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Some tips on Canoe safety and canoe etiquette:
* Keep your canoe under control. Control must be good enough at all times to stop or reach shore. If you don't have control, you may put yourself and your fellow canoe mates in danger.
* Before going on a canoeing trip, assess your canoeing ability. If you feel as though you need some practice, find a local canoe rental facility and get some lessons, or just spend some time in a canoe bofore your trip.
* Enter into situations according to your abilities. Make sure you are honest with yourself and your canoe travel guide. For instance, don't enter an area of fast current unless you feel sure you can safely paddle through.
* On many rivers throughout America, you will be sharing the river with fishermen. Respect fishermen and anglers. Paddle your canoe to the shore opposite of their lines and pass by quietly.
A few safety and preparation tips before you launch on your canoe adventure travel vacation:
1. Before you go canoeing check with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to paddle a canoe.
2. Make sure you know how to swim. Learn to swim both underwater and in moving water.
3. When you're out in the wilderness on your canoeing trip, wear shoes.
4. If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, make sure you have a strap or cord to keep them from getting lost if you go in the water.
5. Wear a hat for protection from the sun, and carry a jacket in case it cools off.
6. If you take perscriptions medication, bring it with you.
Remember the boy scout motto - be prepared. Adventure travel is fun because of the risk and the remoteness of the locations you can access. If something goes wrong, you might have to wait several hours before help arrives.
When paddling in a group on a canoe trip, assign a canoe to lead and a "sweep canoe" to paddle in the rear of the canoeing tour.
* Both the lead and sweep positions should be held by experienced paddlers with knowledge of the wilderness river being traveled.
Never get ahead of the assigned lead or behind the assigned sweep canoe. Be sure to keep an appropriate distance between canoes. Distance will vary depending on water conditions. A good rule of thumb is to keep the boat behind you within view. If someone lags behind, pull over and wait.
If you don't want to lose something when canoeing, make sure it is tied down during your canoeing trip. If canoes capsize, everything that isn't tied down goes into the water and will be difficult or impossible to recover.
Carry cameras, binoculars, valuables, snacks or lunches in a watertight container, preferable one that floats (just in case). Avoid using glass containers. And always, always wear a personal floatation device. Canoeing is a great way to enjoy wildlife and adventure travel, but you should always plan ahead.
The idea of canoeing on vacation often brings back memories from childhood and raises memories of quiet paddling and relaxing summer days. Don't forget that this using a canoe can be a vigorous cardiovascular activity - and it can be rough on your body in other ways if you don't canoe regularly.
One of the best investments you can make for canoeing vacation is to get a pair of knee pads. Sometimes out in the wilderness on your canoeing tour you have to kneel in the canoe for extended periods, and a pair of knee pads can save you a great deal of discomfort.
Regardless of their age, kids will want to feel like they are part of the canoeing vacation and parents need to be prepared to accommodate them.
One trick is to paddle the canoe backwards from the way it was designed. The child sits in the front, which is actually the canoe's stern seat. By arranging the canoe this way the weight distribution is more even, which makes the canoe easier to paddle. Also, the child is able to sit on a much narrower seat, which makes it easier for them to reach the water with their paddle.
Before you go canoeing on your adventure travel vacation, you need to choose a canoe paddle of the correct length before you head off into the wilderness.
Kneel down on the ground, keeping your bottom 6 inches off the floor. Take the paddle you are considering, flip it over and hold it upright, with the grip on the floor - the blade should start about even with your nose. If you're buying a bent-shaft paddle, deduct about 2 inches from the length you've determined.
As you become more experienced, you might also develop a preference for a longer or shorter paddle, depending on your style of paddling and the type of canoe you have.
Inflatable canoes and their carrying bags can weigh as little as 25 pounds, depending on the brand and accessories. However, you aren't sacrificing safety as inflatable canoes are constructed from the same durable materials used to make whitewater rafts. If you are traveling by airplane or train, you can check your inflatable canoe in its handy storage bag along with your luggage. Imagine the money you will save on your next vacation by being able to bring your own canoe to the waterways rather than renting one by the hour. An inflatable canoe is ideal for people who own a compact car or lack towing capabilities, as you can deflate and fold your canoe flat before tossing it into the car.