The Thrill of Solo Kayaking: Essential Tips for Women

Kayaking solo can be an incredibly rewarding experience for women. It offers a sense of freedom and adventure that is hard to beat. However, to fully enjoy this experience, it is crucial to know how to load, transport, and unload your kayak by yourself. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and successful solo kayaking adventure.

Ensuring Safe Transportation of Your Kayak

Before you embark on your solo kayaking journey, it is essential to have a vehicle that can transport your kayak safely and securely. While not everyone can afford a rugged, heavy-duty vehicle like a Suburban with built-in top racks and a tow package, there are alternative options available.

Vehicle Types


Some cars come equipped with racks on top, making them ideal for transporting kayaks. If your car doesn’t have pre-installed racks, you can modify it to make it kayak-friendly. Websites like provide detailed instructions on how to modify your car for kayak transportation.


For truck owners, simply placing the kayaks in the bed of the truck may seem like an easy option. However, it is crucial to secure the kayaks with straps to ensure safety during transportation.


SUVs, like the Suburban, typically come with top racks. If your SUV is shorter and the front end of your kayak extends beyond the hood, make sure to secure it to prevent any bouncing or tipping.

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Another option is to use a trailer to transport your kayak(s). This method is convenient and straightforward.

Equipment You’ll Need

Investing in the right equipment is essential for safe and hassle-free transportation of your kayak. Ratchet straps should be at the top of your list. They provide the necessary security and confidence during transportation. REI offers step-by-step instructions on securely tying down a kayak, which you can find here.


Choosing the Right Kayak

The first decision you’ll need to make as a beginner is selecting the right type of kayak. There are various options available, such as fishing kayaks, ocean kayaks, and those suitable for river rapids. Make sure you understand the differences between them before making your purchase. You wouldn’t want to end up with a kayak that has unexpected features, like a hole for your bottom!

Loading & Unloading Your Kayak Solo

While it is advisable not to go kayaking alone unless you are familiar with the body of water you’ll be exploring, it is essential to know how to load and unload your kayak independently for various situations.


When loading your kayak onto your car, it is crucial to approach it from its center point to evenly distribute the weight. Lifting it onto your thigh first before transferring it to your shoulder can make the process easier. If your top rack has a roll bar, it becomes simple to walk the kayak onto the roof of your vehicle.


Storing Your Kayak

Properly storing your kayak after a day on the water is essential to keep it clean and prevent any unpleasant odors. Rinse it thoroughly with fresh water, wash it, empty out any remaining water, and store it with your paddle and life jacket until your next adventure.

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The Joy of Solo Kayaking

While kayaking solo as a woman can be an empowering experience, it is crucial to prioritize safety and exercise caution. Familiarize yourself with the body of water you’ll be exploring, and always be prepared for unexpected situations. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the freedom and thrill that kayaking offers, while ensuring your well-being throughout the journey.

If you’re interested in more adventure, check out our post on traveling to Colorado in an RV. And for all your kayaking needs, visit UpStreamPaddle.

Please share your own tips and experiences with solo kayaking in the comment section below. Happy paddling!