Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Proper River Safety When Kayaking

Group of People paddling in a river

So you’re planning a kayaking trip, how fun! Kayaking is a great way to relax and spend time in nature with friends or by yourself. But however you choose to enjoy your excursion, it’s important to remember that there are proper precautions that need to be taken in order to ensure your safety.

Practicing caution is nonnegotiable no matter what body of water you are in, and rivers can be just as dangerous, if not more, than any other body of water. Here are some important things to think about before you get that kayak in the water:



They call it a life jacket for a reason; it could literally save your life. Anytime you get in any body of water, you should have some sort of life jacket or vest on. Almost half of all kayak deaths happened because someone was not wearing their life jacket. In short, half of the risk disappears just by wearing a small life jacket, so wear one!


In regards to clothing, having more is always going to be better than having less. The hot summer days can quickly shift to dark, dreary, and wet (although you can expect to get wet every time you get in a kayak). It is especially important to vigilantly check the forecast before packing your extra clothes, a rain jacket or poncho could make all of the difference for your comfort levels if it does start to rain or get windy. Make sure you’re also factoring in the UV rays and taking extra care to cover your exposed skin, whether with sunscreen or a long sleeve and a hat.



Whether you’re on a guided tour or on your own, there are several rules that are commonplace when kayaking. And always listen to your guide, they are with you for a reason; to keep you safe and having fun! Follow regular traffic rules on the waterways (bear right when facing oncoming traffic, etc.) and wear reflective clothing and tape on your paddles in heavily-trafficked areas. It’s also a great idea to keep a safety whistle on your person in case you get into danger.


This is a very dangerous combination. Alcohol slows your reaction time, inhibits your motor skills, and decreases your depth perception; these are all necessary abilities for safe kayaking. While it may seem like a fun, harmless idea, it is extremely reckless. Don’t do it.


If you’re in a group, stay with them. In a guided tour, there may be dangerous rapids or rocky areas that need cautioned before paddling over. If you think you can go it alone for the first time, chances are, you can’t. Stay safe and smart and enjoy quality time with your group!

One way to ensure a safe trip on the river is to book a trip with us! Our guides are thoroughly trained on river safety and have great navigational knowledge and skill of the rivers. And the best part is you don’t even have to worry about your own equipment! We use high-quality kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets and inspect them regularly for any safety concerns.

  • Posted in: