Mountain paddling both by kayak or canoe is a wonderful experience, but can entail unpleasant surprises if one is not properly prepared. The water is often colder than the inland lakes and rivers, and the current can be very strong if you choose to paddle on any of the mountains’ rivers or streams.
Some tips – for safety’s sake
- A life-jacket is a given.
- Follow the water’s edge when paddling on lakes.
- Reconnoitre carefully before paddling in flowing water. Check on the map or the trail description where waterfalls, dams and rapids are located.
- The symbols for waterfalls and rapids can be hard to find on the mountain map. They are not printed in red.
- Follow the map at all times.
- Go ashore well ahead of rapids. Reconnoitre (walk along the rapids) to get a sense of the current speed, rocks and the best paddle route through the rapids.
- Do not take any risks. If it seems unsafe, carry or drag the canoe passed the rapids.
- It is also possible to “line” passed the rapids. With the help of a line in the bow and one in the stern, one then guides the canoe through the rapids from land (not so easy).