Plan a Safe Trip

Safety First

A paddling trip down a treasured stream or river can be a safe, fun and exciting adventure.

But like any outdoor activity, there are risks that must be assessed and addressed. With proper planning, your organization can host an amazing experience that paddlers will enjoy while staying safe. Hopefully, they will even share their stories of adventure, learning, and fun with friends and family who will join your event in the future or head out on their own to explore more PA waterways.


Below are some resources available to help you plan a safe and successful trip. 

The information provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage anyone planning a sojourn to seek professional guidance to ensure a safe and successful trip.


American Canoe Association Educational Resources

The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote exploration and recreation. You can find many educational and safety related resources on their website.

PA DCNR’s Intro to Kayaking Video

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources developed a short “Intro to Kayaking” video with important safety tips for a fun day on the water.

Boat Registration

Remember, in PA unpowered boats are not required to be registered – unless used at a Fish & Boat Commission access area or lake or at Pennsylvania state parks and state forests

For more information on how to register your boat, visit the PFBC website

Keep PA's Waterways Clean

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Safe Paddling Videos

Check out these short videos for tips on paddling safety, what to do if you capsize, how to use a rescue throw bag and more!

PFBC Water Safety Tips- Kayaking

Water Safety Tips with Chris- Capsizing

How to Use a Water Rescue Throw Bag

Strainer River Hazards

Cold Water Boating Safety

Planning a Successful Sojourn

POWR invited Kylie Maland, Watershed Manager with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to share her tips for planning and hosting a successful paddling sojourn. There are some great reminders and suggestions here that you’ll want to consider when planning your event and developing your Sojourn Mini-grant application.

Learn More