In purchasing equipment for the outdoors, I always use the same
thought process. How often am I going to upgrade my equipment based on the new radical improvements that
the manufacturer will come out with? How long before my existing equipment will become obsolete and I
will have to replace it? How long will it be before I have a disadvantage with my existing equipment? When the time came to choose a PFD, I decided that I would choose the best PFD that I could afford based on the use of the PFD.
Always wear your PFD for kayaking, canoeing, etc. During an emergency, you WILL NOT be able to put your PFD on in the water. The failure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) will potentially lead to a dangerous situation.
Coast Guard Type PFD
Design standards have been set up by the Coast Guard and the Type III PFD is the PFD that you will most likely see people using for kayaking and canoeing. Unlike the Type I and Type II, the Type III PFD will not float you face-up automatically. If your paddling partner is in the water and is face down, get to your partner as fast as possible as your partner will remain in that position if unconscious. This PFD is very comfortable, has a close fit and gives you freedom to paddle comfortably.
Fitting the PFD
A loose fitting PFD will lead to disaster as you will have a good chance of drowning because your nose and mouth will not be high enough to stay out of the water. Don't confuse a tight fitting PFD with a PFD that is too small as it should be snug and comfortable, allowing you to paddle easily.
The PFD test
First make sure the PFD will fit over different clothing that are worn during all four seasons (if you intend on paddling in all seasons). The PFD should have enough adjustment straps under the arms, around the chest, on top of the shoulders and around the stomach to allow enough room for an assortment of clothing such as a t-shirt, paddling jacket, fleece, spray skirt, wet suit, dry suit, etc. Put on the PFD and make all the adjustments until the PFD is snug fitting. Lift up your arms, while on your knees and have another person lift the PFD by the shoulder straps. If the top of the PFD lifts up to your chin, this one is too large for you. Try the next smaller size and try the PFD test again.
Make sure the color of the PFD can be seen from far away. Yellow is an excellent color choice while black is not. If there is an emergency, you want the color to aid in your rescue.
Storage pockets and hooks
Make sure there are enough pockets and hooks to store all the important safety items that need to be in the PFD - whistle, power food bar, flares, VHF radio, knife, compass, money, extra glasses, binoculars, water, light, etc.
Some PFD's will have reflective tape that can be seen at dusk or at night when a light is shined on the PFD. The reflective tape will be very helpful during an emergency or when paddling at night.
Don't forget to learn how to maintain your PFD correctly because incorrect methods might damage your PFD and choose a PFD wisely.
My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Love The Buffleheads At Rock Harbor On Cape Cod!
I love watching the black and white Buffleheads as they swim about and dive for food at Rock Harbor during the winter months. They get pretty spooked when you get near them and tend to fly away. (Click on blog link to see other photos.) But if you stand up on the dock at Rock … Continue reading Love The Buffleheads At Rock Harbor On Cape Cod!
Kayaking Fisherman At Nickerson State Park On Cape Cod.
We watched this fisherman launch his kayak at Cliff Pond the other day. I thought, perhaps, it might be an interesting photograph. (Click on blog link for full photo.) I waited until he was a ways from shore and took some photographs. I loved this one with the beautiful puffy clouds in the background. What … Continue reading Kayaking Fisherman At Nickerson State Park On Cape Cod.
Gorgeous Views Of Rock Harbor On Cape Cod.
Rock Harbor is almost iconic with its unique views of Cape Cod Bay and the very distinct channel markers that mark the channel going into Rock Harbor that look like trees growing in the water. The channel markers have not been taken out yet this year… maybe because it has not been cold enough so … Continue reading Gorgeous Views Of Rock Harbor On Cape Cod.