PADDLERsmart! Canada Knowledge Base

Module 03 - Trip Planning and Preparation



Stormy weather is especially dangerous for paddlers because canoes and kayaks will capsize more easily than other types of boats. If you find yourself paddling a canoe in rough water conditions and you have passengers on board, ask them to sit on the bottom of the hull, balanced and along the centerline. If you’re in a kayak, just ask them to stay low as possible. This position will help to stabilize your canoe or kayak and prevent anyone from falling overboard.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse while you’re on the water, take the following actions:

Put on and properly secure your life jacket (if you aren’t already wearing one!).

Proceed cautiously and watch out for floating debris (it usually collects near shore).

Turn on your navigation light (you want other boaters to see you).

Collect any loose gear and stow it away in a secure place.

Cut through waves at a 45° angle to reduce the chance of being swamped by a big wave.

Stay low and avoid touching metal objects (to prevent being struck by lightning).

Paddle toward shore and seek shelter from the storm.


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