msmarymac

Where are the kayakers??

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I have a friend that is a lot of fun so when she asked "Hey, wanna sign up for "The Dirty Girls Adventure" with me?  I automatically said "Sure!", only to find out it involves hiking and kayaking (ooooh, THAT kind of dirty lol).  Hiking I'm good with but I have never kayaked.  Seems risky to be in a kayak for the first time in a river?  Especially for a non-athletic, balance-challenged, "fit-ish but not muscular" old lady.  Any advice from those of you who have done this type of thing?  How skilled does one need to be?  This will be on a calm stretch of river, not rapids so there's that.  I have some time; it's not until September so maybe I can get in some practice before then.  I never in a million years would have imagined this would be how I would be celebrating my 55th birthday and I'm actually kind of excited about it so I guess that's sort of an NSV :)

But I could use some advice/reassurance from those with experience!

 

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5 minutes ago, msmarymac said:

I have a friend that is a lot of fun so when she asked "Hey, wanna sign up for "The Dirty Girls Adventure" with me?  I automatically said "Sure!", only to find out it involves hiking and kayaking (ooooh, THAT kind of dirty lol).  Hiking I'm good with but I have never kayaked.  Seems risky to be in a kayak for the first time in a river?  Especially for a non-athletic, balance-challenged, "fit-ish but not muscular" old lady.  Any advice from those of you who have done this type of thing?  How skilled does one need to be?  This will be on a calm stretch of river, not rapids so there's that.  I have some time; it's not until September so maybe I can get in some practice before then.  I never in a million years would have imagined this would be how I would be celebrating my 55th birthday and I'm actually kind of excited about it so I guess that's sort of an NSV :)

But I could use some advice/reassurance from those with experience!

 

Do it! Kayaking is easy. If you've ever canoed, it is easier! In calm water you almost have to try to capsize a kayak. And, if you do, it can be part of the fun! I am so excited for you! You will have a blast! My 80 year old dad and 67 year old step-mom both kayak a lot - so much they have their own boats. Neither is as fit as you are so I know you'll do great!

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43 minutes ago, Stephtay said:

Do it! Kayaking is easy. If you've ever canoed, it is easier! In calm water you almost have to try to capsize a kayak. And, if you do, it can be part of the fun! I am so excited for you! You will have a blast! My 80 year old dad and 67 year old step-mom both kayak a lot - so much they have their own boats. Neither is as fit as you are so I know you'll do great!

Thanks, this helps!  I have only canoed as a fat person and that did not go well.  Good to know kayaking is easier :)

Luckily I am an excellent swimmer so if all else fails...

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Kayaking is not too hard - although I’m no expert, it’s never been hard to stay upright in the water for me :)  I think you’ll have a fabulous time with the Dirty Girls Adventure! 

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@msmarymac I’m so glad you started this thread! My friend and I were literally talking about kayaking today (we were bumping around town doing touristy stuff and debated going kayaking). I’m feeling encouraged by the responses so far. If you end up going, please let us know how it goes- it sounds like a fun adventure!

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Is there a place near you that rents kayaks for use on a lake, etc?  Such places usually offer lessons.  If so, a kayaking lesson or two might be a good idea as it would make your time on the trip less stressful and safer.  Be sure to always kayak with a PFD (personal flotation device or “life jacket”) on, even if you are a good swimmer. 

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Getting into a kayak again was one of my goals, having had an embarrassing experience prior to WLS, due to my size.  This summer my husband and I bought two and have been kayaking quite a bit.  It is very fun, especially if someone else is organizing the route and the drop off/pick up of the boats.  Then pretty much all you have to do is get in and float, maybe steer a bit here and there.  For an event like you're going to they probably would not have double kayaks available, which I would not recommend.  I've done both the type where you sit on top and where you sit in the kayaks and both are very fun.  You can do it for sure!

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4 hours ago, Res Ipsa said:

Is there a place near you that rents kayaks for use on a lake, etc?  Such places usually offer lessons.  If so, a kayaking lesson or two might be a good idea as it would make your time on the trip less stressful and safer.  Be sure to always kayak with a PFD (personal flotation device or “life jacket”) on, even if you are a good swimmer. 

I am going to the lake this weekend with friends who kayak so I can practice and learn from them.  It's a different  lake that organizes this event and it does do lessons and rentals but it's too far away for me to get there at the scheduled times.  It sounds like they make everything as easy as possible; they provide and haul the kayaks (and life jackets :)) and pick you up at the end point.  I'm starting to get excited!  There is a hiking component and a camping component, should be quite the adventure.

I'm feeling so much less anxious about it after hearing your stories...I knew I could count on y'all.

Edited by msmarymac

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16 minutes ago, msmarymac said:

I am going to the lake this weekend with friends who kayak so I can practice and learn from them.  It's a different  lake that organizes this event and it does do lessons and rentals but it's too far away for me to get there at the scheduled times.  It sounds like they make everything as easy as possible; they provide and haul the kayaks (and life jackets :)) and pick you up at the end point.  I'm starting to get excited!  There is a hiking component and a camping component, should be quite the adventure.

I'm feeling so much less anxious about it after hearing your stories...I knew I could count on y'all.

The key thing to learn before your trip is how to get back on your kayak if you flip over.  It is not hard, but it is worth learning and practicing in advance.

I hope that you have a great time!

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I hadn't kayaked in over 20 years and then went on a kayaking adventure in the open ocean on a sit-on-top kayak!  My next adventure was even more "dangerous" using a sea kayak through 3-5 foot waves on Lake Superior (that was a bit harrowing, but still no sign of tipping over) I'm not just a self-proclaimed klutz, I'm a legit non-graceful, unbalanced, trip-when-I-walk klutz!  I figure if I can do it (and I was stuffed - literally - into the sea kayak) anyone can.  It sounds like a very fun adventure!  It of course can't hurt to get some practice in somewhere, but be sure to wear your life vest also.  I love it so much now I've been begging for the last few years to get my own kayak but hubby says we don't have room to store it. <_< Most river kayaking will usually tell you if you end up going through any rapids type areas before you start - they don't want to rescue anyone or have that liability either so hopefully it will just be a beautiful trip down the river.  :wub: Have a blast!!

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Update:  Spent time on the lake this weekend with the kayak and had a blast!!  Even with the crazy Kansas wind (great arm workout!).  I now feel like with maybe one more practice session I will be confident enough for the river adventure in September.  Thanks for the support and advice :)

 

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@msmarymac, that's great you got out on the lake! You're going to be very prepared! And the best part about a river is that while you are "paddle up" and resting, the river is still moving you on your way! Keep us updated on this. Way to go tackling a new challenge! 

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Glad to hear you had a good kayak adventure. I would advise purchasing a mid to high range kayak if buying one. I have an Old Town Kayak and I love it. My Friends have the Pelican models that are very reasonable, the seat in mine is much more comfy and more adjustments and I find that my kayak seems to go through the water with ease. Happy Kayaking!

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14 minutes ago, duffman27 said:

Glad to hear you had a good kayak adventure. I would advise purchasing a mid to high range kayak if buying one. I have an Old Town Kayak and I love it. My Friends have the Pelican models that are very reasonable, the seat in mine is much more comfy and more adjustments and I find that my kayak seems to go through the water with ease. Happy Kayaking!

I'm going to wait on purchasing for now until I see how often I do this.  For now, the "Dirty Girls Adventure" organization provides kayaks and transports them which is very helpful.  I will certainly heed your advice if I decide to purchase in the future :)

 

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Just went kayaking with my family on vacation on calm ocean. First time I fit in years! Lots of fun.

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