By: Dan Carns
As summer rolls around I’m reminded of the importance of safety precautions when boating and kayaking. It’s easy to overlook safety precautions because of course we’re going out to have a good time, catch some fish and forget about the world a little! Of course, everyone should have a first aid kit for those times that you mistakenly fire a hook into yourself or let a fish get the better you, but also if a fellow kayaker gets in trouble you’ll be prepared. I also carry travel-size hydrogen peroxide as the water quality can sometimes be questionable, so douse your cuts and abrasions liberally as soon as possible to cut down on infections. Water proof float bags are the perfect place to keep your first aid kit, as well as your phone and other valuables.
Next consider this scenario, you’re on Siesta Key or Venice Beach, in your beach chair for four or five hours or more and you don’t have an umbrella, nor do you have a palm tree to hide under and the sun is just streaming down on you with no escape. That’s you in your kayak, so SPF clothing and sun screen are a must! Long sleeve shirts, long pants, a floppy hat to cover your ears and sunglasses to protect your eyes. A word about sunglasses, do not by dime store glasses as they trick your eyes into thinking that they are protected while exposing your pupils to harmful UV rays. Another word of caution when using sunscreen and bug spray, do not get this stuff on your fishing gear, lures or line. Find a way to clean your hands and don’t overspray onto your gear either, as many fish follow their noses in trying to figure out if what you’re presenting is food or not and if they smell chemicals in the water they will turn away.