Guided Kayaking Adventure Vs Kayak Rental

We often get asked which is better; taking a guided kayaking adventure or renting a kayak and do your own thing.  Well, I would say that all depends on your level of experience and familiarity of the areas you are paddling.  Guided trips, such as the one we offer here at Mahanaim Adventures are all inclusive.  This means that you get qualified guides that are familiar with how to kayak and to do rescues if and when needed.  The guides know the area, the river or ocean currents, local weather patterns and other safety concerns about the river you are paddling.

When you decide to rent a kayak and do your own kayaking adventure on your own, you are assuming all the risks involved.  Before you do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I know how to get myself out of trouble if I get into some sort of trouble on the water? Remember, it is not a question of if you tip your kayak over, it is a question of when you tip over.  If you paddle enough you will get tipped over and have to do a self-rescue.  Do you know what to do when this happens?
  2. Are you familiar with the local weather patterns and make accurate decision on when to turn around or to not go out on the water? Weather conditions can change quickly even under the best of circumstances; don’t get caught out in bad weather.
  3. Are you familiar with the area and the currents of the river you are paddling? This is very important.  Getting lost or getting yourself in the wrong location to deal with the wake of a containership on the Cape Fear River can make your trip memorable for the wrong reasons.

In short when you are considering the question of taking a guided adventure or renting a kayak; ask yourself the questions above.  When taking a guided kayaking adventure, you can concentrate on having fun with your group, not worrying about all that can possibly go wrong.  When you rent a kayak and do your own thing, you are assuming all the risks yourself.  You are saying that you know and understand all the risks involved and are capable of rescuing yourself from a bad situation without ANY outside help.

Don & Diane Harty own Mahanaim Adventures.  They specialize in helping families and groups to have “Positive & Memorable” outdoor adventures.  Whether these are wildlife view adventure, camping adventure or a simple kayaking adventure.  They provide kayaking adventures on Town CreekCape Fear River, Fort Fisher BasinMasonboro IslandBlack RiverHolly Shelter Creek and Moores Creek.  Oh, yes, we do rent kayaks also.  Contact them at for more information about all of their adventures.