Safety Tips for Your Next Canoeing Trip
Traveling down river in a kayak or canoe has become a popular summer recreation across many areas of the country. It offers just the right balance of relaxation and exercise, which exposing you to some of the most beautiful scenery that our country has to offer. If you are planning a canoeing expedition this summer, be sure to follow these safety tips from the American Canoe Association (ACA).
- Always wear a life jacket! You should expect to capsize at some point during your trip and swift river waters and deep oceans and lakes can make that hazardous without a personal flotation device.
- Planning is important. Make sure that you are prepared and have your trip planned before departing. Know your route, find stopping points for breaks and lunch before hand, and let people know where you will be. Designate one person to notify the proper people if you are not back on time.
- Practice Cold Water Safety. If water temperature is 60 degrees fahrenheit or below, you should always wear a wetsuit to protect from cold water shock or hypothermia.
- Know the “Rules of the Road” – Sharing the waterways is important. Wear bright clothing so that you are visible to larger vessels. Do not cut in the patch of motor powered vehicles. Follow proper lanes or channel restrictions, and remember that any vessel less than 20 meters should not impede the passage of a larger ship, whether it is powered or not.
- Safety Checks! Be prepared for low light conditions, know how you will contact help if needed, make preparations to treat minor medical injuries, prepare for changes in weather patterns, and go over a pre-trip check list to make sure that you have all of the supplies that you will expect to need. Make sure that your lights are working, your life vest is in working order, and that your canoe and paddles are undamaged and sturdy. Using a canoe cover during the off-season can prevent wear and tear or damage.