure your kayak is in good condition, with no leaks or damage. Wear a well-fitted personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. Personally, I always carry a knife attached to my PFD and I highly recommend you do the same. Be sure to bring a high quality knife resistant to corrosion which you can find HERE.  Additionally, invest in essential gear such as a paddle leash, spray skirt, and a bilge pump. These other items aren't necessary but can be quite helpful.

Learn Proper Kayaking Techniques

Acquiring proper kayaking techniques is fundamental for a safe and enjoyable experience. Familiarize yourself with basic paddling strokes, including the forward stroke, reverse stroke, sweep stroke, and draw stroke. Practice these techniques in calm waters before venturing into more challenging conditions. Develop a good sense of balance and learn how to brace and recover in case of a capsize. Understanding proper kayaking techniques will not only make your paddling more efficient but also increase your confidence and safety on the water.

Check Weather and Water Conditions

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Weather is a "hidden" factor most people forget to check. Always check the weather and water conditions. Pay attention to wind speed, tides, and rip currents. Strong winds, thunderstorms, and rough waters can make kayaking dangerous. If conditions are unfavorable or beyond your skill level, consider rescheduling your trip. Additionally, ensure someone knows your planned route and estimated time of return. Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared to adapt your plans accordingly to ensure your safety on the water.

Practice Water Safety Awareness

Photo of me (Jack Billings) during my time as an Instructor at Rodney Scout Reservation, 2019

Always be mindful of other watercraft, including motorized boats and larger vessels. Maintain a safe distance and yield the right of way when necessary. Keep an eye out for potential hazards such as submerged rocks, branches, or strong currents. Avoid paddling alone whenever possible and kayak in groups or with a buddy. If you're kayaking in unfamiliar waters, consult local guidelines or seek the advice of experienced kayakers familiar with the area. By practicing water safety awareness, you can minimize risks and enjoy a safer kayaking experience.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

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No matter how well-prepared you are, emergencies can still happen. It's important to be prepared and equipped to handle unexpected situations. Carry a waterproof first aid kit, a whistle, and a signaling device in case you need to attract attention or call for help. Learn basic rescue techniques and self-rescue maneuvers in case of a capsize. Stay calm and assess the situation before taking appropriate action. By being prepared and knowing how to respond in emergencies, you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.


Kayaking can be both an exhilarating and calm activity that allows you to immerse yourself in nature's beauty. However, safety should never be overlooked. By following these essential safety tips, you can have a memorable and secure kayaking experience. With these precautions in mind, you can confidently take on the outdoors and enjoy the tranquility of the water while prioritizing your safety.



About The Author:

CEO & Founder of Shed Knives, W. Jack Billings

Jack Billings is the 19 year old CEO and Founder of Shed Knives, a rising manufacturer of high-quality fixed blade bushcraft knives. With over 5 years of experience as a knife maker, he has developed a reputation for crafting durable, reliable knives that are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and bushcrafters alike. Jack started making knives at the age of 13 and has been refining his craft ever since.

In addition to his expertise in knife making, Jack has a High School Degree from POLYTECH High School, where he studied Automotive Technology and obtained his ASE Certification. He is also a content creator for Shed Knives and has reached the eyes of over 600,000 people across the world through his work.

When he's not working on knives, Jack enjoys exploring the outdoors and has a passion for bushcraft. He also has a passion for the automotive world and enjoys learning about new technologies and advancements. Additionally, he has a great interest in language and is studying Spanish, German, and Arabic.

Jack's personal mission is to constantly improve himself, his products, and his processes in order to stay ahead of the rapidly changing interests of the knife industry and to surpass the competition. He takes great pride in American manufacturing and is committed to contributing to the growth of the world knife industry through his work.

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