9 Canoe and Kayak Safety Tips

  1. Always inform someone of your travel plans for the day.
  2. Conduct research ahead of time. Whether paddling the river, lake, or ocean, research the body of water in advance of your trip so you are familiar with how to safely navigate. Confirm the trip is within your experience level. It is also a great idea to research weather patterns, water levels, and tide schedules (when applicable).
  3. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Sun rays reflect off the water, frequently apply SPF 30 or greater throughout the day.
  4. Carry plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  5. Safely secure your boat while transporting on a vehicle. 
  6. Before you depart the shores, confirm your total weight including gear stays within the kayak’s/canoe’s weight capacity limits.
  7. Always wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water. It could save your life!
  8. Keep a whistle handy in the event of an emergency.
  9. Dress appropriately for the weather and for the water temperatures. It is a good idea to pack a dry bag with extra layers and dry clothes.