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Practice Social Distancing: Go Paddling


By now, the term social distancing is something we are all familiar with and learning to adopt. As a paddler, it may have occurred to you that all of your years paddling and enjoying your favorite hobby were simultaneously preparing yourself for social distancing.

Here’s a few illustrative examples and safety reminders for how to continue paddling while ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you in these crazy times.

Explore New Locations

Now is a great time to find new, less-popular places to go paddling. Use the paddling.com locations map to pick your new favorite paddling destination. There are over 37,000 to choose from so get busy!

Paddle with Friends


Now is still a great time to go paddling with your friends and family. You may not be able to meet at your favorite restaurant or bar, but the water is still open for business. It is a perfect way to reconnect while still keeping your distance. Here are a few tips when paddling with a group:

  1. Keep group size small
    Let’s be honest, we rarely paddle with more than 2 or 3 to begin with and admittedly couldn’t find a group of 10 paddlers to go together on the best of days.
  2. Maintain 6ft distance at all times.
    Yeah, it is going to be weird on land but we all want to keep each other safe and healthy.
  3. Only touch your own gear.
    Now is the time for everyone to carry their own gear. Boats are a fine exception to that rule though. If you grabbed the stern to help get the boat to the water, be sure to grab the stern when you take the boat out too. It’s an easy way to reduce the risk of contamination.
  4. While paddling, stay 6ft or more away from each other.
    That one should be pretty easy, just spread the group out.
  5. Avoid sharing snacks/water
    We all love a good break from paddling to share snacks and stories. This time, just keep it to the stories and eat your own snacks.
  6. Stay Safe
    Don’t let all the coronavirus talk distract you from staying safe out on the water. Use this What To Wear Paddling tool to help decide appropriate clothing and check out the Essential Gear All Paddlers Need to Carry on the Water.
  7. File a float plan
    Submit a float plan
    and send it to some of your non-paddling friends/family so that everyone returns safely.
  8. Post your trip
    When you are done, be sure to post your trip on paddling.com.

Paddle Solo

The great news is that paddling solo is a guaranteed way to maximize social distancing. However, the risks inherent to solo paddling are still present. Here are our solo paddling tips:

  1. Stay safe
    Don’t let all the coronavirus talk distract you from staying safe out on the water. Use this What To Wear Paddling tool to help decide appropriate clothing.
  2. Review the list of Essential Gear All Paddlers Need to Carry on the Water.
  3. File a float plan
    Everyone has enough to worry about these days. Submit a float plan and send it to your friends or family so that you return safely.
  4. Post your trip
    When you are done, be sure to post your trip on paddling.com.

Overnight Paddling

The only thing better than going paddling is spending the night under the stars. What better way to clear your head than to breathe the crisp night air and sleep in the wilderness. Escape the stress of the current maelstrom and constant dire news coverage and head for the woods or beach.

Here are a few tips to make your trip even better:

  1. Check out the group and solo paddling tips
  2. Avoid bunking up (unless you already are)
    Now is a great time to set up that solo tent, unless of course you are paddling with that special someone. In that case get as cozy as you’d like.
  3. Keep your distance around camp
    It is very easy to get unintentionally too close so keep those camp chairs 6ft apart. Don’t gather around the picnic table to eat, now is the time for a buffet.
  4. Wash your hands often
    Yep, we have all heard it too many times already but we’ll remind you one more time.

Just Get Outside


Whatever you do, find a way to get outside every day. Even with emerging shelter-in-place mandates, folks are still encouraged to get outside. Even if it’s not kayaking, canoeing, or stand up paddling, get outside and engage in any outdoor activity such as running, walking, biking and hiking. As long as we practice safe social distancing (stay 6 feet apart) and do not gather in groups, they are all equally worthwhile for your physical and mental health.

Always follow CDC, WHO and other local health department guidelines.
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public



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