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Off-Season Things Boaters Can Do
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Tips from Safety Chairman, Ron Ray.  ronaldaray@verizon.net

Off-Season Things Boaters Can Do:
  • Take a CPR and Wilderness First Aid class
  • Crosstrain.  Work on strength, endurance, and flexibility.  Run, ski, climb, yoga, whatever.  Just do it.  
  • Check over your gear.  What a long list just this part can be...
    • Go over your first aid gear.  Replace anything that is soggy, corroded, or missing.  Check the expiration dates on your meds.
    • Check your dry gear.  Lube zippers.  Are the seals cracked, torn, or turning to goo?  Replace them before you want to paddle.  Otherwise, hit them with 303.  If the dry gear is breathable, does it need a proper washing and reapplication of durable water repellent?
    • Deal now with anything wrong, or about to go wrong, with shoes, skirt, helmet, paddle, etc.
    • Go over your boat.  Deal now with problems you've let go... the missing bolts that let your seat slide around, the broken grab loop that won't hold up to being grabbed, padding that needs to be reglued, etc.
    • Check your pin kit.  Replace any worn or aged-out cordage.  Check that your carabiners open and close freely; clean and lube if needed.   
    • Lay out your throw rope on a clean, dry, warm floor.  Look for any kinks, hockles, or other damaged or worn spots that show its time for retirement.
    • Check your PFD and contents.    If it's sunbleached and frayed, maybe it's time for a new one.  Check the whistle and cutting device, and their attachment.
    • Yank on your roof rack (brr! it's cold outside) and look it over.  Fix it now... not when you're loading a boat to head out.  Look over your tiedowns, and retire and replace any that are showing their age and wear and tear.  
  • Learn to tie those knots that have frustrated you.  Grab some tie-down cord and practice while watching TV. 
  • Wash, organize, and put away any gear still floating around the house and car.
  • Read some guidebooks for new places to paddle.
  • Make a shopping list of things you need... or want... before the hitting the water this coming spring.  
 
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