The Paddler’s Eyeview

The Paddler’s Eyeview

Fifteen Simple Techniques to seeing
more flora and fauna while paddling!

  1. Do plan your trip the night before. Have a checklist, check your gearbag. If you make a checklist, you can use it each time you plan a trip. You will find you forget fewer things this way.
  2. Do leave for your excursion early in the morning. Remember, the wildlife is out and about extra early, while most of us are sleeping. Get out there early and see the early bird catch that worm.
  3. Do keep it simple; leave technology behind. Cell phones and pagers are distractions. (However, walkie-talkies can be good safety devices when paddling in large groups.)
  4. Do paddle slowly. You came out into nature to slow down. You left the marathon at home. Breathe deeply and calmly as you paddle. Focus on the present moment.
  5. Do exercise your senses. Immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. Take in the fresh air. Listen, smell and watch for any subtle changes and sounds, or movements of birds in the sky or wildlife hiding in the bushes, trees, and water.
  6. Do have a good field guide. Choose them according to your interests- birds, reptiles & amphibians, mammals and/or plants.
  7. Do wear light, fast drying clothing. You will likely get wet and being able to rinse off when getting dirty, is all part of the fun of it. Microfiber nylon clothing is your best choice; it dries quickly. Cotton will stay wet much longer and may lead to hypothermia.
  8. Do take sunscreen and insect repellent, along with a wide brim hat. You want to enjoy the elements, not be burned or bitten by them. Good sunglasses will help your eyes too.
  9. Do take quality rain gear. If you can stay relatively dry and warm during heavy rains, it’s quite beautiful. There is an entire range of different experiences available in the rain. You won’t melt. Check www.beachpliz.com best reviews for beach tents.
  10. Do paddle along the edge, if you want to see more wildlife. There is more shelter along the shoreline, especially for the shier animals. Look for and look at burrows, nests, branches, bushes, or other likely hiding places – but be sure not to disturb them.
  11. Do explore little tributaries. Most likely, motors won’t be there due to the denser vegetation and wildlife may abound. If you are unfamiliar with the area, mark your path as you leave the main river, stream or lake.
  12. Do be quiet. Paddle softly. Work to blend in with the surroundings. Be a part of nature not an intruder. If you have children with you, make a game out of who can be the quietest and most observant.
  13. Do be aware before leaving your boat. First, make sure your boat is tied securely so that it will be there when you get back! Check the ground, logs, plants and rocks closely before putting your hand or foot down, for potential hazards such as venomous snakes or insects. Be careful and stay alert.
  14. Do be sure to take out all your trash and even at least one extra piece. Leave where you visited as clean as, or cleaner than you found it.
  15. Do continue to educate yourself about the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. We are all part of a single, vast ecological system. Do your part to support and sustain it.
And finally…
Do respect all life. Remember you are a guest in their home.
You have come into their environment.
Just because it may be a venomous animal or poisonous plant, do not harm it.
Also, be careful not to disturb or damage the environment when you hike.

 

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