Any time you head out on the water, bringing the essential gear and clothing is important. A few additional safety measures are also in order on a non-guided tour:
- Bring a paddling buddy. When no guide is along, you should always go with another paddler who can summon help or provide assistance.
- Make a togetherness pact.A buddy who paddles off out of sight or earshot won’t be much help.
- Know your distance limit.If you haven’t had rescue training, never paddle farther from shore than you’re easily able to swim. (Near-shore areas are more interesting anyway.)
- Do your hazard research.Ask a knowledgeable local paddler about places to avoid, as well as currents, tides and weather forecasts.
- Know your water temp.You should always dress for a capsize—at a minimum, that means some sort of wetsuit when the water is 60 F or less.
- Check your PFD. Make sure it fits tightly and is only loose enough so that it won’t interfere with your breathing. If temps heat up and you need to remove a layer, paddle to shore first—never remove your PFD on the water.
- Be cautious about using a spray skirt.Don’t wear one unless you know how to properly pop it off and do a wet exit.
- Don’t forget your whistle.The universal distress signal is three long blasts.
If you plan to kayak in the future, consider taking a rescue class. And classes that cover navigation, tides, currents and surf can help you avoid trouble in the first place.
Riverside Recreation is located in Forest County along the Allegheny River in West Hickory, PA. We have an 8-mile canoe or kayak float on the Allegheny River from Tidioute to West Hickory which will take from 2 to 4 hours to complete. A 10 mile and overnight floats are also available. You will be shuttled up river to Tidioute or other designated boat launches and you will float to West Hickory. This stretch of river is calm with a few ripples, a few deep sections and no white water. It’s a very relaxing and enjoyable trip. Contact us today at 814-463-9235 or visit https://riversiderecpa.com/