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Kayaking at Night – Be Seen, Be Safe

If you haven’t yet kayaked or canoed at night you’re missing a wonderful experience you should add to your ‘MUST DO PADDLE LIST’. The winds die and water’s turn to glass, the stars begin to dance in the sky above, while the sounds’ of nature come alive. However, paddling at night does come with some increased inherent risks…. Here’s how to make your nighttime paddle a wonderful adventure! If you paddle at night, or in heavy fog, you’re going to be a lot less visible to other boats on the water. Unlike larger boats, kayaks aren’t required to show running lights, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. It’s a good idea to always have a waterproof flashlight or better yet a multi-purpose kayak light as part of your night paddling gear. Another great and inexpensive safety idea is to add reflective tape to your kayak, PFD, and paddle. Reflective tape, while not as effective as actual lights, will still make you far more visible in darker conditions to oncoming boats with running lights of their own. Another way to get attention while kayaking at night is to bring along a whistle. Whistles are small enough attached to your PFD. An even better idea is to include a handheld foghorn. These ‘VERY LOUD’ Horns are especially effective in fog (hence the name) or when motorboat traffic exists. Kayaking at night requires you to have ‘your head on a swivel’ as you must keep a constant lookout for boat traffic in your area. If you spot a pair of white lights – one above the other – this will normally indicate...