Signaling equipment will keep you safe if you are kayak touring.
If you are planning on going kayak touring, you should definitely make sure that you have signaling equipment with you – and that you know how to use it. This can be very important if you end up getting into trouble a long way from other people, or from any way of getting in contact with the rest of the world.
Most pieces of signaling equipment are designed to last a long time – just in case they are needed after a long while. However, you can make sure that your equipment will be there when you need it by keeping track of what you have and making sure that you perform any upkeep that it might need. For instance, if you have anything that is battery operated, you should check the batteries from time to time since they can sometimes lose their charge even if they are not in use.
The simplest type of signaling equipment is just a simple whistle. You should look for a special kayaking whistle since they are designed so that they will still be usable if they get wet, and they tend to be louder than the type of whistle that you would buy for a child. Something to keep in mind, however, is that while these are loud whistles, most motorized boats will still not be able to hear them. Therefore, you should probably back up your whistle with some other signaling equipment.
Another type of signaling equipment is the flare. These are generally easy to use, though they can be dangerous if you are not careful. If you are going to use flares, make sure that they are never pointed at other people. You should keep your flares in your personal floatation device – most of them have loops or pockets that are designed specifically to hold flares. That way, if you get into trouble, you won’t have to dig through the bulkhead of your kayak looking for a flare. These are usually visible for long distances, so it’s likely that somebody will see your flare, especially at night.
It’s also a good idea to have waterproof strobe lights attached to your personal floatation device that you can turn on if you end up in the water. These lights make it much easier to see where you are in the water – especially if you are at see at night.
The most useful type of signaling equipment, however, is just a waterproof radio. These are useful because once you get through to somebody on the other side, you can tell them exactly what the problem is, and what sort of help it is that you need.
No matter where you are kayaking, however, you should always go prepared. It is recommended that you have several different types of signaling equipment with you just in case the first item fails.