Canoeing, one of the oldest types of travel, is the perfect excuse for water-loving adventurists to be out on the water, having a great time, while getting some exercise. However, like with other outdoor sports, there are some safety precautions that you should take, not just for your own safety but also for the protection of those around you. Canoeing in the UK is an activity that can be done alone or in a group, and it is surprisingly safe while being accessible to people of all skill levels.
To ensure a safe and pleasant adventure out on the water, it’s imperative that you take the proper precautions. Before canoeing a hundred miles, you’ll want to brush up on the basics of canoeing, even if you’ve never paddled before.
Read through the following tips to enhance your knowledge on canoeing safely.
- Weather Conditions
To begin, and perhaps most importantly, be conscious of the weather and water temperature. It’s essential to be ready for weather changes as well as the danger of capsizing. When things change quickly and you’re taken by surprise, planning ahead and checking the weather report might help you avoid being stuck in a dangerous situation. If you’re going to paddle in chilly water, you should invest in a wet suit or dry suit that will keep you warm and comfortable.
In the summer, a long sleeve shirt or UV protective top can provide sun protection and prevent sunburn or sunstroke. Whether you’re planning a multi-day excursion or just an evening paddle, being informed of current circumstances can assist you in planning ahead and you can avoid being caught off guard, so it’s vital to double-check the weather before heading out with your canoe.
- Canoeing life jacket
This is just as critical as the previous recommendation. Most Coast Guard laws require all canoes to have a lifejacket onboard, depending on where you’re going. Wearing a lifejacket keeps your head above water and provides insulation for your body, keeping you comfortable in frigid water.
- Dress for the conditions
Always dress appropriately for the weather circumstances. Canoeing in cold water or rapidly changing weather conditions without the appropriate attire could be dangerous as it could result in hypothermia. You must make smart clothing choices if you are considering canoeing in chilly or cooler water.
- Know your skill level
The fourth suggestion is to find an acceptable location to safely practice canoeing based on your current skill level. The features of an ideal canoeing setting would include a suitable flat area for launching and landing, wind and wave protection, several spots to get ashore as well as minimum boat traffic. As a beginner to canoeing, it’s preferable to look for tranquil bays, quiet lakes, and riverways with little or no current or danger. As your skill level rises, you’ll be able to explore more difficult terrain.
- Tides and Currents
When canoeing in regions where there are tides or currents, it’s crucial to know how powerful they are. If you’re unfamiliar with currents, it is recommended that you do some research on the location you’ll be visiting, either online or through local resources.
Even if you’re only going for a casual paddle, canoeing is an activity that makes you feel good about yourself. Being outside and close to nature reduces stress, improves sleep, and allows you to reconnect with nature and wildlife. So whether you’re planning a day’s excursion or a long expedition, knowing your skill level and the current conditions will help you plan a safer and more efficient trip. Once you’re well prepared for your canoeing adventure, let yourself enjoy the activity and have a wonderful time!