Beginner tips for Kayaking with Kids

Guest authored, by Mike

Kayaking is a perfect activity for the whole family.

It’s a great low-impact exercise that strengthens multiple muscle groups and improves endurance. It is also a great social activity to bond with family and friends. When combined with camping, it can reach a whole new level of excitement and tranquility. Spending days out in serene locations with only yourselves and your kayaks is a great way to escape the stress of modern life.

Here are some beginner tips for kayaking with kids!

Plan your kayaking trip together

Kayak camping takes being in nature to the next level, by engaging your senses on both land and water! As kayak camping trips span several days, learning about the surroundings is vital for a fun trip. Tell them what to see in the wilderness beforehand so they will become more aware of it and develop mindfulness in nature.

Another good way to start your preparations is to get your kids involved! Engage your kids by planning your trip together. Let them suggest things to bring and activities to do, and help them pack some of their favorite camping toys. Also, ask them how many days of kayak camping they think they can handle.

By giving kids a say in the trip, you’ll boost their participation. This makes the trip feel like it’s really theirs. 

a kid sitting in the front of a red kayak

Pick the ideal kayak camping location

A calm lake or river with close-by camping spots is generally good for a first kayak camping trip.

Kayak camping usually spans multiple days, some even reaching up to two weeks! If you don’t think your kids can handle a 3-day kayak camping yet, a kayaking day trip to a campsite where you could spend the night and start paddling back to the dock the next day would be a great first kayak camping experience for them. 

Consider also that every child has a different comfort level so you should find a suitable camping location for them! Some kids like experiencing kayak camping at its wildest, while others don’t. If your kids are not used to basic camping, you might want to look for semi-primitive campgrounds for convenience.

Prepare for any inconvenience

When you have kids, you need to ensure that you are ready for any problems. Minor discomforts can snowball into being a major downer. Double-check that you have all the kayaking gear and camping essentials. The kayak camping checklist might be a bit longer since you’re going both kayaking and camping!

A benefit of kayak camping compared to backpacking is that you don’t need to worry as much about over-packing. You’ll have more room to store things on a kayak and you don’t need to carry everything on your back! 

What you will need to worry about is keeping things dry. Some dry bags should help with this. Also, wearing clothing made of nylon or polyester is great for kayaking because they are quick-dry. Cotton can absorb a lot of water and takes longer to dry.

Make sure you bring extra clothes. It’s important to always have dry clothes on hand for your kids because they can find many ways to get wet for sure. It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Arrange your route in advance

When you’re going paddling with kids, you need to ensure that your route is suitable for your kid’s skill level! Check out the perfect paddling locations and see whether your kid can handle the trek or not. Talk to the local marinas, coast guards, and paddling stores about the conditions of the body of water you’ll be paddling in. 

It’s good to pick routes that allow you to reach rest spots easily. You should also expect slower paddling. Take a kayak camping route that allows a leisurely pace so that you and your children can take frequent rests and take in nature together. 

Pack the perfect snacks for kayaking with kids 

A hungry kid can become a grumpy kid, and then they would not enjoy their kayak camping experience. Since paddling is a physical activity, it can tire out younger kids. Classics like trail mix and jerky are flavorful, convenient snacks that kids can eat while kayaking. Energy balls are also tasty treats that you can make with your kids before the trip! It is easy to get the mood back up if you pack a few of your kid’s favorite snacks. A few candies and chocolate bars should be a good motivation and quick energy boost! 

Kayak camping can be a rewarding hobby that will last a lifetime! Not only do you get physical and mental benefits together, but you also get to strengthen your bond as a family. In addition, all outdoor activities are experiences that kids will surely cherish forever. Just remember to prepare and educate your kids, and everything will run smoothly.

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