Do you have a hunger for adventure with a different flavor? Then kayaking in Alaska needs to be on your bucket list. There are so many amazing things about this state, and bringing the adventure of kayaking in, pushes it over the edge.
In Alaska, sea kayaking is very popular, and there are several trips available to do this, varying in price from $50 to $400 depending on what is included with the trip. There are evening kayaking trips available on which you would be able to experience the full beauty of the Northern Lights.
Other than the Northern Lights being a great attraction to kayak in the icy waters of Alaska being one amazing experience the state offers, you could also go kayaking with whales. What a profound way to be a part of nature.
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Kayaking In Alaska
Kayaking in Alaska is perfect for those adventurous spirits who love nature and finding something extraordinary. In Alaska, not only do you have the absolutely beautiful Northern Lights, which are solar storms happening on the sun, you have the amazing glaciers to admire and even whales to kayak with.
What more would you want? In Alaska, there is so much nature to experience and to experience it from a kayak on the water makes it so much more rewarding, making you feel like you are one with nature watching the sun fight battles with storms letting off the most beautiful images for the world to enjoy.
Alaska is known for being quite cold, so it would be best to prepare yourself for the weather you plan kayaking in. If you are planning on kayaking in the winter in Alaska, you may have to dress quite similar to an Eskimo, wearing your wet or dry suit under a tracksuit with a hat and scarf as well.
If you are planning to swim through some of the water or in case of capsizing and unplanned landings in the water, a wetsuit may be the better option of attire as it keeps you warm when you are wet and enables you to have a much larger range of mobility.
If you are sure that you won’t be getting out of the kayak, perhaps a dry suit would be better. Drysuits are good at keeping you warm in extremely cold weather when you are dry, they are quite bulky, though, and if you land up in the water, they will keep you warm although it might be uncomfortable.
When planning your Alaskan kayaking trip, you should consider what time of the year you would be going kayaking there to properly plan and prepare the necessary things like what to wear to keep you safe. Even though Alaska is known for being very cold, you should still protect yourself from the sun.
Do You Need Papers To Kayak In Alaska?
Some states require that young boaters and kayakers go through boater education and receive a boating license. Alaska is not one of these states, and they do not have any licensing requirements for boaters. It would be good to educate young kayakers on some safety practices before allowing them to kayak on their own, though.
However, the state does not have a minimum age requirement for boat operators, so the responsibility falls to the parent or guardian to assess whether their child is ready to take on this adventure on their own. Young children should also be kayaking in a group with adults, and if they encounter a dangerous situation, there will be help around.
Older kids going to their teenage years should be able to make low-risk kayaking trips on their own if their parents are confident that they can handle themselves. When on a camping trip and the teenagers want to entertain themselves, they can grab the kayak and explore the beauty and nature of Alaska from a kayak.
Does Your Kayak Need To Be Registered In Alaska?
There are only seven states in America where your kayak needs to be registered. Alaska does require motorized vessels of any kind, and it could have the smallest motor on it will need to be registered. If your kayak is only powered by human strength, it does not need to be registered.
However, if you put a small motor of any kind on your kayak, you would need to register your vessel. The reason that boat registration is required is that there is documentation to prove that you are the rightful owner of the vessel. There are fees involved with registering a vessel; the state uses these fees.
The state uses these fees to promote responsible boating and sustain natural resources. The state does things with the fees they receive from boat registrations, such as maintaining marinas and boat ramps and other outdoor features to ensure boaters have the best experience.
As with most things where governments are involved, there is a process involved in getting your motorized kayak registered in Alaska. When first applying for your motorized kayak’s registration, you would need to provide papers proving that you own the kayak; you would need to display the boat registration numbers correctly.
The federal law guides on how to display boat registration numbers correctly. Once you have completed the registration process, which we will be getting into soon, your boat will be registered for three years, and the registration will end in the month that you registered your vessel at the end of that month.
You register your motorized kayak at the DMW, and you would have to take a few things with you; you need to take your proof of ownership, the fees for registering your vessel, and boat application which is the B1 form. The DMW will then issue you the registration papers for your motorized kayak.
Do You Need To Wear A Life Jacket To Kayak In Alaska?
Most of the states in America seem to have similar rules on this, children under a certain age, 13 years old in Alaska, are required to wear their lifejackets when they are on any vessel, using a jet ski, or paddling. The requirement for adults is a life jacket easily accessible on the vessel with them, one per person.
When it comes to kayaks, there is not a lot of space, so the most efficient way to have your lifejacket easily accessible is to wear your lifejacket. Lifejackets greatly decrease the risk of drowning. You may consider yourself an avid swimmer; however, situations can arise where you cannot sustain yourself.
One never expects an accident to happen, and so accidents aren’t prepared for. You know that you can swim, so you don’t put on your life jacket. A freak accident occurs, you break your leg, you’re alone in the middle of open water, and your kayak capsizes. You have a broken leg and an upside-down kayak.
Chances are, in that situation, you won’t be the best swimmer, and it would greatly benefit you if you were wearing your PFD (Personal Floatation Device). This scenario seems very unlikely, but accidents do happen and since hindsight is always 2020, maybe use some wisdom, learn from the past and wear your life jacket.
Can You Get A DUI For Drunk Kayaking In Alaska?
Drunk driving is a very serious offense, but kayaking drunk? It, too, is a very serious offense that there are laws against even in Alaska. Alaska has a BWI (boating while intoxicated) law. You operate a vessel while intoxicated and get caught, and there can be some serious consequences for you.
In Alaska, you are considered intoxicated if your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. It sounds like fun to go camping have a few beers, and explore the beautiful nature of Alaska on your kayak. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and your response times.
If you are intoxicated on a kayak and encounter a dangerous situation, you may not be able to get yourself out of it. Even if you’re a very experienced kayaker, if you are drunk, you may not think clearly and end up doing the exact opposite of what is required at that moment.
You may end up putting yourself in dangerous situations if you go kayaking while intoxicated. Alcohol seems to take the much-needed fear factor out of our brains. It might mean that you see a whale while kayaking, and instead of maintaining a respectful distance from the majestic creature, you try and swim with it.
While whales are beautiful majestic creatures, they can be dangerous, especially when they feel threatened. They may mistake a kayak for a seal and think that you would make a great dinner. Swimming with a whale can be unwise unless trained professionals help in certain settings; other things could go wrong.
One of these other things that could go wrong is the water temperature. As mentioned multiple times, Alaska is very cold, so landing up in the water with the wrong clothing could have grave repercussions.
Are there kayaking Meets in Alaska?
Kayaking is a wonderful sport to participate in, and you can see the wonders of the world and the state from the water when kayaking, but sometimes it can get lonely if you do this alone. Thankfully this problem is easily solved.
There are kayaking tours available in Alaska, which means you will be joining with a group of people to explore some of the most amazing places in Alaska. There are guided tours with multi-day trip options to ensure that you have the most amazing experience while in Alaska.
Some lodge-based adventures mean you sleep over at a lodge for a few days and embark on a different adventure every day. You go on kayaking trips and stay overnight at campsites and continue kayaking the following day, being one with nature for the evening sleeping under the Northern Lights.
You may want to make a solo kayak trip, and if you are a local, that’s perfect as you can experience the wonders of Alaska anytime you want. However, if you take a trip to Alaska or go there on vacation, it may be wise to take a guided kayaking trip. The tour guides are experienced and know Alaska well.
The best way to experience every part of Alaska that you would like to would be to take a guided tour. The tour guides know the ins and outs of Alaska and will ensure that you have the most amazing experience while you are there. They will know the best spots and which spots are dangerous, use them and trust them.
What Are The Dangers Of Kayaking?
There are a few dangers to kayaking. In Alaska, hypothermia can be a real concern, especially if you plan to go kayaking in the winter. You would need to invest in a decent wet or dry suit to ensure that you are warm enough when kayaking. A danger with kayaking almost exclusive to Alaska is the whales.
Whales are beautiful majestic creatures, and it would be an amazing experience to kayak alongside them and see them in their natural habitat. One must still respect them and acknowledge that they can be dangerous, they may mistake a kayak for a seal, and sometimes the humpback whales leap from the water.
If they leap from the water close to your kayak, you may find yourself in a little bit of trouble as they are quite large creatures and may land on your kayak, or they may disrupt the water causing your kayak to capsize. It would be best to keep some distance between yourself and the whales to ensure some safety.
If you ever have the privilege to go kayaking in Alaska, take it! It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience from kayaking with whales to seeing the Northern Lights; what amazing stories you will have to tell your family and friends and even your grandchildren, as these experiences will stick with you forever.
In Alaska, as in most states, you should not be intoxicated while kayaking; this is dangerous and foolish and can cause you a lot of pain. You don’t have to register your kayak in Alaska, and kids of any age can operate them as long as kids under 13 have their life jackets on; kayaking in Alaska will be an adventure for the books.