Canoe Country Wilderness Canoeing
by © Lee Hegstrand


Other Safety Considerations

Never dive into lakes to avoid head or body injuries from submerged rocks. Observe camp safety with saws, hatchets and knives. These implements cause many injuries in the Canoe Country. It is unnecessary to bring an axe with you on your trip, they are dangerous, heavy, and awkward to pack and wood no larger than your wrist is sufficient for a campfire.

Be careful when walking on wet, slippery rocks and be careful of sharp rocks when walking barefoot. Rock walls and cliffs are common in the Canoe Country; as tempting as they may be, do not climb them or you may risk serious injury. During midseason trips check for the presence of ticks on your body. Avoid paddling near the drop zone of a cliff face and never throw rocks from the tops of cliffs.

Never run on a portage or in camp. Keep your distance from wildlife, especially wildlife with juveniles. Poison ivy is uncommon but present in the Canoe Country. When the weather is warm drink four or more quarts of fluids to prevent dehydration, though you are surrounded by water in the Canoe Country dehydration is a very common problem there. Use a SPF factor of more than fifteen sunscreen to help prevent sunburns. Carry and know how to use a first aid kit. According to the USFS the most common "ailments" in the Canoe Country are, in order of frequency: blisters, sunburn, ankle sprains, dehydration, burns, hypothermia, constipation, and eye injuries. Take note, forewarned is forearmed. In case of serious injury or illness signal a USFS aircraft for help using three visual signal arrangements such as three large colorful items clearly laid out. Also use a signal minor and wave a colorful cloth tied to a paddle or pole.

If there is a rescue, the rescued likely will be required to pay the expense of evacuation, which can be considerable. Every year people die in the Canoe Country, many of these deaths could have been prevented if the warnings and instructions contained herein were carefully followed.

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