Around this time last year we made a post about what to wear in colder conditions which you can check out here. Now that it is getting somewhat cooler it seemed appropriate to write a similar post, but this time include some safety considerations too!

Number 1. Wear the right gear

Neoprene is second only to Goretex when paddling in cooler conditions. Now, it is only the beginning of September, so a full dry suit with wool layers underneath might be overkill right now, but totally ideal for November through to February. Consider what kind of paddling you want to be doing over the next few months and prepare accordingly. Our post here from last year gives a great overview of all your options (even if we do say so ourselves)!

Person in a bright coloured drysuit

Number 2. Make sure your safety gear is up to scratch

The four items of safety gear you are legally required by Transport Canada to take with you when you’re kayaking are as follows (and you can click on them to see what we have available or if you don’t know what they look like):

  1. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  2. Whistle
  3. Bailing device
  4. 15m of heaving/towing line

These should be inspected regularly throughout, but especially at the start and end of each season, and replaced when showing signs of wear and tear. Companies suggest that PFDs are replaced every 5 years, or fewer if they are used heavily. An emergency is NOT the time you want to find out your whistle doesn’t work.

And those are only your required safety gear. If you’re paddling solo we’d recommend taking a paddle float too (and know how to use it!), first aid kit, emergency blanket and flashlight.

Number 3. Take the right equipment to call for help with you.

In the height of summer there is a significant amount of boat traffic around Deep Cove and on Indian Arm, including power boats, fishing boats and kayaks. In the cooler conditions in fall, there is a drop in activity and as such, your options for calling for help if you should need it become more limited.

To ensure you can call for help, take your phone with you! But make sure it is in a case like this one that you can use through, and that it is secured to your body with a lanyard. There is signal coverage on a lot of Indian Arm, so chances are you will be able to call.

Gooper cell phone case

Number 4. Have a paddle buddy

It is ALWAYS safer to go paddling with a buddy rather than go paddling solo. But sometimes your buddy can’t join you. On those occasions, at least let your paddle buddy, or any kind of a buddy, know where you are intending on paddling and what time you are expected back.

If you don’t have any buddies, you can drop us a line! We’d be happy to be your paddle buddy 🙂

Two awesome women surfskiing deep cove

Number 5. Keep paddling!

If you have all the right gear, and all the right ideas, there’s no reason not to paddle throughout the year. Some of the most beautiful paddling conditions are in fall and winter when it is quieter. Like the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!