There is nothing quite like time spent on the water kayaking because, well, simply because it’s kayaking! If you’ve never had the pleasure of paddling around on the water in a kayak, you might want to get a few tips on kayaking safety and a few of the best places to kayak where you can be safe while enjoying some of the most amazing scenery nature has to offer. This summer, why not paddle down the Delaware while spending a night or two in a primitive campsite? Here you will really get to immerse yourself in nature as you can only imagine now, especially if you’ve never been. Hold on for the ride of your life!
Where Technology Meets Nature – Totally Unobtrusively
Before setting off to explore the Delaware Water Gap or any of the other lovely National Recreation Areas where you can kayak, the first thing you might want to do is go to the App Store to download an amazingly hi tech app that doesn’t even require cell phone reception to work! Instead of trying to navigate a kayak while reading an archaic paper map to see exactly where you are and where you are headed, you can simply glance at your digital Delaware Water Gap map.
The amazing thing about this particular app is the fact that, as already mentioned, you don’t require cell phone reception to know in real time where you are and what’s up ahead. Every primitive campsite can be located with the GPS feature and you can also locate kayaking outfitters along your route as well. Looking for supplies, a quick bite to eat, or some fishing tackle? All that is available on the app. But what is most exciting is the fact that you will never get lost because of all the functions neatly packed inside.
What You Should Know about Kayaking – On the Delaware or Anywhere
One of the first things a kayaker should understand is that the water along your route won’t always be calm and serene. You are likely to run into rapids and waterfalls along your path and so it is imperative that you learn to avoid them at all costs. If this means paddling to the side of the river so that you have time to read your digital map to see what lies ahead, then that’s exactly what you should be doing.
It is easy to get swept along in a rapid or pulled under at the foot of a strong waterfall, and so you need to learn how to avoid these common dangers if you’re a new kayaker. A good idea is to take lessons before you travel.
Planning the Length of Your ‘Trip’
It is always suggested that you get your feet wet, literally and figuratively, before setting out on an extended kayaking journey. You should only need a practice session or two before heading off on your own and these might be best planned for shorter trips that can be handled in just one afternoon. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, make those kayaking experiences longer in duration. Go out for an entire day, but always return back before dark if you need to turn a kayak back into the rental outfitter or get back to your vehicle for the journey home again.
Once you’ve had a bit of experience, it’s time to paddle on down, or up, the river for an overnight stay. It is suggested that you download your Water Gap map first so you know exactly where all the primitive campsites are and you can even determine in real time if there are any obstacles or dangers to be aware of before making that planned stop. If so, just choose the next location on your journey, but here again, it is also suggested that you plan to stop to set up camp well before dark to get set up for the night. Primitive camping areas mean there are no amenities so you will be on your own in nature!
Read the Warnings Well!
On your journey, you will almost always arrive in areas where there are amazing waterfalls, some very tall and others reasonably small. However, all have inherent dangers and so there will be warnings on your map that you are not allowed to wade, swim or jump in the water. You can quickly be dragged under by the force of flowing water, so for your own safety, read the warnings well.
The beauty of having digital technology at your disposal is in having the ability to get warnings as they occur. Read any warning that should pop up on your app because it could be a matter of life and death. Is there a strong storm headed your way? Would this storm preclude camping in a primitive site? If so, you can choose from campgrounds and outfitter stops that have safer areas to stay the night. Don’t be discouraged if the weather should suddenly take a turn for the worse. These things are usually short in duration and you’ll be back on the water in no time at all.
A Few Last Words of Advice
Kayaking can be one of the most exhilarating experiences if you come well prepared. Technology adds that extra layer of safety because you can be immediately warned of impending danger and you can always see exactly where you are on any leg of your trip. Even first time kayakers can enjoy a trip on the Delaware Water Gap if they come prepared!
Remember to get a few practice runs in first, and make a detailed list of what you should carry along with you. Yes, travel light, but travel intelligently! Technology can help you avoid dangers, but it can’t do all the thinking for you. Take time to understand what you are doing, where you are going and how to get there safely. From there on out, you’ll have the time of your life.