The river is steady, the sun is shining and you are just about to take a canoe down the river in search of a sense of tranquillity or excitement, depending on what you are looking for.
Hiring a canoe on the river means that you are essentially taking a vehicle into unknown territory, but there are things that you can do to make sure that your canoe trip is a safe and yet enjoyable one.
Below, we take a look at some of the things that we feel are vital when you are about to take to the water and point your canoe into the direction of the river ahead.
Take Pre Canoe Trip Training – If you are quite inexperienced when it comes to canoeing, you should really make sure that you spend some time with a qualified and experienced instructor as the knowledge you will learn from them could save your life in an emergency. Although they will teach you the basics in a session, it can sometimes be worthwhile to extend your lessons and make sure that you are ready for the trip ahead.
Hire A Guide / Instructor – If you have a group of people hitting the river then it can sometimes be worth taking an instructor or guide with you, because they will have the knowledge of the river to make sure that not only are you safe but that you also get the most from your canoeing experience. Having a qualified instructor with you can really make the whole trip far more enjoyable, mainly because you will feel safer and also learn so much about canoeing and the area that your trip is based on.
Know Your River – Even if you are an experienced canoeist and have built up many hours of experience on the water, you really should take your time to learn about the new stretch of river before you take to the water. The Internet has really helped to improve the knowledge regarding the many stretches of rivers and with forums and message boards also very popular, you can quickly find out any of the pitfalls that might have an impact on your trip.
Check Your Equipment – Make sure that all of your equipment is ok and ready for the trip ahead, because failure to do so can really impact on your safety. Check the canoe and all of your equipment, including clothing and canoeing aids and then make sure that you have everything you should need before you take to the water.
Never Consume Alcohol – The sun is shining, you are having a weekend on the river and it is far too easy to take this to the next level and consume a few pints of beer or glasses of wine and then canoe onwards. Consuming alcohol whilst in charge of a canoe is seriously dangerous because you will not be in full control of the canoe and will not have the same level of reactions that you need to save your life if something went wrong. If you are going to take a canoe on the river, do not drink, it has to be your number one rule.