You try to go out with tents to nature, closer to the reservoir, every year. For the family, this is a holiday and an adventure at the same time.
Every time you come up with a new place to travel, collect information about it, how to drive up, where to camp and much more. After all, for such a holiday you have everything, and experience as well.
Have you thought about how to diversify your family's active leisure time? Make it memorable, exciting, interesting. One of the options for such a holiday is kayaking. It combines travel, adventure, discovery of new places and unexplored spaces. And it can last from one day to several weeks, depending on the chosen route.
What is alloy kayaking. How to organize and prepare. Which rivers are suitable for calm rafting, you will learn from this article.
On a kayak along the river
It's great to come by car to a place of rest, set up a base camp, put up an awning, put up tents, prepare firewood. The pleasant chores of spending time in nature. But there is one minus, other people can come to such a place. Everyone is looking for a better place.
Now imagine the same thing, only instead of setting up a camp, you pump up or pack kayaks, load up with everything you need for a trip and sail off the coast towards the unknown.
It's hard to imagine if you've never done it, but you can dream up.
Everything happens for the first time, and if you can organize a trip to nature, then kayaking is also tough for you.
But first, let's figure out what a kayak is and what they are.
Types of kayaks
There are four types of kayaks:
- prefabricated frame;
They are also distinguished by capacity, from one to four people.
The inflatable kayak consists of inflatable skegs that are inflated to three atmospheres and multi-layer PVC. They have high stability and low draft, which makes it easy to overcome shallow water and rapids. It is convenient to raft on calm rivers and turbulent streams. It weighs a little, which allows you to easily carry insurmountable obstacles. Has good load capacity. When folded, it takes up little space and is easily loaded into the trunk of a passenger car. Preparation for launching takes about ten minutes. Perfect for multi-day rafting.
The inflatable frame kayak was designed to make the frame kayak lighter and more buoyant. It has a frame, and inflatable elements that are between the frame and the "skin". These are mobile and maneuverable boats that are suitable for rafting on turbulent streams, but tourists also use them for long journeys. Inflatable balloons are separated by a sealed membrane, which makes the vessel virtually unsinkable. When folded, it can fit in a backpack. Assembly takes about twenty minutes.
The prefabricated kayak is a direct descendant of the northern boat, which was used by northern peoples to fish and hunt. Previously, the frame was covered with the skin of a dead animal, now it is replaced by multilayer PVC. On the water they are fast and agile. Its capacity allows it to be used on long trips. Equipped with additional air tanks to increase buoyancy. Of the minuses - it takes a long time to assemble the frame, even if you know how to do it.
A one-piece kayak is a non-separable vessel, has high strength due to the materials of execution. It can be plastic, polyethylene, composite materials of increased strength. It is quite difficult to damage it, so kayaks of this kind are often used for rafting on rivers with a high difficulty of passing obstacles. But this does not mean that it is not suitable for calm waters. On the contrary, it is a light and fast boat, which will give odds to any watercraft on a stagnant reservoir. The only thing is that you will have to bring it on a trailer or on the roof rails (on the roof) of the car.
The oars for all types of kayaks are approximately the same - this is a double rowing device with blades located in the same plane or at ninety degrees to each other.
In addition, each rafting participant must wear a life jacket.
On what kind of water
For starters, on calm waters. First of all, you need to understand whether you need all this.
You can buy a one-day tour or rent a kayak. Swim on a lake or a quiet river, learn how to manage and row properly. Experience all the delights of water travel, if you suddenly decide to go on a rafting trip for a few days.
Based on the experience gained, you can already determine the goals and objectives of a multi-day route and the place along which to lay it.
A description of almost any body of water is available on the Internet. There are a huge number of rivers, which are rafted on kayaks, boats, rafts and catamarans. Travelers write reviews and reports on each of them. You can find out information about the state of the river, the presence of rapids, places for parking and lodging for the night, the presence of settlements in which it is possible to replenish the supply of food.
Goals. Plans. And forward...
Each journey has its own purpose:
- get to know new places;
- see the sights;
- take an unknown route;
- overcome possible difficulties;
- conquer yourself.
Kayaking also requires goal setting, careful planning and preparation. In addition, water is an increased risk factor that should be treated with extreme caution.
A little about safety
In the first kayak, identify a lookout. This will allow you to notice and avoid danger in time. Even the calmest river can suddenly narrow and turn a quiet current into a turbulent stream.
Immediately make it a rule: you can not raft in conditions of poor visibility (rain, fog) and at night. This time is better to wait on the shore under an awning or by the fire.
Before getting into a kayak, everyone should put on a life jacket, whether they can swim or not.
It is forbidden to sleep while moving on water, everyone must be awake, otherwise land on the shore.
All things must be hermetically packed, compactly laid out and tied tightly. In the event of an unforeseen situation, you will not lose them.
It is impossible to talk loudly and make noise during the rafting in order to hear the noise of approaching rapids if they are on the way.
To pass sandbars and rifts, in the deepest place.
With a fast current, stay close to the shore, in case of danger you will have time to land quickly. If, when the river bends, the current accelerates, then try to pass the turn as close as possible to the convex bank. Otherwise, a fast stream will press your kayak to the concave shore.
Avoid overhanging trees, thickets, washed roots.
Where water ripples, there may be an underwater obstruction. If water overflows through it, then it is close to the surface. Drifters can be spotted by water circles and breakers downstream.
Blockages and creases represent a particular danger for rafters. They are made up of river-borne trees and floating debris and clog the river from shore to shore. Such obstacles are best carried or dismantled. But the latter must be done carefully, from the shore, with a long stick or pole, from the side that is downstream.
If the river divides into branches, then swim in a more full-flowing one with a fast current. Ducks can tell you the right direction, they always choose a faster stream.
Tie a rope 5-10 meters to the bow of the kayak to secure it during stops.
downstream, for a certain period of time.
First of all, we get acquainted with the river. We analyze each kilometer on the map, the speed of the current, depth, banks, vegetation, places of proposed parking. It is best to use a paper map of a large scale.
Next, we study information on the Internet. The first point is the casting point from which the rafting will start. It is necessary to get to this place by transport as close as possible in order to drag less on yourself.
The second point is the end point of the rafting route. With her, all the same, the car should meet as close to the water as possible. This issue must be resolved in advance. Arrange with friends or order a car from local residents, for a specific time and place.
Equipment, equipment, personal items
If you are new to water tourism, then an inflatable kayak for rafting on the river is your ideal option.
If you bought a tour, then all the necessary equipment will be provided to you, if not, then some part of the things will have to be rented. Such as:
- An inflatable kayak, with one extra space for cargo. Paddles and a pump are usually included.
- Hermetic bags of various sizes to protect things from getting wet.
- Life jackets.
But reinforced tape, for the treatment of watercraft, and large sponges, for collecting water, are not expensive, you can buy it.
Be sure to map the area in paper version, it is desirable to laminate it.
When kayaking, it is not necessary to take a backpack with you, as for a hiking trip. A bag or other container will do, in which you will carry things from the car to the boat and reload them into a dry bag. The main thing is to pack your belongings compactly, there is not as much space in a kayak as in a car trunk.
For overnight stays and meals on the shore you will need:
- Sleeping bag. All according to the season.
- Large awning.
- Folding chairs and a table. For gatherings, after a day's rafting, eating, etc.
- Ax. Saw (if space permits). Indispensable for the preparation of firewood.
- Matches (preferably hunting), a lighter or flint.
- Campfire accessories for cooking.
- Boilers. At least two - one for food, the second for tea.
- Gas stove with spare cartridges.
- Personal utensils: plate, mug, spoon, knife.
- Chopping board.
- Products. The main criterion is the duration of storage.
- Means for water purification. You can take a filter or tablets for disinfection. In any case, it must be boiled.
- A container for drinking water (needed during the rafting).
- Headlamp and a set of spare batteries for it.
- Spare telephone, push-button, with a full battery charge. Store in the off state, you will need it if everything else dies.
- Fishing tackle. But this is an amateur.
Kayaking on the rivers is best organized during the summer months. Water, after spring floods, will enter its channel and become calmer.
But still water can get wet. It will rain, drip from the oars or for other reasons. Therefore, you need to take things with you both for rafting and for the shore. The list is approximate, it's up to you:
- Thermal underwear - two sets, synthetics are better, dries faster.
- Neoprene pants or shorts. If water gets into the ship, you won't freeze. Neoprene absorbs moisture that heats up to body temperature.
- Jacket. Better membrane. She is breathing. You will sweat in a raincoat.
- Rubber flip flops, Crocs or neoprene socks.
- Rowing gloves. Suitable bicycle, fingerless.
- Cap, hat or panama - from wind, sun and rain.
- For the heat - shorts and a T-shirt.
- Swimming trunks or swimsuit.
- Fleece, pants or tracksuit will come in handy in the evening on the beach.
Dry shoes, sneakers for example, will not hurt.
Everyone takes for himself:
- shorts, socks and helmets;
- toothbrush + paste;
- creams: moisturizing and sunscreen;
- remedies for forest gnats and ticks.
Be sure to collect a first aid kit that will contain:
- essential medicines;
About personal medicines, everyone takes care of himself.
Stops, parking, overnight stays
So, everything is assembled, packed and loaded.
If you are kayaking with an instructor, as part of an organized group, then you should not worry about anything. He knows the entire rafting route, all places of parking and overnight stays, maximally adapted to this. The most interesting sights to see.
But if you are traveling on your own, then you will have to think through the whole path on your own.
You carefully studied the upcoming route and marked suitable parking spots on the map. There should be a gently sloping shore, an opportunity to stock up on firewood, a source of fresh water. Forest clearings are suitable, but they have a significant disadvantage - a lot of mosquitoes.
Quite often, when rafting down rivers, there are places resembling sandy or pebble beaches. It is most convenient to set up tents on them. If you have an inflatable rug or mattress, then there will be no problems with pebbles, otherwise, you just need to clear the place under the tent from stones. There are much fewer mosquitoes, ants and midges on the shore, in case of rain, the water goes into the sand, and does not accumulate under the tent.
Can you imagine where to stand?
Maybe even found a description of the parking lot and marked it on the map. But suddenly, a little before the planned stop, you will “smile” at a place that is not visible on the map. Or you have arrived at your destination, and it does not meet expectations.
Choose a place to camp where you want to stay.
On raftable rivers, there are very often specially equipped places for tourists to rest. There is a territory for setting up tents, there are sheds with tables and benches, toilets, a shower or even a bathhouse. Somewhere, there may be a shop or a cafe. But parking in such places, as a rule, is paid and it is possible to get noisy neighbors from the shore.
Calm rivers for rafting
The nature of the rivers is different. It depends on the time of year, the area on which they flow.
In spring, the water becomes more, due to the melting of snow, the speed of the current increases.
Experienced tourists try to raft in the spring. The rapid flow of full-flowing rivers brings a lot of difficulties that only trained people can handle.
In summer and early autumn, the rivers are calmer, and are much more suitable for calm kayaking.
Here is a small and far from complete list of rivers in the near-central zone of Russia.
The Volga is the largest river in Russia. It has a wide channel and not a fast current. Thanks to this, kayaking on it is not difficult. There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the contemplation of nature or see the sights of the meeting towns.
Malaya and Bolshaya Kokshaga - the flow of these rivers is a little faster, therefore, you need to row a little less. They are very popular with rafting kayakers. The first category of complexity. Partially flow through the Kirov region.
Ilet and Yushut - flow through the forests of the Republic of Mary El. There are no obstacles, so they are perfect for rafting for beginners and families.
Sudogda - flows through the plains of the Vladimir region. Very calm and slow river.
Zusha is the right tributary of the Oka, flows in the Tula and Oryol regions. Good for inexperienced rafters.
Bolshoy Lukh is a river in the Vladimir region, which carries its waters at a considerable distance from civilization.
Resseta is the easiest river for rafting in kayaks and other boats.
Kem is a river in Karelia, flows into the White Sea. It is not deep, but the width reaches two hundred meters. Rafting is easy even for beginners.
Keret is another mountain-taiga river in Karelia. It is easy to move along it, and the picturesque views of the coast amaze with their pristine beauty.
In general, in Mother Russia, there are a huge number of rivers and reservoirs that are suitable for kayaking with the whole family or a friendly campaign. Look at what rivers are near you, in your region of residence, and start with them. And as soon as you understand that this is your type of recreation, nothing will stop you on the way of developing new rivers and routes.