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All Learn Articles » Safety

TopicCategoryType

ABCs of PFDs

PFD selection and Coast Guard Approval Ratings for PFDS

Safety

Adventure Medical Kits from NRS

Medical supplies grouped together in clear, resealable waterproof bags. Medical kits made specifically for camping, backpacking, and paddling

Safety

Avoiding Foot Entrapment

Learn what foot entrapment is, how and why it's deadly, and how to avoid it while out on the river. Sometimes swimming is unavoidable.

Safety

Basic Gear for Kayak Fishing Safety

NRS ambassador Isaac Miller discusses the equipment and apparel that can improve our level of comfort and kayak fishing safety.

How To Choose, Safety

Boating Safety for "Man's Best Friend"

Learn the proper techniques for safety bringing your dog on the water or next river trip. And don't forget the dog life jacket!

Safety

Boating Safety for Infants & Small Children

Learn about boating safety for infants and small children. When is it safe to take your kids out on the river, and what should you bring to ensure safety?

Trip Planning, Safety

Boating Safety's Five Golden Rules

No matter what kind of boating activity you participate in, these five golden rules will go a long way toward ensuring that your trips on the water end safely.

Safety

Cold Shock: 5 Golden Rules for Boating in Cold Water

Cold shock is the leading cause of death in paddlesports. Prevent it with 5 Golden Rules for Boating in Cold Water.

Safety

Cold Water Protection and Hypothermia

Walbridge on the dangers of hypothermia and how to protect yourself.

Safety

Cold-Water Layering

Base, insulating and outer layers allow you to add and remove pieces to match changing conditions, and help your body maintain a safe, comfortable temperature.

How To Choose, Safety

Coming Back Is Mandatory

Learn the limits of your skills and equipment and stay safe.

Safety

Don't Boat Without Number Two

The importance of wearing a life jacket (PFD) when boating.

Safety

Dry Drowning Revisited

Dry drowning can occur on the water and on land. Learn more about it.

Safety

Dry Drowning, by Walt Bammann

An important safety article on laryngospasm ("dry drowning")

Safety

Dry Drowning: An Update

Excellent feedback from readers about this important boating safety issue.

Safety

Dry Drowning: Feedback

Read some user feedback to our original Dry Drowning article and learn the takeaways our readers had to share that helps them stay safe on the water.

Safety

Drysuits Don't Make You Bulletproof

Your drysuit is only one piece of your boating safety system.

Safety

Emptying Kayaks on the River

Team NRS paddler Stephen Wright demonstrates the proper technique for emptying kayaks on the river so you can push or tow it to shore.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Equipping Your PFD for Rescue

Experienced rescuers equip their life jackets with pulleys, prussics, crib sheets, carabineers and other essential items.

Safety

Fabrics That Protect You From the Sun

Fabrics that provide effective protection from our sun's harmful rays.

Safety

Fall Boating Safety

Your cold season gear has probably been stored away. Its time to get it out and inspect it to make sure its ready to go.

Safety

File a Boater's Trip Plan

Use this convenient Boater's Trip Plan form and always let at least one person know where you're going boating and when you plan to return.

Safety

Finding Swiftwater Rescue Classes

When things do go wrong, only boaters with swiftwater rescue training can effectively help themselves and others.

Safety

First Aid on the Water

Stop thinking about getting a medical kit for first aid on the water and just do it! You and your paddling partners will be glad that you did.

Safety

Helmet Know How

Do you need a paddlesports-specific helmet? Yes. Can't you just re-use your bike (or other sport) helmet? Nope. Let us explain.

Safety

High-Water Safety Guidelines

High water can dramatically change rivers and requires that we redouble our ongoing emphasis on safety. Learn more about the guidelines of high-water safety.

Safety

High-Water Wisdom

High-water brings more dangers to your boating. Learn tips to avoid them.

Safety

How Much Risk Should Boaters Take?

Life is about balancing risk and reward, and so is boating.

Safety

How to Adjust a WRSI Helmet

Proper adjustment of your WRSI helmets O-Brace Harness and Interconnect Retention System is essential for your comfort and safety while paddling. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your WRSI helmet is adjusted for optimal comfort and performance on the water.

Safety

How to Catch a Throw Bag

Rescue instructor Jim Coffey shows how to catch and position a throw rope to place minimum strain on you and the on-shore rescuer.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket

Learn about the types of life jackets most commonly worn by boaters so you can choose the right life jacket for your paddling needs.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket for Kayaking

The life jacket is your most important on-the-water safety tool. Choose one that fits well and will be comfortable enough to always wear.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Do Live Bait Rescue

Jumping in to rescue a swimmer can sometimes be the best technique. This video from Jim Coffey shows how to perform a live bait rescue.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Dress for Kayaking

Ken Whiting shares how to dress for kayaking and covers the base layers, insulating layers and outerwear pieces you need to safely extend your paddling season.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Extend Your Boating Season

Moving from summer boating to cold-weather adventures requires new knowledge and preparation. Learn the tips to extend your boating season.

How To Choose, Safety

How to Launch Your SUP Board in the Surf Zone

Surfing your board in ocean waves is great fun. This video gives you the basic pointers for paddling out through the incoming waves.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Make a Flip Line

Build your own flip line! Whether you're kayaking, rafting or canoeing, you'll find multiple uses for this easy-to-build webbing sling or guide belt.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Make a Shallow Water Crossing

Rescue Instructor Jim Coffey describes techniques that an individual or a group of rescuers can use to safely and efficiently perform a shallow water crossing.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Practice the Kayak Wet Exit

How to practice the kayak wet exit, your back-up plan for when your roll doesn't work.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Prepare for Medical Emergencies When Boating

Learn how to prepare for medical emergencies when boating, kayaking, or rafting when embarking on journeys that take you outside the 911 system.

Safety

How To Prevent Boating Injuries

Body conditioning, proper technique and equipment prevent injury.

Safety

How to Prevent Heat Loss

Understanding the mechanisms of heat loss, and gain, helps us plan strategies for regulating that loss so we stay safe and comfortable when out paddling.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Quickly Coil a Throw Rope

Knowing how to quickly coil your throw rope for a second toss is an essential skill. Heres a trick to help you make a fast, tangle-free second throw.

Safety

How to Re-Enter a Sit-Inside Kayak

This video shows you several ways to get back inside your kayak when you have another paddler available to lend an assist.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Restuff a Rescue Throw Bag

Learn how to properly re-stuff a rescue throw bag with this video. This is an essential skill for the rope to smoothly deploy when the bag is tossed.

Safety

How to Safely Fall Off a SUP Board

This video shows the best way to safely fall off your SUP, techniques for climbing back on, how to rescue your paddle and stand back up on the SUP board.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Stay Warm When Kayaking

Learn what gear to wear to stay warm when boating or kayaking in cold weather and water conditions. Have fun year-round with these tips from Erin Clancey.

Safety

How to Swim in Whitewater

Self rescue by aggressively swimming to shore can be a life-saving maneuver. Rescue instructor Jim Coffey teaches you how to swim in whitewater.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Toss a Throw Bag

The rescue throw bag is a must-carry for whitewater. Rescue instructor Jim Coffey shows the best techniques for accurately getting the rope to the swimmer.

Skills & Tips, Safety

How to Understand River Flows

Cubic feet per second (cfs) is one of the key indicators of river or creek conditions. Learn what this means and how it can affect your trip planning.

Safety

How to Wet Exit a Kayak

This video will show how to wet exit a kayak, helping you to get out smoothly and safely, while hanging on to your paddle and the boat.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Is Your Life Jacket Safe?

Learn how to know with certainty that the life jacket or PFD you've purchased is safe and Coast Guard approved (and what that even means!).

Safety

Kayaking Fundamentals: How to Do a Kayak T-Rescue

The kayak T-Rescue is a great kayaking technique to master. You flip upside down and a buddy brings their boat up to assist you.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Kid Safety

Boating with kids helps instill a love of nature. Learn more about child safety and what to wear and do to prepare them for a lifetime outdoors.

Safety

Know the Ropes

Learn about the important characteristics for ropes used in many boating applications, including the ability to float, its visibility and its strength.

Safety

Lend Me Your Ear - About Kayaker's Ear

What you need to know about this serious boater health hazard.

Safety

Let's Stop the Senseless Loss of Life

This helps reinforce the need to wear life jackets, especially when boating in cold water.

Safety

Life Jacket Fiction and Fact

The life jacket is the first line of defense for every paddler. Learn to dispel the misunderstandings, misconceptions and myths about PFDs.

Safety

Preparing for Cold-Season Boating

How to outfit yourself for cold water boating protection.

Trip Planning, Safety

Preventing Shoulder Injuries

Some helpful tips on preventing boater shoulder injuries.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Putting Rescue Skills to Use on the Water (Episode 12)

Rescue expert Jim Coffey shows how swiftwater skills can be put to use on a typical day on the river with a mixed group of kayakers in this video.

Safety

Rafting Put-in Safety Talk

The basics of a good put-in safety orientation for rafters.

Safety

Rescue Bag Basics

Learn how the NRS Rescue Throw Bag, a vital piece of safety equipment required for every boater, can be used to rescue a swimmer or help unpin a boat.

Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 10: Foot Entrapment Intro

Swiftwater rescue instructor Jim Coffey introduces techniques for assessing foot entrapment situations and formulating a plan to assist the victim.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 3: Swiftwater Swimming

Swimming efficiently in whitewater is essential for self-rescue, rescuing others and building your kayaking, rafting and canoeing confidence.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 4: Throw Bag Techniques

This video covers throw bag techniques including throwing, safely bringing in the swimmer, bracing, and how to catch and hold the rope if you're the swimmer.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 5: Victim Contact Techniques

This video covers victim contact techniques for safely paddling, swimming and wading out to the victim

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 6: The Rescue Harness

This video shows you how to safely and effectively use the quick-release rescue harness on your life jacket.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 7: Live Bait Rescue

This video shows several different live bait techniques and describes the best ways to do them safely

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 8: Boat Extractions

This video demonstrates how to retrieve a pinned kayak or canoe using methods ranging from pushing and pulling to setting up a mechanical advantage system.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Film Series: Ep. 9: Self Rescue

Whitewater kayakers and canoeists should learn the basic techniques for self rescue. Watch how to swim to safety and avoid dangerous foot entrapment.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue for River Runners: Ep. 1: Getting Started

Learn what gear you need to have with you, from your rescue PFD, protective apparel, throw bags, rescue hardware to first aid kit and communication devices.

Safety

Rescue for River Runners: Ep. 2: Team Strategy

Smart teamwork and preparedness make everyone safer on the river with the swiftwater rescue playbook.

Safety

Rescue Series: Foot Entrapment Strategies

Swiftwater rescue instructor Jim Coffey introduces foot entrapment strategies for making a rescue, assessing risk for the team, and determining tempo.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Rescue Vest Aren't For Everyone

Learn about the specialized features of rescue life jackets and PFDs, as well as when, and when not, they should be used.

Safety

Riding the Flood

The dangers of high water boating and how to avoid them.

Safety

River & Rapid Difficulty Ratings

You will encounter two different class rating systems for rivers and their rapids. Learn how these systems differ and where they're most commonly used.

Trip Planning, Safety

Safety and Rescue Discussion Group

Charlie Walbridge and NRS folks discuss safety and rescue training.

Safety

Sea Kayak Safety Starts at Home: Pre-Trip Tips for Touring Kayakers

Sea Kayak Safety Starts at Home: Pre-Trip Tips for Touring Kayakers

Safety

Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT)

A New Tool for Outdoor Enthusiasts - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking! (SARSAT)

Safety

Smart Kayak Safety Techniques Saved Day

This article explains how a series of smart choices and quick thinking saved the day when a successful waterfall run suddenly turned scary.

Safety

Sunscreen Labeling Revisions

How the new FDA sunscreen regulations affect your health.

Safety

SUP Board Flip Rescue with Nikki Gregg

This SUP Board flip rescue technique allows you to rescue an unconscious, unresponsive or physically compromised victim using your SUP as an aid.

Safety

SUP Safety

Standup paddle boarding is really a very safe sport, but since you're out on the water, there are a few things you need to do to keep it that way.

Skills & Tips, Safety

SUP Surf Techniques and Etiquette with Nikki Gregg

NRS athlete Nikki Gregg shares the skills and insider knowledge you need to safely and successfully ride waves in the surf.

Skills & Tips, Safety

SUP: Leashes and Life Jackets

This excellent video from ACA tells you how to choose the right ones for the type of SUP paddling you’re doing.

Safety

That Time Mike Almost Drowned

Flush drowning is a real hazard, even when paddling with a well-trained, close-knit group. Learn lessons from this video to avoid a fatal outcome.

Safety

The Fine Nine

Preparing yourself to prevent or recover from on-the-water emergencies.

Trip Planning, Safety

The Hand of God Rescue for Whitewater Kayaking

Team NRS paddler Stephen Wright shows you how to help a fellow paddler roll upright with the hand of God rescue if they've flipped and are having trouble.

Skills & Tips, Safety

Too Much Heat or Not Enough

Learn how and why to make a hypothermia wrap: a very efficient way to warm someone suffering from hypothermia with the materials you already have.

Safety

Touring Kayak Safety

Touring kayak safety doesnt have to be hard, and following a few commonsense guidelines will help keep you safe as youre learning kayaking skills.

Skills & Tips, Safety

U.S. Coast Guard Regulations for Stand Up Paddlers

SUP is great fun, but do you know what you need to have and do to be legal on the water?

Trip Planning, Safety

We've Come a Long, Long Way, Baby

There wasn't always such a great selection of life jackets to choose from.

Safety

What's in the Water

Excellent resource on microorganisms in backcountry drinking water.

Skills & Tips, Safety

When the PFD Fits... Wear It!

Many tragedies can be prevented by wearing a correctly sized life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD). We'll show you how to size and fit a life jacket.

Safety

When the PFD Fits... Wear it! Part II: Kids

NRS shows you how to find the right PFD or life jacket for your child or youth and how to teach your child to wear, adjust and utilize their new PFD.

Safety

Winter Paddling at its Warmest

Team NRS kayaker Devon Barker-Hicks gives gear recommendations for staying warm while paddling in icy waters.

Trip Planning, Skills & Tips, Safety

Winter Rolling Tune-Up

Your local swimming pool is a great place for perfecting your kayak roll. Team NRS kayaker Devon Barker-Hicks gives valuable tips for getting it dialed in.

Skills & Tips, Safety