Spring is in the air, the ice is starting to melt and for many paddlers that means it’s time to get back in the water. But before you pull your kayak or canoe out of storage and head out for the first time this year, let’s make sure we all stay safe out there and review some spring kayaking and canoeing safety tips.
Spring Paddling Safety Tips
Spring weather can be unpredictable, and you may be out of practice if it’s been a while since your last kayaking or canoeing trip. Heading out too early, ignoring the weather or paddling beyond your abilities, can be extremely dangerous. Bear in mind these safety tips as you plan for paddling this spring.
Plan your route, plan for the weather and plan for the worst. Make sure you know what to do if your canoe tips, you get stranded in bad weather or if someone gets hurt.
Don’t Forget to Tell Someone
You want to make sure your share your itinerary with someone you trust. Make sure there’s someone who knows where you should be and when and what to do if you are not.
Do Pack for Winter
It may feel like spring when you are dry, but that water is still cold and if you get wet, it will feel like winter. Pack like you would if it were still winter so that you have everything you need to stay warm and dry.
Don’t Skimp on The Clothing
Nice weather on land doesn’t always mean nice weather on the water. It’s important that you dress like you would for winter, meaning in layers with a waterproof shell and warm gloves.
Make sure your survival gear is going to stay dry. Put your phone in a waterproof case along with your other emergency supplies like matches, first aid kit and a map. And be sure to keep it on you or tethered to your boat so it doesn’t sink if you do flip.
Don’t Be Afraid to Call it Quits
It can be frustrating or embarrassing to have to turn back, but your safety is more important. If you see ice or whitecaps on the lake or are just feeling unsure of your own or other paddlers’ abilities, it may be time to head back.
Do Paddle Smart
Know your skill level, stick to daylight hours, stay close to shore and avoid rough water. If it’s your first time out in a while, paddle a step down from where you left off last year.
Stay Safe On and Off the Water
Spring can be a beautiful time of year for kayaking and canoeing, but it’s important that you stay safe. We hope these tips help you plan for safe fun on the water. If you are also interested in keeping your canoe or kayak safe off the water, consider a beautiful, hand-carved cedar log storage rack from Log Kayak Rack. We offer a variety of wall-mounted and free-standing racks for kayaks, canoes and other small boats.