Video: Preparing for Paddling
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So we are getting ready for a trip down the inland waterway.
But before we get on the water, we always go through our pre-departure checklist.
Check the weather and water conditions. Leave a float plan, such as via the ACA Paddle Ready app. Know your boat’s capacity. Inspect your gear. Secure any loose gear.
Then there’s you. Make sure you and everyone has a life jacket and a whistle. Dress for the weather. A hat or helmet, foot protection, a leash if you’re paddleboarding, and sunscreen.
Pop Quiz! What’s the single most important safety item for any paddler?
You got it! A life jacket or PFD. Wear it.
Choose the one best suited for you and your environment. And your job is to wear it.
And since the water can be cooler than the air, we always dress for the temperature of the water. Now you can use the three-layer method.
I prefer to use a dry top or a drysuit as my outer layer in the cold. Most importantly, remember to dress for immersion. Often that means you should cover all of your skin with a wetsuit or drysuit and layers.
And before you leave, don’t forget your first-aid kit and necessary rescue gear.
Go through your checklist before every paddle. That way you can relax and enjoy your time out on the water or wherever it takes you.