There are a few basic things all boaters should do before taking to the water.

Know your river map.
  • Wear a properly fitted personal flotation device that matches the user and use– (kayaks and SUP’s are different that ski vests.)
  • Know you own physical abilities.
  • Know your vessel and propulsion methods.
  • Know what wildlife you may encounter.
    • otters
    • turtles
    • big fish
    • water snakes
  • Know the body of water and any challenges.
    • DAMS and Locks
    • Incoming streams
    • Wind patterns
    • Shallow spots
    • Current channel/channel location
    • Water levels
    • Flow rate
  • Know what type of traffic and wakes you may run into.
  • Know the weather! If the wind is blowing up stream you may want to paddle down stream first.
  • Understand registration requirements if using a public launch, they vary by state.
  • Leave a float plan.
  • Get a waterproof bag for you cell phone, you never know when you’ll run across an abandoned fishing boat that ran out of gas or a 4 wheel ATV that came down the bank too hard.

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