Resources to Help Plan Your Next Paddling Trip.
Proper Safety Equipment
Before you even decide on a trip location you will need to have proper kayak or canoe equipment to meet Transport Canada safety regulations for a human-powered boat. First of all there is your basic list of safety equipment:
- Canadian approved life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD)
- One buoyant heaving line at least 15 metres long
- One reboarding device - usually this is a paddlefloat that attaches to your paddle
- One watertight flashlight (recommended for all but required if your boat if longer than 6 m)
- Six (6) Canadian-approved flares of Type A (Rocket Parachute), B (Multi-Star) or C (Hand) if your boat is more than 6 metres in length
- One bailer or manual bilge pump
- One sound-signalling device (i.e. whistle)
- Navigation lights that meet the requirements set out in the Collision Regulations*
- One magnetic compass (not required on boats less than 8m in length)
- One radar reflector is required under certain conditions
- Safe Boating Guide Document
- Transport Canada Compliance Guide for non-pleasure human powered boats
- You obviously need a paddle, too. Especially if you are going to use the paddlefloat for re-entry of your boat or to move your boat forward!
- Many paddlers carry a VHF radio (you don't need a licence to carry it but to speak into it; however, in an emergency no one is going to fault you). Many paddlers also carry a cell phone (not usually waterproof) and sometimes a personal locator. One of the best is an ACR Personal locator.
- Whether you are renting or using your own kayak or canoe check it over. For example, on a rental kayak you may see a lot of wear around the footrest indicating the amount of use. Check to see it the boat is leaking or ask relevant questions.