You might have heard about night kayaking. But without having experienced it yourself, you might not find out about the thrill and adventure that comes with it. There is a reason why it is becoming the most popular activity after theme parks in Florida.
Some people might think that glow sticks and led lights were just for the ravers of the 90s. Well they couldn’t be more wrong. Though you’ve got some beaches for night surfing and the same thing for skateboarding, you’ve never had that convenience for kayaking.
Luckily, it all has been changing, bringing a revolution in the kayaking industry.
An Introduction To Night Kayaking
Just imagine the scenario. The stars are sparkling in the sky. You are steadily gliding across the moonlit water. There are no pouring groups of tourists. It’s just you and an exclusive number of people who share in the wonder of nature.
Night kayaking is a fun new activity for everyone to experience a beautiful combination of kayaking, nature, night time and occasionally bioluminescence.
There are tiny animals in the water, which, when stirred, give off light. You’re going to see sparkling trails as you float through the water. It’s definitely a sight to see, and my words probably won’t do justice to its beauty.
7 Reasons Why You Should Kayak At Night
Kayaking is one of the most favourite activities of Americans as 15 million people experience it annually. The trend is on the rise as we can see a 3.5% growth in kayaking market sales. In future, this market is going to be even bigger as more people are turning towards this fun outdoor activity.
I have compiled a list of 7 reasons why you should get the taste of night kayaking.
1. A New Experience to Share with Friends and Family
Next time you get together with your friends and family, this can be a hot topic as not many people have heard about night kayaking yet.
When you share your new adventure with people, you can talk about how majestic the night was and how the moonlight was creating a peaceful and calm ambience. It’s a totally different experience of nature compared to kayaking during daytime. So you’ll have a lot new to talk about with the people in your life.
2. Bioluminescence is Beautiful – Witness It in See Through Kayaks
Many night kayak tours will provide a bioluminescence option. This means rather than attaching LED strips to your body, you can have a natural lightshow in the water.
Bioluminescence is the phenomenon where tiny organisms, like krill, lighting up as you move through the water.
Some of you might have already encountered bioluminescence when swimming at night. Since the impact of your kayak paddle moving through the water will trigger a more intense bioluminescent reaction, night kayaking will be an even more magnificent experience than night diving.
3. You May Get to See Glowing Jelly If You Are Lucky
If you are lucky and you are kayaking in the right place, then you have a chance to observe magical glowing jelly. Between November to May, chances are pretty high to see Comb Jellies in Florida as they come out in force. It is called the glowing jelly season for a reason when these 500 million year old creatures occupy the area.
Don’t stress about the stings, as they are jellies, not the notorious jellyfish. These Comb Jellies defend themselves by giving off a bright greenish-blue glow to scare off predators that may come after them.
Have you always wanted to touch the jellyfish without being scared of getting stung? Then this is your chance to have this fantastic experience during night kayaking.
4. Night Kayaking Has a Great Community Aspect
One of the most enjoyable and desirable aspects of night kayaking is the community aspect. There is something really personal about sharing a nightlife experience with other individuals.
Instead of being distracted by huge crowds of people with their own agenda, a nighttime adventure in small groups makes it more enjoyable and an unique experience.
5. Good Workout for Your Upper Body
You might not know this if you have not been kayaking before, but kayaking provides an excellent exercise and it is very beneficial by keeping you fit. With night kayaking you are going to experience incredible adventures while keeping yourself fit at the same time.
Kayaking is an excellent exercise for your upper body in particular. While paddling through the water, a successful stroke will use all the core muscle in your upper body. In one hour at 3 mph there will be about 1,500 repetitions of low-impact body movements.
Whatever your fitness goals are, your body is bound to get tuned with that kind of exercise.
6. Explore the Beauty of Nature In a Unique Way
Kayaking is a beautiful activity to experience, but you have to be very careful while you are doing it. Make sure you can see others, and you are visible to people as well, to avoid any mishaps at night.
You can start to enjoy the beauty of the night when you are sure all the safety measures have been taken. It can be incredible to explore the beauty of the river, stream and mountains in the day time.
Imagine how majestic it is going to be when you turn off the lights and witness everything in the night time!
Stars and moon will follow you and the sounds of water are going to take you to a magical place which is going to be a memorable experience for sure.
7. It is Good for Your Mental Health
Kayaking accelerates the capacity of the brain cells to function. When we paddle through the water, we, as well as our brain, become aware of the environment, and that awareness allows our brain’s idle cells to be involved.
Kayaking at night provides an extra advantage in this way because we are not used to paddling on the water at night. In the dark, we view our surroundings in a different and even more vivid way. This transition and a heightened sense of awareness to our surroundings make our brain evolve and function better.
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Tips and Considerations for the Night
Before you go out for night kayaking, the following are some crucial tips to remember.
Make Yourself Visible to Others
Kayaking can be dangerous at night, and that is why you need to take some precautions. Keep a red light to your left and green to your right (To indicate where you are heading). Other people will be able to see you because of this, and these lights will prevent any collisions.
Make Sure You Can See
Safe Kayaking is highly dependent on being aware of your surroundings. So purchase a reliable, waterproof headlamp.
Keep in mind that artificial lighting potentially disrupts your night vision, so keep it off as much as you can while you’re kayaking. The headlight is best used to check navigation.
Memorize Your Route
Plan your route before you start and make sure to memorize it. Always try and keep track of where you have started your tour since it can be difficult to re-orient yourself in the dark going off-course.
It may be that you lose sight of your paddle at night, distances can be harder to judge, and if you’re kayaking in the sea, waves may seem to come out of nowhere.
Keep the Essential Safety Gear
It is vital that you keep your dry bag with you all the time. It will hold your necessities (ID, first aid, radio and dry clothes for starters) in case anything happens or you capsize.
You’ll also want to pack an emergency beacon at night to be able to warn anyone who may be far away. Alternatively you can use a whistle.
Respect the Waves & Beware of Them
This one applies if you are kayaking in the ocean. If you’re looking directly at a wave, you’re most likely to misjudge the size and location of it. This can lead to getting rolled over by it.
By looking slightly off to the left, about 20 degrees from the middle you can adjust. Your retina reacts poorly to low lighting, but the rod cells that are clustered in the outer edges adapt better to low levels of light. If you take a look from a slight angle it will make it easier to see waves more clearly.
Enjoy the Experience But Be Careful
It is a bit unrealistic to think you can handle kayaking at night the same as you handle it during day time. It can be quite different.
And that is why night kayaking can be so much fun with beautiful moments included. Be patient and be mindful of your surroundings, do not show off your skills and get too bold until you are perfectly oriented in the water.