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Canoeing for beginners

  • Apr 1, 2016

Canoeing is a fantastic way to get out and enjoy the natural world. It can be a fun family outing or a means of relaxing on your own. Canoeing is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, reach the best fishing spots or travel between campsites on a longer trip.

Anyone who has gone out in a canoe or kayak knows that there are some risks associated with such a trip, and the physical exertion can be a little imposing at times. For that reason, beginners should go with a friend or family member, and consider these important tips ahead of a canoeing trip.

1. Wear a life jacket
According to the American Canoeing Association, the most important aspect of any activity in the water is to wear a life jacket. Canoes can capsize easily enough, and without a personal floatation device, treading water and fixing the issue can become a problem very quickly. 

Many recreational areas that permit canoeing or kayaking also require the use of a life jacket, meaning it is essential to be in good standing with your local boat house. Either way, even the strongest swimmers should never head out in a canoe or other boat without a life preserver.

2. Plan your trip
Another way to stay ahead of the curve is to look online or at a map and get a good lay of the land before heading out. Getting lost is no joke, especially if you have traveled far and become exhausted. In this way you can plan a good, reasonable route without worrying about encountering an unsafe situation.

This is also a good tip for anyone looking to have a picnic or go fishing because it is a way to organize your day ahead of time.

3. Don't forget the sun block
Canoeing can be a great way to get some physical exercise, but it can be easy to overlooked hazards besides over-exertion. Even on a cloudy day, it can be possible to get a bad sun burn, so packing your favorite sun block is critical. The ACA also stated that some items like a whistle, a waterproof bag for personal belongings or even an extra paddle are good things to pack in case of any unforeseen issues. 

4. Check the forecast
Your Pro-trek triple sensor watch can help you keep an eye on any inclement weather that may make canoeing difficult, but if there are any thunderstorms in the forecast, it may be best to avoid a canoeing trip all together. Make an informed decision, as even windy conditions and cold water can be uncomfortable or even dangerous when out in a canoe or kayak.

5. Take your time
First-timers may be excited to get out and get going, but according to the Art of Manliness, this can make it easy to capsize your canoe. Pushing too hard also leaves you vulnerable to straining your arms or shoulders. Even blisters can be a concern if you are not taking your time.

A canoeing trip should be relaxing in any event, and going too fast defeats the purpose. Either way, know your limit and start small to avoid any pain or injuries.

6. Know the rules
For popular destinations or public waterways, there are often specific guidelines for when and where you can go with your canoe. Be sure to ask a dock master or other official about any important rules or stipulations before heading out.

This is important for avoiding collisions or conflict while out on the water. Knowing the rules for not only canoes and kayaks, but for motorboats, will allow you to anticipate what other folks may do, and make passing through narrow areas or under a bridge much easier.

Pro Trek watches are designed and engineered to be essential pieces of outdoor gear, which is why the 100M waterproof and tough solar powered ProTrek PRG270B-1 is the right choice for your canoeing adventure.

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