Basic Safety



If a vessel is bigger or faster than you are, keep out of its way! Your chance of being hit increases if you’re not seen. Do what you can to be noticed.

BE VISIBLE. Avoid being a target for larger or faster crafts.

BE PREPARED. Avoid being a statistic.

·         Wear Brightly-colored Life Jacket. International Orange and bright lemon yellow are probably best in most conditions.

·         Use a Paddle with high-visibility blades.

·         Wear a whistle. Be sure it works when it’s wet.

·         Carry a waterproof flashlight and signal flares. Even if you plan to be in before dark. Wind-up flashlights don’t require batteries.

·         Bring Sunblock, Hat, Nylon Jacket and Pants – to protect from weather / temperature extremes.

·         Bring Water and Food. Be able to hydrate and nourish yourself. Include extra for unexpected delays.

·         Bring your daily prescription meds, and other personal emergency medications in your waterproof bag – Enough for the trip plus 3 days extra. If possible bring a copy of original prescription provided by your doctor.

·         Have on your person: Waterproof Personal Picture ID.

·         Every canoe should have a fully stocked FIRST AID KIT.

·         Every canoe should have a crew with CPR and Cold Water Training experience.




Band Aids, butterfly bandages, sterile gauze pads

Adhesive tape

Ace bandages to wrap sprains

Triangle bandage (for sling or large wound)

Moleskin for blisters

Antiseptic cream – topical pain relief

Antibiotic ointment – kills germs

Iodine, and alcohol pads, Hydrogen peroxide

Sun block lotion and lip balm

After-sun lotion, burn cream

Water purification tablets

Cramp tablets and sore muscle cream

Antacid tablets for upset tummy, and Kaopectate for diarrhea relief

Extra-strength Tylenol

Ibuprofen anti-inflammatory tablets

Throat lozenges

Eye drops

Bee Sting Kit / Allergy Kit (with Caladryl, Benedryl, tea bags, etc.) CLICK HERE  for info

Tweezers and magnifying glass

Small mirror

Safety pins (mix of large, medium and small)

Insect Repellent *

First Aid booklet explaining various emergency treatments


* Listerine or other mint mouth wash is said to be a good bug repellent.






Stretch of Coastline


Temperature enters into the equation


Allergies, Emergencies and First Aid Kits


You can drown in a farm pond (Staying Alive)


Hubris is a one-way ticket to tragedy


A Weather Eye


Heed your inner voice


A sudden squall


Become an expert




Outfitting is important: Canoes



Tie a knot


Make a bailer from a milk jug


Rudders too are all but essential


Topographic Maps


Reliable pocket compass


Batteries have the habit of dying


Paddlers can never depend on being seen


Light and sound signals help


Required by law on navigable waters


Surplus catalogs


Why You Need Water


A rucksack

Emergency ration

Your PFD

That’s what lists are for

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