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For many, the kayak, or the hunterís boat as was called 4,000 years ago, has traditionally been used for fishing in the artic waters. Made famous by Eskimos and fishermen in Alaska, it is now used in many areas of the world for fishing as well as for sport. Many use a wilderness kayak in place of rafts for traversing rivers and lakes for sports other than fishing. They are also popular for transportation for adventure seekers on a trek through lands where other modes of transportation are not welcome by the environment.
A wilderness kayak can be found for one, two or three people who traditionally sit below the water level and ech has their own cockpit. The top is secured to prevent water from entering the vessel, even if it is turned upside down in the water. They sit low to provide less resistance to side winds and for better maneuverability. Most adventurers will use a one-person wilderness kayak, powered by a two-bladed oar. The limited storage space inside the kayak will usually hold extra clothing and other items need to remain dry, but other items are often lashed to the gunwale of the kayak.
A wilderness kayak does not sit low in the water and this feature allows for easy steering, regardless of the water and has proven an effective means of traveling down rapids as well as slow moving streams. They make and excellent form of transportation down waterways through valleys and gorges, unreachable by walking.
Kayaking Takes Some Getting Used To
Unlike a canoe, where the rower usually faces the rear of the boat and travel opposite in the way they are looking, the wilderness kayak rower faces the front and pushes the kayak through the water in the same direction they face. The flat bottom of the kayak can make it tricky to keep upright and very few people can climb into a kayak and use it successfully the first time.
It takes some time to become oriented with the use of a kayak, especially when a wilderness kayak flips upside down in the water. Regaining the upright position takes practice and the place to learn hoe to accomplish this move is not while floating down a fast-running river. Most will learn close to shore with others available to help in case they have too much trouble righting the boat.
While most one-person crafts can be as short as eight-feet, there are wilderness kayaks that range from 12 to 30-feet in length to accommodate more riders. It helps to learn how to work a kayak in a multi-rider craft with a more experienced person in the boat.