Things To Know About Kayaking

Jun 22, 2022Activities

by Candace Miller Photography, Montrose CO

It’s the day after the summer solstice and that has me thinking a lot about kayaking. I don’t know about you, but we love kayaking. When our kids were little they sat in our boats with us while we paddled around, and now they have their own and can zoom around the lakes and reservoirs which makes it even more fun because we can stay out longer!

There are a few things to think about when you are planning a kayaking trip and I’m going to tell you the things that we usually do for ours! This is by no means the only way to do it, but it works for us!candacemillerphotography_ridgway_colorado_kayaking02

First, you will want to decide where to go. We have several great places to go here on the Western Slope and some of those I’ll keep to myself but the ones that are not so secret are: Blue Mesa Reservoir, Ridgway Reservoir, and Silver Jack Reservoir. All three of these places have lots of room to explore and make for a great day of kayaking.

The next thing you will need are boats. We have our own kayaks because we go regularly but if you don’t, you can check out Montrose Surf and Cycle and Sports Rewind and they should be able to help you out with rentals or tell you where you can find them.



Things that you absolutely can NOT go without:

  1. PFD – Personalize floatation device (life jackets!!!) for EVERYONE!! ABSOLUTE MUST!!
  2. PADDLES AND PADDLE TETHER (OR LEASH) – you don’t want to be stranded on the water and most places you rent from will include paddles but make sure you have a paddle tether – kayak paddle tether
  3. WATER – to drink!! Make sure you stay hydrated while you are on the lake.
  4. SUNGLASSES AND HAT – protect yourself from the sun. It is intense on the water and even your eyes can get sunburned. Make sure you have adequate sun protection.
  5. SUNBLOCK – again the sun and reflection on the water can be really harsh. Make sure you are covered.
  6. FOOD – we usually start in the morning and paddle around until we find a good spot to stop for lunch, dock, have a picnic, and then stay a while longer. Make sure you have enough food energy to get back to your car.
  7. BUG REPELLENT – depending on the time of year and the time of day you are kayaking, you may encounter so not so friendly blood suckers (they tend to like the water).
  8. WATERPROOF CONTAINER FOR VALUABLES – dry bags are great for wallets, keys, phones, and anything else you don’t want to get wet. We usually keep our phones in our lifejacket pockets so we can take photos but you if are new and prone to tipping, you might not want to try that…or get a waterproof phone case that hangs around your neck.

AND…this is pretty obvious but you need a way to carry your kayak. Make sure you are strapping it securely without causing damage to the boat, and make sure your tie downs can be secured to the vehicle without too much stress to your vehicle, the boat, or yourself. We use a trailer with kayak carriers and it makes carrying 4 kayaks a lot easier than putting them on the roof of the car…ours look like this but mounted to a trailer Kayak Carriers

Here’s to filling your summer with great adventures and enjoying the creations we have around us! I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you go kayaking and if you do, tell me which place is your favorite! Out of those 3 places, Ridgway is probably my favorite. I love the view of the mountains and the color of the water! And don’t forget, the best time to go is early summer, so get moving! What are you waiting for!?



your friendly neighborhood kayak loving photographer,


  1. Michelle Robertson

    How fun!!! I have never been kayaking but this is the perfect list of things you need when whether you’re a beginner or expert!

  2. Jodi

    Love this. I went kayaking for the first time in May last year in Florida and LOVED it. I’m now set on getting my own kayak and making it a usual thing! Thanks for the reminders on what to take with us! Great tips

  3. Brandi

    I love kayaking! Have only been on vacation and am hoping to do that again this summer! Great reminders for seasoned veterans and beginners alike!

    • cmphotographyowner

      Brandi, I think you and I should get together sometime, haha. We have a lot in common. You would love kayaking in Colorado!


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