With many things in life, there are skills you have to learn to get by. With Kayaking this is no different. However, there are things you should also learn that is not a skill as such, but more a knowledgeable knowing of how to perform activities around the whole kayaking venture.
You should know how to:
- Monitor the levels of a river; when you are far away from technology and online flow reports, the only way to know if the river is falling or rising is the stick method. In the sand, right at the waters’ level, plant a straight stick and leave it overnight. In the morning check if this stick is underwater or high and dry on the land.
- Make Coffee the Cowboy way; just bring a pot of water to the boil and add a few handfuls of grounded coffee. Stir the mixture and remove from the heat. Wait for the grounds to settle in the bottom and decant the brew in a camp cup. Preferably the cup should be an enamel, camp cup.
- Change your clothing at the takeout; normally there is no change rooms were you do your paddling takeouts. For privacy open two car doors which will create a barricade with three walls. Wrap your towel around your waist and disrobe, discreetly, underneath its cover. Beforehand, lay out your clothing for a quick grab and change.
- Plan your Shuttle Run carefully; there is no one way about doing this, it mostly depends on how many people are going and how much seat space is available. Remember to leave dry clothes in the vehicle that will be at the takeout. Make sure the car at takeout has enough gas, have a spare tire, and remember to not leave anything you should need, like the car keys, at the put-in.
- Set-up your Groover; you should make sure the seat is set on correctly, but, even more important, is to not set up next to someone else’s tent door. You should really think about some privacy when you set up your river toilet. Making sure you have a great view can be a plus point.
There are many more things you will learn to perform apart from paddling a kayak. There are loads of activities that need to be performed to make each kayaking event flow smoothly along.