June 20, 2018
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Sea kayaker’s checklist

By Jeff Strout, BDN Staff

This information is on a brochure put together by the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors. Use it as a quick reference if you’re thinking of heading out on the ocean to paddle.

Paddle Smart from the Start!

Wear your life jacket at all times; choose an appropriate kayak for conditions and location with bulkheads or floatbags; wear clothing appropriate for conditions; wear your lifejacket. Experienced, safe paddlers carry and know how to use: paddle float; bilge pump; food and water; local charts; compass; tide chart; VHF radio for emergencies; spray skirt; paddles; spare paddle; fog horn; tow system; first aid kit; cellphone; flashlight; sunhat; sunscreen; sunglasses; dry bags.

Outfitters will provide all the necessary gear for safe and enjoyable paddling.

Why Paddle with Professional Maine Sea Kayak Guides?

Taking the time to learn new sea kayaking skills will enhance your experience tremendously. Professional Maine Guides and instructors can help you gain the skills you need to be safe.

To find a guide or outfitter in the area near you visitwww.maineseakayakguides.com

Are You Ready?

Kayaking Skills Self Assessment

1. Do you have the skills to paddle safely in changing ocean conditions? Yes/No

2. Have you practiced kayak self-rescue? Yes/No

3. Do you have the appropriate kayak and gear for paddling conditions? Yes/No

4. Can you read a navigation chart and use a compass efficiently? Yes/No

5. Are you familiar with the tides and currents in Maine? Yes/No

6. Are you familiar with local vessel traffic? Yes/No

If you answered no to these questions, paddle with experienced guides. Paddle smart — you’ll learn a lot.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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