Tips for a trouble-free kayak trip with kids

Tips for a trouble-free trip

Start early in the day because daylight hours are growing shorter. Bring headlamps just in case.


Paddle close to shore, and out of the main channels, away from the powerboats. If you cross a channel, do so in a group and quickly.

Bring an extra layer of warm clothes. They will get wet. You can easily stuff an entire winter kids’ fleece outfit into a small dry bag.

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Bring sunblock and sunglasses or sun hats with wide brims and chinstraps for the kids. Also make sure children have water bottles and water shoes. Bring lots of snacks.

Supply a toy boat to drag or water pistols to shoot.

Give children whistles to use if they get into trouble.


For younger children, plan for no more than hour out and an hour back with a stop along the way.

Always wear a personal floatation device and make sure it fits.

Light, short paddles with small diameter shafts designed for kids will make a huge difference.

Provide a collection bag for rocks, feathers, and shells.

Fall is a good time to shop for used kayaks. Many outfitters sell their fleets and offer discounts. Two-person kayaks are a great way to introduce kids to paddling.

Invest in a kayak tow rope, so you can tow the child’s boat if he or she gets tired. TAMSIN VENN

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