SameBoat Shorts: They’re Called Life Jackets for a Reason!

Raw beginner or old hand, if you’re a canoeist or kayaker, you should be wearing a life jacket any time you pick up a paddle. And that’s true even if you’re a swim club star. Not convinced? Then give Tamia three minutes to change your mind. Three minutes. That’s not too much to save your life, is it?

by Tamia Nelson | January 30, 2018

Call them “life jackets, “life vests,” or “personal flotation devices” (PFDs, for short), but whatever you call them, if you’re venturing onto the water in a small boat, you need one. In fact, it ought to be the first thing you buy. You can always rent or borrow a boat, and if you’re just starting out, that’s one of the best ways to test the waters. But the PFDs that accompany most rented boats are usually of the one‑size‑fits‑no‑one variety, and a PFD must fit well to do its job. Don’t leave the put‑in without one.

And it isn’t enough just to throw it in the boat. You have to wear it. Why? That’s easy. Every year, paddlers drown needlessly. Read more…

This entry was posted in In the Same Boat: Canoeing & Kayaking on by .


For half a century, Tamia Nelson has been ranging far and wide by bike, boat, and on foot. A geologist by training, an artist since she could hold a pencil, a photographer since her uncle gave her a twin-lens reflex camera when she was 10, she's made her living as a writer and novelist for two decades. Avocationally her interests span natural history, social history, cooking, art, and self-powered outdoor pursuits, and she has broad experience in mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing.