About the Club

Join The Club

Trip Schedule

Trip Photos




River Classifications


Send Comments

Canoeing/Kayaking Etiquette

Etiquette on the water is based on three concepts:

  • The safety and comfort of you and the people around you
  • The welfare and, indeed, survival of your fellow non-human creatures
  • The preservation of the environment

See the safety page for basic safety rules. Beyond that, show common sense and basic good manners.

We like to think that all canoeists and kayakers share a common respect for the environments into which our craft can take us and that we display sensitivity and consideration in our water-oriented activities.

Remember that you are a guest. Your canoe or kayak takes you into a watery world that is home to many other creatures. Bring your quiet voice—and leave transistor radios, video games, and cellular phones at home. Not only will your fellow humans appreciate it, you’ll be rewarded by seeing more of the birds and other wildlife. Especially in fragile areas, tread lightly, paddle slowly—and keep your distance. Constant disturbance of wildlife can interfere with feeding, breeding, and caring for the young.

We’re sure we don’t need to remind you to carry out all your own litter and any other trash that you may find. A far more serious pollution problem, however, is that of human waste. Fecal contamination, particularly of bays and esteros, not only threatens the habitat of seals, otters, birds, and other creatures but the oysters and shellfish that we all like to eat! Basic rules: Pee well away from the water. Carry out your poop. (A simple method requires only a few sheets of newspaper and a plastic bag. Do it, fold it, stuff it, carry it out.)

Be aware of your impact on the land and, yes, water too, and make that impact as light as possible. Leave rocks, logs, driftwood, wildflowers, trees and plants undisturbed. Take only photographs—leave only footprints.