Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big advocate of pfd’s… heck any safety measures depending on what you’re doing. I even wear climbing gear when I climb certain trees 😊
I know some people laugh at the idea and I guess to each their own, but admittedly I’m not very comfortable paddling with folks who refuse to wear them. I don’t mean to sound judgemental by any means. I know my opinion isn’t shared by everyone. But this is my opinion and I have two reasons why I feel this way.
Firstly, I’m personally aware that anything can happen in an instant; when you least expect it. Even on my last trip I was in still water before turning a corner and finding myself in water I wasn’t very comfortable in.
I spoke of this a few posts ago, but it’s worth repeating. When I was 19 I fell out of a canoe and was whisked off in the current. I was pulled under briefly and managed to bang my head on a rock somehow. I credit the pfd that I was wearing for pulling me up enough to get my head above the water and allowing me to grab a branch to hold until my friends were able to help me. I was pretty lucky that day. I was also the only one wearing a pfd.
Sometimes people aren’t as lucky. I can’t count the times that I hear of drownings where no pfd’s were worn. I actually wonder what the stats are for drownings where people are wearing a properly fitted pfd. Anyone know?
Pfd’s are so much fun you’ll just want to wear one all the time. Especially if it fits perfect. Alright maybe not all the time.
Once I actually didn’t wear a pfd by accident. I was taking a course and we had a big day ahead. We were all packing up quickly and the guide was letting me have a turn paddling solo (❤). He tossed some stuff into the canoe and ushered me off. In my excitement I just went for it. It wasn’t long before some others caught up. I heard one of the guys holler out something like, “Wow you must be pretty comfortable paddling solo! ?” I answered back that I was definitely enjoying myself and that’s when he asked if I’d forgotten anything. I glanced over to see him holding up my pfd. Well duh. Not a mistake I plan on repeating. (But for real, paddling solo is ah-may-zing! !) Not that I have a preference or anything. Actually if I have a good partner and I get to sit in the front I don’t mind it at all…
I had a friend in high school who drowned in Temagami. We weren’t close, but we hung out in the same circle of friends. And I always wondered about him and the circumstances surrounding his death. I don’t know the details. But I feel like anything that can be done to prevent that is worth doing. I do know that he’s missed. Someday I’d like to visit the area he was in… but that’s a thought for another day 😊
On that note, I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, long weekend!