A kayak is a type of boat with one or more oval-shaped hulls and an open deck in the center. This design makes it light and easy to paddle but limits its use to calm waters like lakes and ponds. With few exceptions, kayaks cannot be used on the high seas. A number of different types exist: inflatable (foldable), hard shell (rigid), and sea kayaks are designed for rougher water conditions such as waves, choppy water, or whitecaps, touring kayaks provide more comfort for longer trips, whitewater boats are designed for fast-flowing rivers, etcetera…
What is a first aid kit and why do I need one?
A first aid kit is a collection of medical supplies that you can use to treat minor injuries or illnesses. You should always have one on hand when camping, hiking, hunting, kayaking, etc. Your kit should include things like bandages, gauze pads, safety pins, antiseptic wipes/gel … The more specialized your activity, the more specific your kit should be. Remember, a first aid kit is only there to treat minor injuries and illnesses – if you have a serious injury, get yourself to a hospital ASAP!
Why you should carry a first aid kit with you on your kayaking trips :
1. Accidents happen no matter who you are and how careful you are, so it’s always better to be prepared than not.
2. Anything can happen out on the water, from cuts to broken bones – if something goes wrong, your first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death!
3. If you’re an avid kayaker, you probably know the surrounding area very well. This means that if something happens out on the water and you’re stranded for a while, your first aid kit could help keep you alive until you get back to civilization (or at least…help you limp home).
Here’s what should be included in a complete first aid kit for kayakers:
- Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes and shapes (you’ll need a variety of bandages to cover different sized cuts and scrapes)
- Gauze pads in various sizes and thicknesses (can be used for covering larger wounds or wrapping broken bones)
- Antiseptic wipes, spray, gel, or ointment (use these to clean and disinfect small wounds before applying bandages)
- Butterfly closures (strong adhesive strips with two sides: “wings”)
- Cotton balls and cotton swabs
- Tweezers (good for removing splinters or ticks, but be careful not to damage the tick’s head which may contain harmful bacteria!)
- Non-latex gloves (in case you need to treat an open wound but are afraid of contracting bloodborne diseases)
- Elastic bandages in various sizes (great for sprained ankles, knees, etc.)
- Absorbent gauze pads in assorted sizes or shapes (like triangular bandages)
- Thermometer (useful for checking body temperature in case of fever)
- Cold packs (if you need to treat a sprain or strain but don’t have a way to keep an ice pack on it)
- Ice bags or reusable ice packs (great for sprains and strains, can also be used as cold packs if you don’t have access to a freezer)
- Safety pins, needles, and thread (useful for sewing up small cuts – remember to disinfect the needle beforehand!)
- Hand sanitizer or wet wipes (very useful for preventing infection when you don’t have access to soap)
- Antacid tablets or liquid antacids (to treat food poisoning or stomach ulcers)
- Cough drops or lozenges (help soothe a sore throat, especially after prolonged exposure to saltwater)
- Insect repellent (good for mosquitoes which might carry West Nile Virus or other diseases)
Kayaking is a great way to get in touch with nature and spend quality time outside. However, if you’re going for an extended trip or spending the day out on the water, it’s important that you take precautions and bring along your first aid kit. The more specialized your activity, the more specific your kit should be – but all kits must include bandages (of varying sizes), gauze pads (various thicknesses) antiseptic wipes/gel/creams, butterflies closures, and safety pins, etcetera… Whether you’re planning a quick kayak outing or heading off into uncharted territory for days at a time, make sure to pack some necessities like insect repellent and cold packs so that no matter what happens while you’re out on the water, you’ll be prepared.