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Kayaking For the Single Retired Woman With a Small Hatchback
This is a wonderful adventure every time.
I found that I can go any anywhere and I carry my kayak in the back of my car inside a travel bag which you can put on an aircraft if going away, it has wheels and extra compartments. Plenty of room for 2 seats and the air pump and two life jackets, the anchor some towels and cleaner in case you find the need to clean it. I don't think you can take the cleaner on the planes, but I keep it in there so I know where it is and it is with the kayak.
I first decided to go kayaking because I met people that liked to kayak on the internet meeting groups. I am basically a loner, but I like to meet people sometimes for dinner without the awkwardness of dating. It is so much fun to kayak. You can do it with others, but I love going out with my lunch or dinner and staying for hours on the water with my fishing rod. The few things you must do before venturing out is find out the fishing regulations if you are going to fish. I got a fishing license and also if you need permits for where you are going in the water. The State parks near me don't require anything but a fishing license if you are going to fish. You can get a seasonal State Park access permit. The regional parks bodies of water require a seasonal boating permit for your boat and if inflatable, they must have at least 3 chambers of air(mine has 5) that is in case you lose air in one you will still be a float with the others. Most places require a life vest. We also have a Water company in the area that has a couple of huge water reservoirs that you are allowed to boat in. They require a permit, but again, if you go often a seasonal permit is inexpensive and I have more than gotten my dollars worth of fun out of my permits and licenses.... By owning my own kayak, I don't have to pay to rent anyone elses boats or kayaks and mine is very comfortable as the seats are air filled and you can relax and even fall asleep if you want. I take an anchor in case I want to just lounge out on the water some where. **** Warning**** I would not do this in Florida or anywhere there are alligators or crocs or sharks. I would not want to be eaten... I have seen peoples hard kayaks with shark bites on their kayaks.... No thank You... so I am talking about Calm water kayaking. The kayak I have is approved for whitewater 3 level kayaking, but I don't need white water excitement. I do calm water.... No Waves.... No Waterfalls... LOL.
The kayak comes with a duffle bag
This is the kayak ready to go with the video camera set up
You can see how much I enjoy myself
Wildlife close up
LIST of MUST HAVES for Kayaking
1. Life Vests-1 per passenger
2. Boating permit where required, but many places no boating fee. When you have your own kayak it is usually 5.00 a day places where there is a fee, where it would be at least 5-15.00 an hour if you rent theirs...State Parks, recreational inputs at rivers or Regional Parks. If you are going frequently near your home you can usually get a seasonal permit which pays for itself.
3.Senior Discounts and passes at many places-a perk for us "elderly" folks...
4. Three Chamber plus for inflatable kayaks-for safety backup.
5. A Paddle - some kayaks do not come with a paddle. I like mine as it is 2 piece paddles so you can feather the ends to make paddling more efficient.
6. Comfortable Seats - you can get deluxe seats for most kayaks so you can enjoy seating in your kayak for hours without getting back pain and can even lean back and feel good support.
7. Kayak Cleaner - if you are travelling to different bodies of water you will have to clean your kayak before taking it into Water reservoirs for drinking. You do not want to carry micro organisms from ocean or contaminated water into drinking water areas.
8. Love of Nature - There are so many things to see when you go kayaking and just looking at the sky and unending water views with the sounds of the birds and fish jumping is terrific.
9. Sun Hat, bug and sun protection - The sun is wonderful and warm, but if you are going to stay out on the water and you will want to when you enjoy this - you must protect your head and face. They now have wonderful bug and sun protection combined spray that is easy, simple and smells pretty good. I always spray before going out. Flies and mosquitoes can appear suddenly.
10. Fishing License - If you are going to fish, you need a fishing license for most states and I carry the fishing limits and size requirements to keep your catch in my tackle box. My license and boating permits attached to my hat.
11. Kayak - kayaks come in many sizes shapes and weights. You can research them and if you are doing calm waters top grade inflatables last for years. People like me swear by them because we can carry them inside our car and easily get them in and out of the water alone. If you purchase a trolley or hand bag with wheels for kayaks you don't have to lift anything except to roll the bag out of the trunk and with a hatchback it is very easy. Oh and my little kayak came with a folding sail that you can take out in case you can catch a wind and then you don't even have to paddle.
12. Camera for photography buffs - tripods are great, but if you just have any camera handy there is always something you wish you had one when you don't carry one with you. It is fun to go alone, but sometimes you see things that when someone says why do you like this, you just want to show them. I have a small soft camera bag that I throw 3 cheap cameras in and a flip video camera.
13. Tacklebox and rods for fishermen - A small cooler if you are catching dinner. There are small soft tackleboxes that fit easily in any kayak and I have since improvised with bungee cords and attached a tubing insert with 3 tubes so I can put my rods in the tubes and my tripod in a tube. I will probably purchase a monopod next year, but I took the legs off of my tripod and extended it so I could put it in one of the tubes. One rod I have is short - a dock rod and one long rod for far away casting. I started with a dock rod to see if I liked fishing from the kayak.
14. Water shoes that dry fast so you can just push out anywhere and leave your shoes on.
Sounds like a lot, but many things you can purchase in the local drug store when they have a sale and with your disct card. I did. I didn't want to spend a lot for the test. Everything totaled less than 300 - supplies kayak and fishing stuff and I can vacation everyday and have almost for the past 4 months.