Following are some trip
guidelines and recommendations that will go a long way
to ensure a pleasant, rewarding, and safe paddling
experience. Remember that trip coordinators may use
their discretion to decline participation to any member
or guest who may not have suitable skills and/or
equipment for the event conditions. All
trip participants MUST read and sign the HRCKC Liability Waiver.
1. Register with the trip coordinator at least several days in advance,
even if your plans for attending are tentative. The coordinator will
discuss the level of difficulty, paddling plan, what to expect, gear and
clothing required, meeting place and time, travel directions, etc. Be
honest about your paddling experience and ability. Make sure to exchange
cell phone numbers. NEVER plan to attend a trip without advance
registration. If you must cancel, notify the trip coordinator as soon as
Be on time -- normally, trip coordinators will
wait only 10 minutes. Call if there is a problem.
3. Bring necessary
equipment - make a checklist. The following is REQUIRED:
• A properly fitted, Coast Guard approved Type III PFD
(personal flotation device, life jacket, life preserver) is required on all club
trips. The PFD MUST be worn and secured at all times while on or in the
• Dress appropriately for both the air and water conditions.
If there is a potential for hypothermia, bring a complete change of clothes in a
waterproof bag fastened in your boat.
• Bring sufficient drinking water, especially on hot days.
4. The following equipment is
• Carry a spare paddle in your boat.
• Have a whistle attached to your PFD for emergency
• Equip your boat with painters (bow & stern lines).
• Bring hat, sunglasses, rain gear, gloves, sunscreen, bug
repellent, first aid kit.
• Secure your car keys/keyless entry device in a water-proof
container. Try to keep them with you (in pocket of PFD, in zipped-up
pocket of clothing, etc.)
• Clothing - dress in layers, according to the weather.
Jeans, cotton clothing, and sweats are a bad idea when the air or water
is cold because they dry very slowly and get heavy when wet. Poly-pro,
fleece, other synthetics, or wool are the best materials for paddling
• Footwear should be sturdy and should have closed toes.
There may be broken glass in river and lake beds. A bad cut could ruin
• Provide a lunch or snacks for yourself.
• Carry a rescue throw-bag in moving water conditions.
5. Make sure the trip coordinator knows if you can’t swim
or have medical problems.
6. Cooperation is essential for shuttles, portaging,
loading & unloading, etc. Volunteer to help to the best of your ability.
7. Trip coordinators may designate a “lead” and a “sweep”
boat. Do not pass the lead boat or fall behind the sweep. Keep the next
boat ahead or behind you in sight. Hold up if necessary, and signal that
you are doing so. If you can, assist, wait for, and indicate the best
passage through tricky spots for the boat behind you.
8. Blow your whistle in THREE SHORT BURSTS if you need
assistance or you notice another boater needs assistance.
9. Don’t crowd the boat ahead of you in fast water. Allow
room for back-paddling or ferrying to avoid collision when boats stop or
slow to scout or negotiate rapids or obstructions.
10. Respect property owners’ rights. Don’t litter. Don’t
block driveways. Ask permission to park. Use common sense and courtesy.
Steer clear of fisherpersons and their lines.
11. Practice with your boat. The better your skills are,
the more fun you will have. Be comfortable getting in and out of your
boat. Practice “wet exits” and self-rescue. Learn skills to assist with
rescue of others.