Boating is one must-try activity when you’re outdoors. If you’re camping with family, a ride down the nearby lake would genuinely be a fun and memorable experience for everyone, especially the kids. But like any activity outdoors, safety should be your top priority. First-timers should be extra cautious, so come prepared and be in the know!

Here are five boating tips to make your experience safe and memorable:

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Ride your boat on small bodies of water

While it does sound extremely inviting to ride through the currents of a flowing river, it’s ideal for sticking to smaller, calmer bodies of water for your first boating adventure. Everyone will feel more at ease with the shore nearby where it can be seen.

Also, smaller water bodies tend to be calmer no matter what weather it is, and nobody has to worry about motion sickness. Once you’ve gained more experience steering the boat, you can move on to bigger bodies of water for future adventures!

Aim for safety and security

Life jackets are your first layer of safety while on the water, and they should be worn at all times, even if you’ll be cruising near the shore. If your little one is too small to wear one, he/she is probably too young to take out on a boat.

It’s also important to make everyone feel secure, especially the children. Remind them about no horseplay on the boat, and an adult should supervise each child.

Keep it fun

Most kids have very short attention spans. After a while, they might start to feel bored, so be sure to plan the trip accordingly. You can allow time for a picnic, swimming, or fishing (make sure these are permitted) or you can bring along binoculars and try to find birds and wildlife.

Protect yourself from the sun

A sunny day is the perfect setting for a boating adventure. However, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, even if your boat is equipped with awnings or cabins. Remind everyone to put on sunscreen, bring sunglasses, a floppy hat, or wear long-sleeved shirts for good measure.

Secure your belongings

It’s ideal to leave personal effects (wallets, keys, gadgets, etc.) behind, but if you must have them on you, place them in a Ziploc bag to keep them from being wet. Take out phones and cameras only to take photos, but aim for a gadget-free adventure!

Make your first boating with family safe and enjoyable with these five helpful tips!

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