Summertime is almost here, and we’re all hyped about creating the best memories while engaging in exciting water recreational activities. However, if you’re planning an epic canoeing trip this summer, it’s time to inform yourself of the safety tips that every paddler should know about beforehand.
Here are the top six canoe safety tips for ensuring you and your companions have the best time while paddling out on the water!
1- Know How to Enter and Sit in Your Canoe
To avoid any mishaps while entering and sitting in your canoe, you should follow the given steps:
- Get someone to hold the canoe steady when you’re about to get in the vessel.
- Keep your knees bent, crouch low, and grab the sides of the canoe for balance as you walk to your seat.
- Always keep your footing along the center of the canoe, as staying on the centerline will prevent it from rocking.
- Sitting on the side of your canoe can cause you to tip over, which is why you should remain seated on the center of the canoe at all times.
- Don’t attempt to stand up or walk in your canoe when you’re away from the shoreline.
2- Carry a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
When you’re riding on a canoe, you never know when you might lose balance and fall over. That’s why it is essential to wear your life jacket (or any other PFD) during the canoeing trip. Moreover, it shouldn’t matter if you’re an experienced swimmer, as you’re required to wear a personal flotation device by law when you’re canoeing either way.
3- Store Your Canoeing Gear at the Right Place
Keeping the right balance is crucial if you want your canoe to remain stable on the water. The essential gear you pack for your trip should be placed strategically to not disbalance the vessel’s stability. For this, you should keep all the heavy stuff lower in the boat and tie it down with ropes if there’s even a slight chance of experiencing rough waters during your trip.
4- Stay Low
The lower you stay in your canoe, the better stability you’ll get. That’s why several American canoes don’t usually have a seat installed in them. With no seats, paddlers have to kneel on the floor and weigh as low as possible.
5- Pack a Spare Paddle
While keeping your balance is the name of the game when it comes to canoeing, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of packing a spare paddle as well. That’s because if you lose or break your only paddle during your canoeing trip, you wouldn’t have any other way to control your boat.
6- Don’t Forget to Tether Your Paddle
It’s also helpful to tether your paddle to the canoe if it gets wrenched from your hands. While a spare paddle is clearly stored for this purpose, sometimes you don’t have enough time to grab it and regain control of your canoe under rough water conditions in time.
These six canoe safety tips will prove to be of major help, whether you’re an experienced canoer or trying your hand at this for the first time!