Social distancing is becoming the norm for all of us as COVID-19 spreads. So, how do you continue to get out on the water while also keeping yourself and others safe? Kayaking is a great option! Here are a few ways to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you while kayaking during these uncertain times.

Explore new locations…
Now is the perfect time to explore isolated, less-popular areas. Stay away from dense, crowded regions of the water. The 6ft rule still applies, even on the water, so if you stumble upon a group of people, turn around and head in the opposite direction. 

If you want to kayak with friends…
You can still go kayaking with friends and family, as long as you keep a safe distance from each other and avoid crowds. This is a great way to connect while staying healthy. Here are a few tips for group kayaking.

  1. Keep the group small.
    Stick to 2 or 3 people, max. It’s rare to have a kayaking group of more than 10 people, but these days, the less people, the better.
  2. Maintain 6ft distance from everyone.
    On land, this rule is more difficult to follow. On the water, it’s easy to spread out.
  3. Don’t touch any gear that’s not your own.
    Everyone should have and carry their own gear. Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer with you, just in case you need to clean your hands. 
  4. Don’t share drinks and snacks.
    One of the best parts of kayaking is taking a snack break while gazing out over a beautiful view. Don’t share drinks and snacks during this time. Bring plenty of your own so you’re not tempted to borrow some from a friend. 
  5. Stay safe on the water.
    These days, we’re all so focused on COVID-19 that we’re starting to forget about other dangers and safety hazards. Wear appropriate clothing, wear sunscreen, and don’t forget your lifejacket.

Plan an overnight kayaking trip…
If you need some time to clear your head and take a break from reality, consider planning an overnight trip. This is totally possible, as long as you follow a few additional safety tips.

  1. Use a solo tent.
    Now is not the time to bunk up with a friend and camp out together. Bring your own tent, and camp out alone. The exception to this rule, of course, is if you’re quarantining and kayaking with a significant other.
  2. Keep a safe distance around camp.
    Place your chairs 6ft apart and avoid gathering around the picnic table for snacks. Set up a buffet, and let everyone grab their food, one-by-one.
  3. Keep washing your bands.
    If you can wash your hands in a bathroom, great. If you don’t have that luxury, use the hand sanitizer we reminded you to bring. Your safety and well-bring during this overnight kayaking trip is essential. If you can’t abide by these rules, you shouldn’t go.

Getting outside is good for your soul…
Even if you can’t swing a kayaking trip, find a way to get outside during the week. Even cities with mandatory quarantines are encouraging residents to get outside and exercise. It might not be easy or possible to spend time on the water, but a walk on the beach or a jog in the park will help you relax and unwind during this stressful time. As long as you practice social distancing and stay a safe distance from others, getting outside is a positive thing for both your mental and physical health.