7 Things Everyone Should Know Before Hitting the Water
There are so many reasons to get out there and enjoy a day of canoeing with friends. It can kill stress. It’s good for your health. It’s a great hobby that will always challenge you and bring you to new places (both physically and mentally.) And, most importantly, it is loads of fun.
Of course, all the fun and excitement of canoeing comes with a reasonable share of responsibility as well. Safety, environmental care, and cooperative use of the waterways are all duties of any and everyone who hits the water, and this obvious includes paddlers.
When it comes to handling our responsibilities, knowledge really is power. In this article, we will cover seven things that everyone should know before setting out on a canoeing excursion.
- Rules of the Waterway. Unless you have traveled out to a truly remote and exotic location, the odds are good that you are going to be sharing the waterways with at least a couple of other water vehicles. This means much more than simply bringing a cooperative attitude. It means understanding a few basic rules of the waterway. For example, no matter how far in front of an oncoming vessel as you may be, it is always safer to cross astern rather than in front of that vehicle. Moreover, it is important that you move toward (and stay next to) the nearest shoreline whenever a larger vessel is coming through. Finally, any time a change of your direction could impact other boaters around you, it is important to signal that change with your arms or with any device you may have.
- Don’t take the wake broadside. If a motorized vehicle is passing by you, the waves left in the wake can potentially affect your boat. You will be far less likely to capsize or experience adverse effects if you turn head-on toward the oncoming waves rather than taking them broadside.
- Be Seen and Be Heard. Always ensure that you have the proper equipment needed to be seen and heard (i.e. reflective clothing, lights, and a whistle) should the need arise.
- You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s worth repeating: lifejackets are a water safety necessity, and you should never set out without them.
- Local Geography. Being familiar with the local geography is in order to avoid potential dangers of boating, as well as to avoid getting lost. This can also help enhance your trip by leading you to interesting places along the journey.
- The Forecast. Adverse weather can potentially cause grave danger to boaters, so be certain to check the forecast before leaving and to pay attention to any potential threats before they become a problem.
- Leave No Trace. Last but not least, it is important to remember that you have a responsibility to other boats and to mother nature in general. Always clean up after yourself and do everything in your power that you have left no trace in the course of your outing.
For more Canoeing tips, visit the MyCanoe blog today!