Sea Kayaker's Pocket Guide / Edition 1

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Like having a trusted guide at your side

Ingenious, simple, and eminently practical, Sea Kayaker's Pocket Guide is all you need to get out on the water and start kayaking. Experienced kayak guide and instructor Shelley Johnson provides expert advice on pretrip planning, launching (and landing) your kayak, paddling tips, weather and navigation, safety and first aid, and leave-no-trace camping. This guide is illustrated throughout by helpful photographs and drawings. Next to your paddle, this book could be the most important item you pack.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071375283
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: Pack 'EM and Go Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Shelley Johnson is a contributing editor to Canoe & Kayak, an American Canoe Association - certified kayak instructor, and a registered Maine Guide. She is a frequent contributor to Atlantic Coastal Kayaker and Kayak Touring and the author of Sea Kayaking: A Woman's Guide and The Complete Sea Kayaker's Handbook.
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Table of Contents

Before You Go

Trip Planning

Having a Plan; Getting the Forecast; Timing the Tide

Clothing and Equipment

Staying Warm, Staying Dry; Staying Cool; Life Vests (PFDs); Checking Your Gear; Adjusting the Fit

Pretrip Details

Who to Contact; Float Plan; Ten Essentials; Organizing Your Gear

Launch Day

Transporting Kayaks

Kayaks on Cars; Carrying Your Kayak

At the Beach or Dock

Trimming and Packing the Boat; Launch Site Checklist

Getting In and Out of Your Kayak

At the Beach; Launching and Landing at a Dock; Launching in Surf

On the Water

Paddling Smart

Paddle Grip; Moving Forward; Turning (Sweep Strokes); Pacing; Crossing a Current (Ferrying); Staying on Course

Reading the Conditions

Cloud Types; Beaufort Scale (Wind Speed Table); Predicting Wind Direction; Weather Sayings and Observations; Wave Heights

Group Travel

Formations; Group Signals

Challenges at Sea

Strong Winds; Beam Seas; Following Seas; Squalls; Fog; Boat Traffic

Night Paddling

Traveling Safely; Night Signals


Navigation Skills

Compass Rose; Buoys; Light Characteristics; Latitude-Longitude Readings; Taking a Bearing; Line of Position; Ranges; Determining Speed of Travel; Determining a Fixed Point; Tidal Current Calculations; Where Am I?

Electronic Navigation

GPS Waypoints; Storing GPS Information

On the Air

VHF Radio Signals; VHF Radio Protocol

Emergency Situations

When Things Go Wrong

Distress Signals; Lightning; Capsize!; Capsized Partner; Rescue Sling; Lost Kayaker

When It's Time to Tow

Towing in Seas; Close-Contact Towing; Stabilizing the Towed Paddler

Going Ashore

Getting There

Landing Sites; Landing in Surf; Public Access


Choosing a Campsite; Setting Up Camp; Using Salt Water; How Much Water?; Leave-No-Trace Kayaking; Gray-Water Disposal; Waste Disposal


Sea Birds; Marine Mammals; Stranded Animals

Field Repairs

Boat Repairs

Leaks; Composite (Cloth and Resin) Kayaks; Plastic Kayaks; Rudder and Skeg Jams; Jammed Foot Braces; Bulkhead Repairs

Accessory Repairs

Paddle Breaks; Jammed Paddle Ferrules; Vinyl (Dry Bags, etc.); Dry Suits and Dry Tops; Neoprene

First Aid

Muscles and Joints

Wrist Aches; Shoulder Aches; Dislocated Shoulder; Sprained Ankle; Backaches; Numb Feet

Heat and Cold

Sunburn; Dehydration; Hypothermia; Hyperthermia

Nature's Offerings

Salt-Water Rashes; Barnacle Cuts; Deer Ticks; Red Tide; Brown-Tail Moths; Poisonous Plants

Frequent Complaints

Blisters; Burns; Contact Lens Problems

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