How long can you paddle a kayak?

I realize age,physical fitness,type of yak all need to be considered but i just want to get a general ideal.

There is a particular part of river that is remote with little access,its about a 3mi stretch of very slow moving water that ends at a dam.You must put in at point(A)and take out at point(A)think its doable?or am i in for a long day as i am a beginner.

I have a pungo 120 duralite.

sounds do-able
How slow is slow? Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s REALLY slow. If you paddle 3 m.p.h., at three miles, that should take you less than an hour going down stream, and more than an hour going up stream. If the river is faster, adjust times accordingly.

What kind of a dam is “a dam”? A low head dam? If so, I trust you know the dangers involved.

Also on the subject of safety, you describe yourself as a beginner. Do you have first hand experience capsizing? pumping your boat out and getting back in on the water? dealing with the effects of hypothermia? Some people will say you shouldn’t paddle alone until you have successfullly answered these questions. Instruction is good too.

Take a lunch and a hammock
you will have time to use them both if you are in shape to do all the things your profile says you do…

I’m 56, (okay shape but I don’t race) and can do 20 mile days on open water lakes…just take your time and don’t make it a race…paddle, use a slow steady pace, stop for lunch, take a nap, then paddle back…

How Long?
I agree with the other post. You can do it. Any on the water activity requires planning and common sense. You ask an intelligent question. Have fun. VF

How long
Yeah,its doable. I’d recommend a few things.

Go with a buddy

Don’t go after a heavy rain.

Know the forecast,especially wind direction

and force.

From what I’ve heard, those Pungos are good paddling boats. If it gets too tough,you can always turn around!

You can do it

– Last Updated: Mar-05-08 4:06 PM EST –

if you set your mind to it.

This 6 miles on slow moving water is a very good beginner distance. Having a dam 3 miles away generally means the wind will have more of an effect than the current.

The Pungo 120 is a great kayak which is roomy, stable and tracks well. Round trip you should be able to paddle it in 2-4 hours. I know this is a big lapse in time but paddle and enjoy the trip. Don't tire yourself. If you develop aches or pains relax and paddle more gently. You have plenty of room in the big cockpit to move around.

Make sure you have a decent paddle. You don't need an expensive paddle but the less expensive heavy flat blade paddles are hard on shoulder muscles.

My first time in a kayak at age 56 was 28 miles down river. 25 days and 486 miles later I paddled into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now at 59 I take a group on a 24 hour 92.5 mile paddle trip with 20 minute stops every 4 hours.

If you will enjoy the trip, ignore the distance you have paddled and the distance you have remaining you will have a much better trip.

Enjoy your day of "Heaven on the Water". Take plenty to drink and a lunch or snacks. Enjoy the beauty of the river and the surroundings and I'm sure this will be a memorable trip.

Just take your time and don't rush.

...and if you aren't a damn good swimmer or the water is too cold, wear a PFD.

ps... after reading your profile, this will be a piece-of cake. Have fun!

Paddlin' on

know your limitations
I agree with the guy that said go with a buddy. Also calling home directly before entry and upon exit is a good idea. Also, make sure you find out if this part of the river you describe has hidden dangers like submerged debris,etc. These can create interesting water situations like hydraulics and eddys and such. These can be horrible to find yourself in if you are unexperienced with them. Even a little wind can make for an interesting(and tiring) day. Practice for long excursions in relatively, flat, slow-moving water first.

How much of a beginner?
I wouldn’t suggest it for your first ever time in your kayak.

Six miles isn’t far. But it’s far enough to:

raise blisters on hands that aren’t used to holding a paddle

highlight that the seat that seemed really comfortable for three minutes in the store needs a bit of adjustment, padding, whatever when you’re really paddling

make you realize that even if you are generally fit, kayaking involves some muscles that you probably don’t use all that much

Don’t Know Yet
I haven’t really gone that far yet. As I stated on my topic, What Muscles Do You Use, I stop to look into the water at sea creatures alot.

I do look forward to doing a long distance trip.


DANG Richard…
“Wear a PFD?”

Is this the twilight zone…?


Just one additional point to the others
Start downriver and paddle against the current first.

A weak moment in time and

…age 60 is just a few days away

Long trip?
We teach classes on Saturdays and have a trip class on Sunday, it’s about a 6 mile paddle w/a stop for lunch. We take our time, have always returned w/the same amount of students that we left with. We also offer them an opportunity to do an after work paddle and that too is about 6 miles, put in about 6pm, off the water by dark (9ish). Very do-able distance for a beginner.

You may be holding your paddle
in a death grip…most beginners do…Wear bike gloves to offset that.

Go as far as you feel a third tired. Then turn around… Six miles seems reasonable but it is not written in stone and no one will punish you if you dont do all of both ways.

If You Can, Ask Someone
If you have noticed some paddlers who paddle this route, stop them, explain your situation, and ask if there’s anything you should look out for.