- Is your kayak designed and suitable for the anticipated conditions you will paddle in? Check the craft for hand loops or toggles at both bow and stern, and for fixed buoyancy.
- Wear an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) of Type 2 or 3. It is to be worn at all times on the water (the on-the-spot fine is $160: Section 132, Harbors & Nav Regs 1994)
- Be at ease with water and swimming
- Be honest with your ability
- Waters of rivers, lakes and oceans have different characteristics: get to know the water in gradually more challenging circumstances
- Be aware of cold water and weather extremes
- Be suitably equipped for the conditions — heat, cold, wind, rain — that could occur
- Secure your glasses, have appropriate footwear, allow for protection against the sun, wind and rain. Wear a broad brimmed hat, light long sleeved clothing for sun protection and/or warmth
- Be prepared for emergency: acquire skills in capsize situations, rescue work and in first aid
- Always carry your minimal kit: personal first aid, sunscreen, water, spare clothing and energy food
- Waterproof your belongings and secure them in your craft.
- Place items in a strong plastic bag with no holes, twist the opening, gooseneck it and tie with a rubber band or twine. Place it in a protective bag, so that holes are not worn by rubbing against objects in the boat. Waterproof bags in a range of sizes are available through camping and outdoor shops.
- Use only if you have practiced exiting with one while under supervision. Always check that the pull tag (the cover release) is in position.