New hampshire Law requires that each canoe occupant have a flotation device. Wear it if you can’t swim!
Bring along an extra paddle.
Bring along some extra rope to tie up the canoe in case you want to stop and rest.
Sun protection – a hat, sunglasses and sunblock.
Dry clothes and a towel , sealed in a watertight plastic bag. If you tip over, you’ll want to change.
Food and water – canoe trips can last hours. Bring sandwiches and snacks
Remember to include plenty to drink, but NO ALCOHOL , as per state law. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, and the combined effect of drinking, the hot sun and the work of paddling is stressful, which can wreck havoc on paddlers who are not in shape.
Heat stroke is a real danger, along with heart attacks and other unpleasantness. Also, drunks are loud, obnoxious and boring to others seeking a peaceful experience.
Wear shoes that can get wet such as Keds or windsurfing slip-ons, also known as riversiders, riverrunners or wading sandals.
When taking a break, staying with your canoe will keep others from borrowing it.
Bring along something to bail out the canoe with, if necessary – which brings us to the next point:
In case of a tipover: Don’t panic! Your canoe can be flipped back over. Over-turned canoes float. Push the canoe towards shallow water and return the canoe to the upright position and bail it out. If with a group, work together to turn it back over. If the water is too deep for standing, staying with the canoe will ensure that you don’t drown. In rivers with a current do not float with your body on the down river side of the canoe. By staying upstream you can avoid being pinned against an obstruction. Surprisingly, even a light current flow could cause you to be pinned if you are between an immovable object and your canoe is in a tidal flow.
Stay away from strainers and sweepers. Sweepers are low-hanging branches which touch the water in a current. Strainers are trees and parts of trees or posts which are submerged and subject to strong currents. If you are swept by the flow against an obstruction lean your body toward the obstruction instead of pushing away. Pushing invites the flow to come in over the side rather quickly, since water moves irresistibly and is constant.
Trash Bags – clean up after yourself, and remember to leave our fragile environment as beautiful and healthy as it was before you arrived