Have you ever gotten off a night-shift, exhausted, and then decided to go kayaking? I have. In fact, I’ve done it multiple times. It’s in part the only reason I’m still able to kayak as much as I do despite my crazy work schedule. However, if you plan to undertake this craziness, it’s good to keep a few things in mind.
This is important and shouldn’t be underestimated. Driving sleep deprived is as dangerous as driving drunk. Do not drive to the river when you are so tired you are putting yourself and others at risk. It’s not worth it. Period. But if you have a driving buddy, such as my awesome husband, then they can drive while you even get a chance to catch a few pre-river zzz’s.
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you are going kayaking after working a long night shift, this is not the time to try the hardest river you’ve ever done. Stick to rivers within your comfort range because your reflexes might be a little more sluggish than if you were well rested. Also, don’t feel bad for walking around a few more rapids that you might otherwise run. There’s a time and a place for everything.
Believe me, I understand the importance of squeezing in a day on the water. However, don’t forget to catch up on sleep later. After the river, consider taking a nap, or going to bed early that night instead of staying up around the campfire drinking beers with your friends. Without proper sleep, your immune system won’t work as well and more than likely you will end up sick. That will really cut into your paddling time so be good to your body!
Keeping these simple guidelines in mind, there are many good times to be had even with very minimal time off. Hope to see everyone out on the water and be safe!