what should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak?

what should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak

what should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric?.

Kayaking is one of the best sporting activities available for you to engage with. You can think about spending your time with kayaking either as a sport or as a recreational activity. No matter how you engage with kayaking, it is important to have a solid overall understanding on how to take care of your safety. That’s because we often see how people run into accidents as they don’t follow appropriate safety standards or guidelines at the time of kayaking. We need to make sure that you don’t end up with any such negative consequences.

What should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak?

When you are cruising along with the kayak, you will prefer to mind your own business. However, you will see a warning sign that says that there is a low-head dam in front of you. What should you do in that kind of situation?

Here are some of the steps that you should do, especially when you are looking for answers to the question of what should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak.

What exactly is a low head dam?

Before we proceed to the solutions, you need to understand what exactly a low head dam is? A low head dam is a man-made structure, which usually runs across the width of a river. The primary objective of having such a low head dam is to increase the water level in the river. Along with that, it is possible to enhance the overall supply of water to an irrigation area as well. However, people who are engaged with kayaking should be mindful about low head dams.

You will often find it as a difficult task to locate a low head dam as well. This is another reason to call them as extremely dangerous. When you are approaching the low head dam, it will appear flat. However, the dam will be located a few feet under the water surface. This will vary depending on the exact conditions.

How can a low head dam create a risk?

Once water is flowing over the dam, a backwash is created. This has the ability to pull all the objects that you can find near the water surface. As you can guess, there is a possibility for your kayak to get pulled into it as well. In this kind of situation, you will find it as a difficult task to escape as well.

Even a small low head dam is enough to lead you towards lots of hassle and frustration. Due to the same reason, you need to be extra mindful about low head dams and the dangers associated with it. Here, the size of the low head dam doesn’t matter too much. It is the strength of water current, which can increase your risk of ending up with negative consequences.

Now let’s get back to the most important question, what should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak?

Here are some steps that you should follow to overcome the hassle.

  • Avoid it

When you notice that you are kayaking towards a low head dam, you will need to take appropriate measures to avoid it. In most of instances, you will be able to see how warning signs are placed. As soon as you spot such a warning sign, you will need to paddle the kayak to the nearest bank. Then you will need to walk around the bank.

In case if you don’t have a clear understanding about the river, this will not be an easy thing to do. This is where you should take appropriate measures to plan the trip beforehand. Then you will be able to stay aware about the risk and take appropriate measures to overcome the risk that you will have to face. You should never be ignored because it can lead you towards many negative consequences.

You should also think about gathering information about the river that you are planning to kayak as much as possible. The time you spend to gather these details will be a good investment that you can do towards ensuring your safety. That’s because you will be able to understand the risks that are available in front of you and you will be able to overcome those risks effectively.

If you don’t come from the area, collecting information will be a tricky job. This is where you need to think about getting your hands on good guides and maps that are available. In addition to that, you will need to think about getting the help of locals as well.

  • Understand the danger

We see how most of the people tend to ignore the warning signs about low head dams. This eventually leads them towards frustrating situations. You should never be doing that mistake.

As soon as you spot a sign that is warning you about a low head dam, you will need to understand the danger. The low head dams don’t stick above water surface. Hence, you shouldn’t trust on what you see. There is something that you don’t see as well.

A low head dam can create a series of risk factors. You should have a clear understanding about all those risk factors as well. For example, a low head dam can create a strong current. When you are caught in the current, it will pull you. This can eventually make you end up with fatal injuries.

A low head dam would usually collect debris. This debris has got the potential to lead you towards injuries as well. You need to be mindful about that risk factor. On the other hand, the sudden change that you do will lead you towards an overturn. This will also lead you towards injuries.

Now you have solutions to the question on what should you do when approaching a low-head dam in a canoe or kayak. Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to get a safe and secure kayaking experience. It will be a kayaking experience that you will love as well.

What should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric?

Let’s come to the second risk. This is where we analyze the steps that you should do when you come across a tear in the outer fabric of the PFD. PFD, which is also known as Personal Floating Device is one of the safety measures that you take as a kayaker. It can provide you with the chance to provide enhanced protection in waters during an accident. In other words, your PFD will be able to save your life. You can also think about calling it as one of the most popular security apparatus as well. That’s because it can keep you floating on top of water.

What should you do when you notice a patch in the PFD?

Here are some steps that you can follow to overcome the troubles caused by the patch. These methods can deliver excellent results to you with overcoming the pain and frustration that you go through.

  • Iron a patch

Ironing a patch will be able to help you with overcoming the trouble caused by hole in the PFD. This is one of the quickest methods available for you to overcome the problem. On the other hand, it can deliver numerous other benefits to you, such as the ability to save money. If you are looking for a method to overcome the problem within a short period of time, without spending a lot of money out of your pocket, this is the right option available to go ahead with.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the hole that you can find in PFD is not a deep one. Otherwise, you will not be able to receive any positive results with the patch. At the time of applying the patch, you need to make sure that you are not creating any more holes as well.

  • Use a duct tape

It is better to carry a duct tape along with you when you are kayaking. If you see a hole in the PFD¸ you will be able to use the duct tape and overcome the troubles that you have to go through. This method is recommended for the holes that are not deep as well. Moreover, you should be careful at the time of applying the duct tape as well. That’s because we often see how people end up with making their holes grow bigger after using the duct tape.

  • Replace your PFD

If the hole is a big one, you should not think twice before you replace it and go for a new one. You are taking this step in order to ensure your safety. Hence, you don’t need to worry about the replacement job that you do.

How can you locate a tear or a hole in your PFD?

It is better if you can take a look at your PFD and inspect it properly to get to know about the tears and holes. Then you will be able to go ahead with appropriate fixes in a timely manner.

The following table will indicate some steps that you can take in order to locate a tear or hole in your PFD with ease. In fact, we will let you know about some of the most common damages.

Nature of damageWhy does it matter?
Visible holesVisual inspection method will help you to locate the large tears or holes that you have in PFD. You will be able to spot them when you are inspecting the PFD from one corner to another.
Oil spillsIf you are experiencing any oil spills on the PFD, you need to understand that it is about to lose the buoyance. This is where you need to go ahead and keep the PFD floating.
Broken or damaged hardwareBroken hardware in the PFD should not be ignored. That’s because they are in a position to create similar results as holes.
Ripped or missing webbingIn most of the instances, you can see how the webbing of PFDs get ripped. There are also instances where webbing goes missing. You need to be mindful about this as well.
Rotten materialsYou can check the PFD and see whether there are any rotten materials. They will indicate a possible tear as well. Hence, you will have to think about going forward with fixing it.

How to provide protection to your PFD from damage?

Now you have answers to the question, what should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric. Along with that, you need to understand how to provide protection to your PFD and stay away from such damages as well. That’s because damages in the PFD can be frustrating and you will have to end up with lots of negative consequences.

Sunlight is one of the biggest culprits that can lead your PFD towards damage. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are not placing the PFD under direct sunlight. Then you will be able to provide protection to it from the damage that UV rays emitted by the sun can create.

When you are not using the PFD, you need to make sure that you are storing it in a cool and a dry area. Then you will be able to enhance the overall longevity of the product as well. In addition to that, you can think about hanging the PFD. It will make sure that the PFD doesn’t come into contact with any materials, which can cause damages in it.

Conclusion

Follow these steps and you can use the PFD for a long time without any damages. These tips will also help you to ensure your protection in water when you are engaged with kayaking activities.

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