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Summer is Coming: Being Prepared as a Paddler

As the sun stays out for longer, and the warm air smells so good that it’s hard to go back inside, at night, some of us decide it’s time to sleep under the stars. From backyard campouts on the trampoline or in the treehouse, to full-on wilderness excursions — it’s almost impossible to resist the pull of nature as every plant, every zephyr, every sun-glimmer on the water, seems to exude welcome.

For those of us who are year-round paddlers, summer is when we look forward to planning a longer trip — maybe even an overnighter kayak trip. It’s when we can really get away from the city, away from everything and — with only the strength of our own arms — take ourselves across gently rolling waves and deep into nature.

In this busy day and age, many of us can only afford to do shorter weekend trips. One-nighters that are barely enough relaxation but still provide enough other-worldliness to get us through another week. On these short trips, it’s still as important as ever, to be prepared. Here are some things to think about when you’re creating an Emergency Management Plan:

  • Research the place(s) you’re intending to go, the type of run you’ll be on, and also consider the people who you are coming with you. Bonus tip: It’s always wise to bring at least one person with you.
  • Gather necessary medical and contact information for each member of your group, and keep in a watertight package such as a double baggie.
  • Tell someone at home about where you’re going, and your trip itenerary.
  • Create an on-the-water emergency plan.
    • Using a map beforehand, and your researched knowledge of the area, mark out exit points along your route, in case of injury or other emergency.
    • You should also have a way to call 911.
    • Make sure you have emergency gear, such as our Survival Bottle and other gear particular to paddling (whistle, bilge pump, lifejackets, etc.).
    • Ensure that everyone in your group has taken part in creating your emergency plan, or at the very least is aware of each component.

Never underestimate the value of being prepared; once you’re prepared, you are free to relax and enjoy your adventure, knowing that — in the case of an emergency — you’ve done everything possible to ride out the danger!


Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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