Best Practices For When You Go Canoeing


Canoeing in the UK is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the water, from vast oceans to sparkling lakes. However, it is critical that you know what to do in an emergency.

When it comes to being safe on the water, everyone is on the same wavelength, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional. Canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are all safe sports as long as you follow a few simple principles.

What You Need To Do 

  • Put On Appropriate Attire

Wear shoes in addition to your buoyancy aid; slipways, rough terrain, and river beds can be dangerous if you don’t have good grip. Your ideal canoe-safe attire could be hats, layered items that may be easily removed, spare dry clothing, and a towel. 

  • Be Aware Of The Weather Forecast

Before you go on your canoe, check the weather forecast to see if the circumstances are favourable. Forecasts will be available from the Met Office, BBC Weather, and local harbour offices. 

  • Events, Navigation, And Tidal Times

Assess the tide times for coastal canoe paths to see if they are acceptable for paddling the trail. It’s usually easiest to go up river with an incoming (flood) tide and return with an outgoing (tidal currents) tide. Make sure you’re not caught on the mudflats during a rising tide.

Paddlers must understand the rules of the road at sea and be able to recognize the main channel. Always follow the navigation rules for the particular river you’re on. Verify to see if there are any events or restrictions on the waters around the time you want to travel.

  • Environment In The Area

Familiarise yourself with the surrounding environment, including any sensitive or protected sites. Be certain to:

  • Leave the environment in the same condition as you found it.
  • Bring your litter back to your house.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife when canoeing
  • Keep the noise down to a bare minimum.
  • When launching or landing, avoid damaging the vegetation along the bank (no seal launching)
  • Follow designated paths or launching points as much as possible.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife when canoeing.
  • To avoid the spread of non-native invasive organisms, thoroughly clean your kit.
  • Make Sure Your Gear Is In Good Condition

Use a list to double-check to see if there is everything you need and that your gear is in good condition. Here’s a checklist to help you remember all the essentials:

  • Paddle
  • Boat
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Spraydeck
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone in a waterproof bag
  • Pen Knife
  • Drinking water
  • Sun cream, sun and sunglasses
  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Footwear
  • Licence 

Both canoeing and kayaking are great ways to get out in nature and spend time with friends and family, however, it can also be a risky journey if proper safety precautions are not followed. Try not to go canoeing alone; make sure you’re fully suited and skilled for the water and weather conditions you’ll be facing. Follow the navigation guidelines for the body of water you’re on, and always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

For the best canoeing routes, check the experiences available on Beyonk and find one close to you!

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