I’m breaking this into more than one post. You can find the second part here [Kayaking Alone Part 2]! Please bear with me as I cover a lot of my personal experiences and advice from my own solo kayaking trips. Please also check out the recommended product I use on my trips at the bottom of this post.
I have been told to never kayak alone. People have even called me names as a result of sharing my solo videos in a few Facebook groups. The view is that kayaking alone is too dangerous for anyone to attempt. I find this to be ridiculous and to be an overreaction. Let me share my reasoning.
I love kayaking alone. Every year I plan a solo trip along the Buffalo National River. When I’m alone on the river I find a peace that I cant get among other floaters. I always plan my trips around August and during the workweek. This provides the best opportunity to see less floaters and/or campers. I floated for four days one year without seeing anyone. It was a wonderful experience. Yes, I started talking to myself after about two days, and during this time I find everything runs through my head. I analyze everything from making sure that I have enough drinking water, to finding a safe place to camp. The time alone allows me to hone in on my skills and build confidence in my abilities.
I don’t recommend just anyone run off and do a solo trip. However this is something that some could work towards. I find that floaters who have had experience floating alone becomes the one relied on when others get themselves in a jam. They also have the confidence to jump out and help others in need.
Planning your Trip
Kayaking alone takes a lot of planning. Plan your trip with lots of details. Make a map and leave it with a friend containing locations you might try to camp and amount of time someone should wait before sending search and rescue. Check to see if you’ll have cell service for 911. This can be done by checking cell service maps online from most carriers. Plan to pack enough food and water for a few extra days in case something goes wrong. People have lost their kayaks, to getting trapped from flood waters. Always have a way out when camping. Don’t allow yourself to be pinned from rising waters at night. Things can change unexpectedly, so plan for the worse and be prepared.
Having the right gear is a very important part of any solo trip. I always pack fail safe items like water filtration material, fire starters and extra lighters. First aid kits and sleeping gear are all important. I always pack an SOS beacon and a cellphone. Weather radios or any other way of getting weather updates, are a vital piece of equipment when kayaking alone. Luckily my InReach provides me detailed weather updates. I have a list here that I base all my trips on. Check it out and let me know if you pack additional items and why.