The times we are living in require us to socially and physically distance ourselves from everyone except for our immediate family members. We’re also likely required to shelter-in-place, stay home, keep a solid 6-foot distance from passersby, and wear masks out in public spaces, like grocery stores.
We got to thinking, how is this any different then a solo paddle trip out to your favorite water spot?
Many water enthusiasts have already been practicing social distancing for quite some time, just by nature of the sport. We racked our brains and came up with five tips to keep your head high, and your paddle on, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Keep It Solo, Or Really Small Groups
Unless of course you are paddling out with an immediate family member, let the tandem kayak journeys take a back seat during this time. Use this time to serve as a reflection on what matters most, and take in the beauty of all that is surrounding you.
2. Seek The Quiet Spots
Now is probably not the time to hit up those busy spots you might usually head out to. Discover more of your backyard and all that it has to offer. Take a drive to find desolate, yet safe, water destination. On your computer, take a tour of Google Earth to seek out the hidden gem that’s waiting for your arrival. In addition, Paddling.com offers an extensive paddling locations map, you can find here. Keep in mind, you should never paddle a river solo, no matter the conditions.
3. Give Distance, In and Out of the Water
It’s likely you may see others out seeking the same joy that you are whilst out paddling, and that’s ok! Make sure to provide every paddler space in the water — six feet, or more, to be exact. Wait for others to pass, move aside, and most of all — offer a big smile. Same goes for out of the water. When it’s time to get out and load up, give others their time, while you hang back and enjoy the scenery for just a bit longer.
4. Safety First
Before you venture out, make sure you are fully aware of the weather conditions, and have a plan in place if things don’t go your way. Know the area that you are heading to well, bring along a phone or other communication device, dress appropriately (for immersion!), bring along a spare paddle, and don’t forget a general safety kit and repair kit. Keep in mind, any solo trip requires extensive paddling experience — you must know how to do a wet exit and self rescue.
5. Keep It Simple
Say goodbye to the daily stressors and anxiety by heading out to the water. You don’t need to go far from home, and with your Aquaglide inflatable gear you can simply pack it up and stow on the go, with ease of portability. A little picnic lunch, a little time on the water, and a little sunshine on your face will do a world of wonders and fill that “self care” bucket.
The allure of paddling has always been its simplicity. Head out to that sacred place on the water where you can feel at ease, one paddle stroke at a time. Keep it safe, and stay healthy, friends. We will see you out there (from a distance).