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Kayak Hygiene

Protecting the environment you're out there enjoying

Roaring 40s Kayaking blog - Kayak Hygiene - cleaning a kayakTasmania’s awesome wilderness waterways give us so much pleasure it would be devastating if we were actually responsible for putting a pristine area at risk. And just one drop of contaminated moisture on a kayak could do that.

Sadly, there are pressing threats to our waterways and surrounding environment by introduced pests, weeds and disease-causing pathogens. For example there's the fungus called Chytrid that threatens to wipe out our native frogs and an algae that's knocking at the door from New Zealand, commonly called rock snot, that has the potential to suffocate our rivers. 

So it's up to each of us to make sure we're not the ones carrying nasty hitchhikers out to ruin our magnificent natural environment.

Roaring 40s Kayaking blog - Kayak Hygiene - cleaning a kayakHere's the kayaking checklist from NRM South:

  • Make sure your boat and equipment is spotless before you use it in a new waterway. Check, clean and dry it between sites, and if you can’t be sure your gear will dry before you next use it, disinfect as well.
  • When washing your boat, soak the footwells and any internal storage compartments with F10 disinfectant (be careful where you drain it – although it is biologically safe it doesn’t belong in a waterway).
  • Neoprene is of particular concern as it takes so long to dry. If you can’t give it at least 48 hours to dry out, soak it in an F10 solution for at least half an hour.
  • Make sure all your other gear is clean and dry before you use it again.
  • And of course, washing your shoes/boots if you're walking around as well.

Tasmania is globally recognised for its environment and we're lucky to be an island which makes keeping pests at bay that bit easier but any slip and we could lose the place we all love to be.

Adapted from nrmsouth.org.au article on kayaking hygiene. Videos on NRM South KayakClean page also illustrate the impact contamination can have and are recommended viewing.

1 May 2017