At least the pups wear their PFDs.

Many outdoor leisure activities require a measure of Security. Kayaking with the pups is no exception! Though Gideon and Aero sport their Pup PFDs, I’m guessing my daughter’s PFD is behind her instead of on her.


However, the kayak offers supreme flotation in an accident, and paddles can be used as reaching devices in water sports.

In my attempts to be water safe and set a good example while stand-up paddling and windsurfing, I received two cool birthday gifts last December in anticipation of spring and summer. Older daughter bought me the pink self-inflating PFD for when I am kayaking or SUP-ping. It came with two replaceable CO2 cartridges that can be set to inflate manually or automatically.

Security dressed in pink!The impact vest is to be worn while windsurfing to help with flotation while water-starting or swimming (as I tend to do more than my share). My hubby bought me this while up in the Columbia River Gorge during Thanksgiving last winter. It is designed to be worn under my waist harness (also pink). A girl can be fashionable out on the water, right?

“Impact” has meaning when your windsurf gear turns on you. I’ve been clocked on my chest with the mast, and have been thrown onto my boom…multiple times. Any windsurfer will tell you it is part of the rites of passage in learning to sail. These vests are designed for impact for sure and offer plenty of protection.

If armor could float, I would wear it, as klutzy as I am!

Summer water activities will be here before we know it. Make sure you and your family are safe and secure in and around the water. For more information on personal flotation devices (PFDs), also called life-vests or life jackets, please check out my post from last May: Is a Life Jacket in Your Beachbag?

University Students belay rock wall climbers at the Challenge CourseOn dry land, other outdoor leisure activities require a certain level of security, especially if climbing is involved. Our university has it’s own Challenge Ropes Course on campus. Each semester, students in one of my classes attend a day of climbing and team-building led by the Peak Adventures team. The staff leads them through putting on the harnesses and demonstrates belaying techniques for the climbing wall and cargo net. For students afraid of heights, they can opt to help belay, thus supporting their fellow classmates who want to try climbing.

The staff tell us that the ropes and belaying equipment can safely hold up a small car.

One would think that this bit of knowledge would aid our minds in the idea of security, but if you have ever climbed a rock wall, or walked across a catwalk 30 feet in the air, harnessed in, you might still quiver with fear.

What keeps you secure in your outdoor leisure activities? Do tell!



25 thoughts on “Safely Secure at Leisure

  1. Thank you for this post. I often take friends new to kayaking on day-trips to quiet, impounded lakes or to the James River (Virginia) when it is calm and “walkable.” Someone always asks if they have to wear their life jackets–yes! and zip them up, too! The other tip I share before we head out, if one of us falls out into the water everyone else paddles over to them and the first person there sticks out a paddle so the dumpee can come over and hold onto the end of the kayak to drag them back to shore. No trying to get into someone else’s kayak. I’m sure I could improve my directions so please, have at it!

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    1. Your tips sound great, Karen! I’m not as experienced a kayaker as I am on the SUP, or windsurfer, but lifevests are mandatory (especially with the coast guard boating around). If possible, always stay with your equipment if dunked.


  2. I’ve become a bit fanatical about summer safety; my youngest son was almost run over by a boat the year before last. My boys have always worn life jackets but now we make sure to only tube/ water ski out on the lake when very few boats are around.

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  3. I could have used an impact vest (or, actually a whole impact suit) when I fell off that ladder and landed on my hip last summer!

    I’m not a great swimmer so a PFD would sure come in handy for me! As it is, I prefer to use a foam noodle 🙂

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  4. A great reminder about safety and activities Terri. I don’t know how many times in Australia we hear about fisherman being washed off rocks or boaties drowning because they haven’t take the correct safety precautions. Safety doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, it means you will continue to enjoy yourself in the future.

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  5. I love my impact PFD for kayaking. As a former swim instructor, we taught kids all about life jacket usage. We’ve had so many fatalities that could have been prevented with a PFD. Great post!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer and for stopping by! We must be kindred spirits from our former swim instructor days! I’ve seen so many with the inflatable PFDs and glad to hear yours works for you. Much cooler to wear–it can get hot here!


  6. We always wear PDFs for activities on the water. We also wear helmets when bike riding. Better safe than sorry. Thanks for sharing this important post.
    BTW – Gideon and Aero are absolutely adorable!

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  7. We are very familiar with PDFs, having cruised for eight years on our sailboat. We did not wear them during the day, though (unless it was rough on the ocean), but always at night on passage, when we also tied ourselves to the boat with a tether. Nobody was allowed to go on deck at night, unless the other half was present. It was the only way to sleep for the person who was off watch.

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