The Benefit vs. Hazard Of Resting In Your Fishing Kayak

After you spend long hours in your kayak paddling and fishing, you’re likely to get tired. Stretching while standing up or lying down on the saddle of your W500 fishing kayak can be invigorating or relaxing, and will help drive away fatigue and keep fresh.
Resting while lying down on the saddle (longitudinal seat) may be tempting due to the stability and comfort offered by the W500, but it’s not necessarily recommended because it’s so cozy that you might actually fall asleep, and that could be very dangerous.

If you think there’s even a small chance that you could fall asleep in your kayak, you’d better be anchored in water that’s very shallow, that is enough for you stand in safely and comfortably in case you lose balance and fall overboard.  Shallow water means not more than knee deep. It’s always good to remember that “stuff happens” is not just an empty phrase – it’s real life, which can be cruel. Deep water is dangerous enough even when you’re fully awake, and for your information, it is actually possible to drown in water that you can stand in.

Falling asleep in your kayak involves taking the risk of being exposed to predators, such as alligators or sharks in the water, and bears and other large size land predators on the nearby shore. Sounds improbable to you? Well, statistics include all events, including improbable ones.

Sleeping in a kayak that’s not solidly anchored can be particularly hazardous, because you might drift too far from shore, or into deep or turbulent water, or to an area that can be otherwise dangerous to you. make sure you’re well anchored, and try to attach your kayak to a branch, if possible.

Taking a nap in your kayak is extremely perilous when the water is cold, because falling in such water while you’re asleep might lead to a shock, and be quickly followed by hypothermia, which can reduce your ability to move and prevent you from rescuing yourself, and thus be lethal.

If your paddle is not properly secured in case you fall asleep in your kayak, the result could be more than awkward, since losing it would prevent you from paddling back to shore in time before darkness, or before a storm.

Sleeping in a kayak with hooks and bait around could cause you to hook yourself, or attract some unwanted visitors…

Always, and in all circumstances, leave on your personal flotation device (PFD). Wearing your PFD is your best bet against drowning, although in itself it’s not enough.

You should avoid falling asleep in your kayak especially if there’s even a slight chance of a fast motorboat going by. Even if the driver can see you and avoid a collision with your fishing kayak, the wake their motorboat leaves could make you lose balance and fall overboard, and even capsize your kayak if you panic.

Although some irresponsible kayak anglers say that wearing waders is OK when you’re kayak fishing, it is not. It’s one thing to plan testing a concept in a controlled environment such as in one’s swimming pool, and a totally different thing to have to deal with a problem in real life, which tends to catch you by surprise. Therefore, falling asleep in your kayak while you’re wearing waders is much more dangerous.

Never drink alcohol on board a fishing kayak (or any other small watercraft for that matter), and don’t use mind altering substances or drugs. Remember – drowning is easier than you think. Being drowsy while operating a small watercraft can be enough to cause a fatal accident, and many deaths by drowning are related to substance abuse.

Don’t take the risk of falling asleep in direct sun on a hot and bright day! Being asleep won’t prevent you from getting a sun stroke, and paddling while you’re sun stricken and dehydrated is much harder, and it could prevent you from making it back to shore…

Falling asleep in your kayak while you’re on your own and there’s no one else around is much more dangerous. Generally, it’s highly recommended to go kayak fishing and paddling in a group, since it’s safer.

Kayak angler lying down in his W500 fishing kayak

You need to remember that this list of recommendations can only be partial, since covering all potential risks involved in taking a nap in your kayak is practically impossible, and those risks are multiple and varied.

If there’s one thing you can remember from this article try to remember this:  Don’t fall asleep in your kayak!

Author: DIY engineer

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