Kayaking Preparedness

In honor of preparedness month coming up, I decided to expand my knowledge base and take on kayaking.  Although kayaking may primarily be thought of a wilderness survival skill, there are many waterways around our cities and the skill of kayaking may come in handy if you need to get off an island, like Manhattan, in a hurry.  During the attack on 9/11 many people were trapped by the edge of the water and were rescued by good samaritan boaters.

So I signed up with Mountain Valley Guides in Cornwall on Hudson, NY and Bill was my guide/instructor for my three-hour tour.  Yes, I really did sing the Gilligan Island theme several times.  Mountain Valley Guide’s instructions were to bring only things you do not mind getting wet.  I emptied out my pack and brought only my snacks, my EDC and insect repellent.  What else could I really need?  I didn’t want to lose anything in the river that I would miss, so I left everything else behind.

Bill was a great instructor, he explained the mechanics of rowing a kayak, the procedures in the event we rolled out and how we were to communicate with each other on the water.  We rowed to several points of interest on the Hudson river and beached so we could have a snack and others in my group could go for a swim.

Unfortunately, as I exited my kayak, my sandal broke and I had to walk on the rocky shore barefoot.  I looked at what I packed to ascertain if I could repair my sandal. Nothing on my EDC could be used to poke a hole in the sandal to repair it.  It really didn’t matter because I didn’t bring my paracord bracelet so I didn’t have any cord to repair the sandal.  Ugh, I made the rookie mistake of assuming I didn’t need my basic kit!

I asked Bill if he had a multitool and he whips out the biggest Swiss army knife I have ever seen.  Well it helped poke a hole in the sandal bit I had nothing to fasten the straps together.  Once again, Bill came to the rescue with some cord and I repaired my footwear.

My McGyver moment

Lesson learned.  We take the time to put together our personal kits and we should trust that we made the right decision.  Although we always need to balance what we carry with us; there are people out there who carry tons of “needed” equipment, we should always assess our needs based on any given activity or environment.

If you haven’t taken a class/tour on kayaking, I highly recommend it.  That little boat may be your only way out someday. In addition, it is a really fun activity!

  1. […] Urban Survival- Learning to Kayak for Preparedness (urbansurvivalblog.wordpress.com) […]

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