Kayaking is a multi-sensory sport. You get your exercise in – in fact, your whole body gets a workout. Your whole body includes your brain too! While Kayaking, you need to watch where you’re going, keep tabs on the comings and goings of tides, and your position. And don’t forget keeping an eye out for great photo ops!
These reasons alone are enough to plan a longer kayaking excursion. If you already love day trips in a kayak or a canoe, have you ever thought about extending it for a few… days?
If you love nature and camping, then this is the extra step that you can take to see it all from a completely different perspective.
Even if you think you know a place, seeing it from a kayaker’s perspective often changes the way you see it. The becomes different, the time flows slower and you can witness a whole new world coming to life in front of you.
Late last year my husband and I spent weeks kayaking around the San Francisco Bay – and surrounding bodies of water. Although we grew up there and thought we knew it through and through, we were surprised at the world that existed only steps away from that we never actually knew about.
Here is a list of 3 of the most amazing kayak adventures you can take – from the frozen worlds of Alaska and Norway to the tropical rivers of South America:
Let’s start off with the most rugged, but also what some kayakers consider the most rewarding route on the list. Kayaking in the fjords of Norway is a calming, tranquil and humbling experience.
There are many day trip options here – including a few urban choices like Oslo Kayak Tours for those who don’t plan on really “going into the wild” – it’s an amazing way to see the city though!
There are many kayaking centres and operators scattered everywhere along the coast. You can’t go wrong here. Small villages like Frafjord (just below Bergen), Balestrand, Moreland, Isane, Geiranger have a place where you can rent a kayak and slip into an amazing Nordic landscape.
If you’re looking for something even more rugged, and more remote, you can look for a tour operator that specializes in wilderness survival, kayak fishing excursions, or like Kandoo Adventures, kayaking in the most remote areas of the world – Svalbard. Why? To feel the amazing solitude that you will probably never feel again. There is something incredible and honest in an experience like that. In their own words:
“Plush hotels are all well and good, but wouldn’t you rather be camping in the wild, surrounded by the severe arctic beauty and a breath-taking view from your tent with barely another soul in sight?”
If you want to feel the wilderness vibe but still be home in time for a grilled salmon dinner, come to Alaska. In fact, come to Kenai!
The Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most spectacular spots you will ever kayak in. It will make you feel in awe of nature, and the kayak will give you a rare perspective into the goings-on of local bird species, whales and fish.
From puffins to eagles and many different species of whales and other marine mammals, Kenai Fjords does not disappoint. This is a great place for any beginner – even kids. There are operators that will take you out for a day or even a half-day, so you can experience everything in a short outing.
All kinds of kayaking excursions that leave from Seward. From here you can paddle off to the many kayak-in campsites in the park. Multi-day tours are available from May to August, which is considered the height of the Alaskan summer tour season.
In fact, most of your guides will actually pack up like migrating birds and fly away to Hawaii just in time for their tour season once August is over.
Alaskan kayaking guides are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people I have met in my life. They know their stuff, their surroundings and they know what to look for and what to show you.
If you have never imagined yourself floating quietly in the middle of a giant ice field, one of the 38 glaciers descending into the water in front of you, this might just be a life-changing experience.
If you have a chance to see the Amazon rainforest, the only way to see it is by kayak. Stop right there if you’re even considering staying at a lodge or a hotel and listening to the birds and monkeys through a mosquito net. Get out there!
The reason that a kayak is especially useful here, is that the river is the only way to actually get into the heart of the jungle. Take a side tour from the main body of the Amazon river into one of the hundreds of her small tributaries and see the real rainforest.
Even people who take tours by motorboat will miss these quiet meandering watery pathways and never admire the forest in silence. Well – free of human sound, that is. The rain forest is never silent.
You will be able to see parts of the Amazon rain forest that is actually floating in the water, feel alone in the vast jungle and experience it’s complexity first hand.
Trips are available in Equador, Guyana, Bolivia, Peru, and other countries that are home to the Amazon rain forest.
Practice at home, and go see the world from a unique angle
It takes a bit of practice to be ready for a week-long kayaking adventure. You have to get ready and train, even if you want to go for a day-long excursion. Don’t leave it up to the last minute either!
It’s recommended to do some strength training and cardio beforehand. This way, you will enjoy your trip a lot more. And your body won’t play any surprises on you! I remember when I first jumped in a kayak after my pregnancy. It was as if my body simply wouldn’t obey me and refused to perform the actions I told it to.
The moral is – know your body. Some helpful fitness tips for kayakers are:
- Maintain core strength, don’t only focus on your arms!
- Develop endurance by jogging or swimming because paddling from point a to point b takes a lot of stamina.
- Resistance training and weight training – you are literally pushing a kayak through the water with a small paddle. You need a lot of muscle strength to accomplish that!
It’s best to talk to a trainer at your gym for personalized, safe advice for how to prepare for an adventure. A trip like this can be the perfect reward for a fitness goal. See you out there!