Very few experiences beat the thrill of being able to paddle at night and in the view of a full moon. It's one of the most ecstatic yet relaxing moments in time that you might ever experience in life. However, you also have to plan for such an experience the right way, which can sometimes be a hassle.
You have to be safe, informed, and best of all – find ways to have the most fun with your night paddling experience. Fortunately, this guide provides an in-depth plan you should consider:
Choose the Right Location Ahead of Time
The first step is to choose the right location for paddling ahead of time. Doing this is vital in ensuring that you have a good experience when paddling out on the water. You have to research the various aspects of paddling on the given location. A few helpful questions you can ask include:
- What are some of the state rules and regulations involved in accessing a particular area?
- Are there any major safety threats that the average paddling enthusiast must consider?
- What are the challenges involved in paddling in the given area?
- Which locations are best for paddling activities and for having fun?
- Do I need to paddle alongside another friend?
Map Out the Weather Patterns
The weather changes regularly, and it's good for you to be ready for any unexpected occurrences during your outdoor experience. There are various resources that you can use for this process. For instance, you can use the internet to search more on weather pattern data about a specific location.
Or, you can also use your intuition to gauge whether your preferred night is suitable for paddling experiences. Be cautious in making decisions to help ensure the best results. There is nothing worse than hitting the water, only for you to come across a storm or waves that will compromise your paddling experience.
Prepare and Test Safety Gear
Like any other outdoor or leisure-time activity, full moon paddling requires an informed approach for the best results. Part of making an informed decision involves preparing your safety gear ahead of time. There are various types of suitable safety gear that you can use for your outdoor paddling experience, including:
- PFDS: these refer to Personal Flotation Devices suitable for paddling activities. You can use them for improved buoyancy and help keep your water above the water.
- Flotation bags: these refer to bags you can use to reduce the amount of water that can accumulate in your kayaks and canoes. These resources help prevent your items from sinking when you experience issues such as capsizing.
- Sponsons: these are inflatable flotation devices that you can set on the exterior section of a kayak or canoe. You have to use them in pairs, with one sitting on either section of your boat.
- Spray skirts: these refer to waterproof barriers, which you can use to stop the effects of sprays, rain and waves from getting to your kayak. They also help to cover the area between the waist and cockpit of your kayak.
- Helmets: these are essential safety gear for hitting whitewater or engaging in surfing activities. They help safeguard the head from damage, such as when you fall off the boat in shallow water.
Work on Physical Fitness
Again, paddling might be a fun experience, but you also have to be physically fit, especially if you plan to spend hours on the water. You have to realize that muscle fatigue, muscle pools, and injury can occur if you are not fit enough to hit the water. Fortunately, there are various exercises that you can perform to help improve your physical fitness for paddling activities.
Common examples include lifting weights, jogging, and squats. While you don't have to be intense with the exercise sessions, ensure you target all the major muscle groups in your body. Doing this helps minimize the occurrence of fatigue, muscle issues, and any other physical-based complication.
Dress to Stay Warm
Though staying warm is essential, you would be surprised at the sheer number of people who fail to heed this advice. You might notice the waters, especially during the summer, tend to be warm, even during the early hours of the night. However, as the heat starts evaporating back up to the sky along with moisture, the temperatures often fall significantly.
Therefore, you have to be ready for such an occurrence by dressing to stay warm ahead of time. There are various types of gear you can use to keep warm, and the most appropriate type depends on your needs. Ensure you go for the durable types and have auxiliary benefits for users. A good example would be the presence of reflectors or floatation solutions as part of helping you to stay warm.
Remember the Importance of Rescue Gear
Rescue gear is another crucial resource that you need for planning a full moon paddling experience. While it seems somewhat negative to your swimming experience, it's an essential safety resource. Here are a few helpful rescue gear recommendations you should consider:
- Paddle floats: after a capsize, you can re-access your boat with the help of another paddler. A paddle float helps you achieve this goal, and it's also convenient to use.
- Bridge pumps: once the paddler regains access to their boat, they must empty any water that collects inside. An excellent resource for this process is the use of bilge pumps.
- Tow lines: these are available for paddlers who have suffered from an injury or fatigue. You have to connect one section to the cockpit rim or the middle section of the towing paddler. The other section of the tow line connects to the other boat you are towing.
As you have seen, there is more to planning a full moon paddling experience than you might have expected earlier. It's a process that involves various resources and an informed approach for the best outdoor experience. Part of it consists in getting the right gear and mapping out your preferred location ahead of time.