Offloading for an Alaska Paddle
Good Edging Demonstration
We are strong believers that knowledge is power and there is a wealth of information on the web that our members should take advantage of. These are just some that members have found useful.
Hypothermia is a major cause of death among kayakers. Everybody should be familiar with hypothermia - what causes it, how to prevent it, how to recognize it and how to treat it. The web has many articles on this topic.
One of the key tools in preventing hypothermia is to dress for the water conditions and not for the weather. While it may be a nice, sunny, warm day the water could be extremely cold. You have to dress for immersion in cold water. There are a number of Hypothermia Tables on the web that provide guidelines for how to dress for various water temperature ranges. The above link is just one such table to get you started on your research.
Wind is a major concern for kayakers. Everybody should check the weather forecast to get an idea of wind conditions for a planned paddle. Weather Underground and the Weather Channel give wind predictions and it is good to compare two sources. But you also need to know how to translate predicted wind speed into what conditions you can expect. The Beaufort Scale is an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land. Again, there are number Beaufort Scales on the web; here is one we have found useful.
Communication among trip participants is critical but it can be severely hampered due to wind and/or distance between paddlers. Everybody should carry a loud whistle to get the attention of other paddlers and everybody should know the Standard Hand Signals. The University of Sea Kayaking provides a good article that demonstrates the Basic Paddle & Arm Signals.
Lightning is a major safety risk for kayakers due to their exposure on the open water. The Backcountry Lightning Risk Management paper provides excellent information on being aware of the possibility of lightning and what to do in the event lightning is occurring.