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Paddling Safety

Some thoughts for kayakers & canoeists on oceans, rivers, or lakes.

Preparation & PreventionCoping with Problems
Equipment
  • know how to use it
  • know how to not abuse it
  • know its limitations
See Rescue Below
Paddling Skills
  • Learn good technique and effective strokes
  • Use large muscle groups and skeletal system
  • Know the limits of your own skills and endurance
See Rescue Below
Reading the Water
  • Consider the effects of chop, swell, waves, current, bottom, eddies, holes, and shoreline
See Rescue Below
Weather
  • Consider the forecast, weather systems, and the prevailing winds
See Rescue Below
Navigation
  • Know how to use charts, compass, and topo maps
  • Know the rules of the road
  • Know landmarks, water levels, and put-ins and take-outs
See Rescue Below
Fatigue
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Eat a high calorie diet – fats, proteins, carbs, sugars
  • Keep refueling food handy - Stay hydrated
See Rescue Below
Hypothermia
  • Control the effects of the wind, water, and temp with layers of clothing – wool and synthetics (polypro, etc.) or wet or dry suits
See Rescue Below
Rescue
  • Cover all the above and avoid needing rescue!
  • Carry PFDs, spare paddle, hand-held radio, pulley system, sea anchor, EPIRB
  • Don’t paddle alone
  • Know how to cope