Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD, aka life jacket) while on or along the water. Especially when water temperatures are cold or when currents are swift.
State law requires all children 12 or under to wear a PFD while on a watercraft.
Large waves can form on large waters bodies with steady winds. Heavy winds can create large waves on small and medium-sized water bodies.
Know your abilities and the forecast for wind before setting out.
Turn you canoe or kayak to point into large waves (or wakes from motorboats) to prevent being overturned
Find shelter on shore when you hear thunder.
Hire a guide if you are unsure if your skill levels meet the challenges of paddling
A Flash Light is important when paddling in conditions of limited visibility (night, fog, rain, etc.) Not only to see but so boaters can see you.
Include a whistle to other noise making device in your gear
When paddling in waters with motorboats:
Keep close to the shorelines and out of the channels to allow safe passage of motorboats;
and Groups should paddle behind one another not abreast to prevent blocking passage
of motorboats and other paddlers.
Protect the Lands & Waters
Know the rules of the lands & waters you will be recreating on
Know the principles of “Leave No Trace” Bring back all of what you started with.
Pack all gear, supplies, clothing and food in waterproof bags which is strapped
or secured to the kayak, canoe or raft. If you overturn you will be able to
retrieve your belongings and not litter the water.