Preparing Your Kayaking Gear for Spring 2022

Preparing Your Kayaking Gear for Spring 2022

The winter can be a tough time for the avid kayaker. It is possible to get out on your kayak during the winter and it’s actually one of the best times of year to paddle if you love crisp sunrises and silent landscapes. However, sometimes, there comes a point where it’s impossible to put paddle to water either due to other winter commitments or the waterways icing over.

At some point, you may have to stop doing what you love and pack up your kit for at least part of the winter. It’s during this time that you’ll be eagerly waiting for spring to arrive... 

How To Prepare Yourself and Your Kayak for Spring

Being properly prepared for when spring does finally come around will allow you to get out quicker and make the most of the landscape when it comes out of its wintery slumber. Preparing your kit properly over the winter, maintaining your fitness, and being ready for your first spring outing will allow you to get on the water faster and enjoy the experience far more. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at five ways to ensure you’re fully prepared for spring, making your first outing of the new year one to remember. 

1. Storing Your Kit Properly During Winter

Preparing for spring starts early. If you’re not one to put paddle to water over winter or know you’ll be unable to, then you should effectively store your kayaking gear for the weeks or months that it will be out of use. Proper inspection and storage of your kayak and all of your gear will ensure that it stays in perfect shape ready for spring 2022. 

If you want to find everything there is to know about kayak storage feel free to check out our dedicated guide: How To Store Your Kayak. For now, we’ll give you a brief rundown on some points to take into consideration when storing your kayak over winter.

  • Thoroughly clean your kayak before putting it in long-term storage. Doing this will help preserve the kayak in better shape for longer.
  • Try to keep your kayak inside if possible. 
  • If you must store your kayak outside, keep it covered from the weather without trapping moisture inside a tarp or cover. 
  • Try to keep your kayak off the ground. It’s best to suspend your kayak but if it must be kept on the floor, be sure to put some wooden planks down underneath to elevate it from the ground. 
  • When it comes to additional kit, make sure everything is clean and dry before storage.
  • Make sure your kit is stored indoors and out the way of potential moisture and pests.

2. Keeping Fit During The Winter

We all enjoy a bit of excess during the winter months, but if you’re a keen kayaker it’s important to keep fit during the winter months as well. If you kayak regularly it’s probably one of your main ways of keeping fit and healthy. Cutting this out for the winter can make things extremely difficult when spring comes around and it’s time to get the kayak out of the shed again.

Creating a winter workout routine is important if you want to enter spring in good stead. Taking up an activity such as jogging is a great way to keep your stamina up. Other activities such as weight training will allow you to keep trimmed and maintain your strength levels over the winter. And, of course, the old rowing machine at the gym is a great way to keep the muscles that you use for kayaking in good stead. 

Whatever activities you decide to do in order to maintain fitness through the winter, it’s important to create a routine and stick to it religiously. Slacking off on your winter workout routine will cause your fitness levels to drop and make the first few outings in spring much more exhausting and much less enjoyable. 

We recommend signing up to the gym or creating a home workout routine that fits into your work and home life well.

3. Sorting Through Your Kit in Early Spring

Once the winter passes and the fair-weather comes back it’s important to have a good sort through of your kayaking gear before heading back out on the water.

Of course, if you packed away your kit effectively before the worst of the weather came, then this will be much easier for you. However, it’s still good to have a thorough sort through when spring comes around in plenty of time before your first outing. There is nothing worse than wanting to head out on the water and spending hours sorting through your kit at the same time. 

Get everything together and double-check for any damage well before you head out for your first spring trip. This will mean that when it comes time to put paddle to water again you’ll be able to get everything together extremely quickly. Doing this means less stress, a smoother introduction to the new season, and most importantly more time out on the water.

4. Preparing For Your First Spring Outing 

If you have sorted through your kit well in advance it should be easy to prepare for that first spring kayaking venture. 

Assuming you got everything in order in advance, preparing for your first outing should be as easy as one, two, three. However, it’s good to check everything over once again before loading up and heading to your local waterway. This includes putting your personal floatation aid on and double-checking that all the buckles fasten correctly and there are no rips and tears. This is especially important if you’re accustomed to eating a few to many mince pies over the Christmas period!

It’s good to get all of your tie-down ropes and ratchet straps in order as well. If they haven’t been used in a while the mechanisms can become stiff and difficult to use (esspecially if left outdoors). Be sure to double-check everything when loading up the vessel on your vehicle’s roof or trailer. Being out of practice can see you making simple mistakes when securing.

With the out of practice errors in mind, it’s also a great idea to make a kit checklist. The number of times I’ve forgotten to bring my kayak porter along and have unloaded the yak at the car park just to realise I need to put it back on the roof to go back and grab the wheels because the trek to the bank is over 3 kilometers away! Make a checklist, check it twice, and then check everything again when it’s loaded up into and on to your vehicle. The last thing you want is to be unprepared when you finally get back down to the water after a long winter wishing you were outside. 

5. How To Ensure Your Spring Kayaking Ventures Go Smoothly

If you successfully practice all of the steps listed above then you should be able to ensure your first spring kayaking venture runs as smoothly as possible. The key to spring preparations starts when you pack away your kit for the winter. This is especially true if your kayak or some of your additional kit requires maintenance. If you look after your kit, then it will look after you.

For quick reference, we have devised a 6 point list to ensure your first spring kayaking venture runs as smoothly as possible. 

  1. Before winter, check overall of your kit. Is anything damaged or in need of maintenance? Fix it now so you don’t forget or have to worry about it a few months down the line.
  2. Clean everything and dry it properly before you store everything for winter. It’s much nicer to come back to a clean kayak after not being out all winter. 
  3. Store your kayak and your kit as well as you can. We understand that not everyone has a heated garage to store their kit in, but at the least, construct a small shelter for your kayak to sit in outside and bring your addition kit indoors to tuck out of the way.
  4. When spring comes around, make sure to sort through everything in plenty of time. This will make life easier when it comes time to put paddle to water again. 
  5. Make a checklist of everything you need to bring on your first spring kayaking venture. Double-check this list and ensure that you have absolutely everything you need with you before you set off in your car to drive to the bank.
  6. Enjoy your first spring outing of 2022. The most important step on this list is to enjoy yourself. You’ve been waiting all this time over winter, so treasure the moment.
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