Instead of sitting in the city on a warm sunny weekend, consider kayaking. Coolness from the water, trees giving shade on the rafting route, movement in the fresh air, peace, peace, beauty of nature, a perfect rest from work and an opportunity to regenerate for the next week. However, kayaking with children is not the same as with adults, which we should not forget. You need to be properly prepared for the runoff and do not forget about the basic safety rules.
Children over 4 years of age can sit alone in a kayak, and the rafting itself is a real adventure, especially if nature prepares surprises on the route in the form of fallen trees or welcomes us on the route of a wild animal. It is enough to give the child a normal paddle so that it can help in rowing. It is worth remembering, however, that sitting in a kayak for many hours can be tiring for such a small child, so you have to take into account the need for frequent breaks on the charming routes of the Wda River. When it comes to younger children, rocking with a canoe has a soothing effect, thanks to which our baby will sleep well during most of the route. For the first time, a 2-3 hour trip is enough. A trip for a child should be a pleasure, not a torment of many hours.
There is no guidebook that is able to predict all situations that may happen to us on the trail, which is why every kayaking trip is unique. However, with common sense we will come out unscathed from almost any oppression. It is imperative that a child swim in a life jacket, a life jacket for a child who cannot swim may not be sufficient. A lifejacket or a life vest performs its function properly only when it is properly matched to the body weight and fastened during the trip. To set a good example for a child, we should also put on a waistcoat by ourselves, it is enough to ensure that the child can see that everyone has a vest, even adults who can swim perfectly.
It is worth choosing as calm a section of the river as possible with low banks. First of all, a dump truck can hit each other, and on a calmer episode the risk will be much lower. In addition, the low edges will allow you to easily leave the kayak at any time and time. Let us also take into account that on open larger water bodies, i.e. a lake, a larger wave may occur, which may be the cause of a dump. Therefore, it is better to be closer to the shore at this time than in the middle of the lake. Let’s remember that we have a child under our care, so there is nothing to charge.
Double kayaks are best suited for such trips, where the child sits at the front and the parent at the back rows and beware of the younger passenger. Alternatively, smaller children can sit in the canoes for two between the legs of one of the parents in front. When unfolding the luggage in a kayak, we take into account that the front of the kayak is occupied by a child, so with it we place the heavier things there, to distribute the weight evenly over the entire length of the kayak. Generally there is a rule that a more experienced person sits behind. The wider and longer a kayak is, the more stable it is, so we should start with such kayaks at the beginning. It is worth that such a kayak was equipped with ballasts, thanks to which it would be easier to maintain the correct direction of flow. In addition, we should pay attention if the kayak has a back support, a stable seat, buoyancy chambers ensuring buoyancy, thanks to which such a kayak is unsinkable.
Canoeing is very easy to master, however, we encourage you to acquire a minimum of skills and experience before you decide to go canoeing with children. Get to know your kayak to the extent that you can control it. It may seem that it is nothing difficult, but often when starting the adventure with a kayak instead of us, the current of the river decides where we go, and the oars simply bother us. Only after passing a few, or sometimes even a dozen or so kilometers, do we take full control over what we do on the water. Before we get into practice, there may be dump trucks, but it’s better than when our kid is on board. When children are sailing with us, let’s remember that in the kayak where the child is swimming, there must be at least one adult who will take care of the child’s safety during a possible dump. We certainly don’t let children go in a separate kayak. If such a tipper happens, first we save the child, and only when our child is safe on the shore, we save the equipment, paddles, luggage, etc. It is worth planning such a trip ahead of time that the number of adult carers is sufficient for minors.
It is worth checking before the rafting what the weather conditions will be for the next days. When preparing for the trip, we should take a sunblock, a sunscreen, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, raincoats and some change of clothes in case of unforeseen circumstances. Change clothes should be in waterproof bags, in which case we can even keep them loose in a kayak. Of course, we do not save on the spot in a kayak by releasing all the air from our bag with clothes, because during the dump truck it is better that it remains on the surface and does not go to the bottom.
Your child gets hungry quickly during such a trip, so your inventory should include sandwiches, snacks, fruit and naturally something to drink as well as a first aid kit. A cell phone, camera or wallet should also be found in special anti-flood bags.
At any time there may be a need to suddenly jump out of the kayak, and at the bottom there may be unpleasant surprises waiting for us in the form of sharp stones, broken bottles and other objects that can hurt our feet. With this in mind, we encourage you to take appropriate footwear with you. No flip-flops, no “sneakers”, best suited for this purpose are special footwear designed for water sports or fast drying sneakers.
Canoeing with a child is a great idea. Certainly it is incredible fun for a child, in addition we will show that you can really spend a nice time without a computer, TV, communing with nature and wildlife.