I think we’ve covered equipment in the past. I want to cover behaviors. From when you leave the house to when you get back. What habits do you try to establish every time you go out.
Load gear first in car. Harder to put gear (especially paddles) in a hatchback with the boat on top.
I always try to put straps up before boat. Wrap straps around the both the cross bars and outer factory rail. Sometimes folks desire to help prevents this. If just one boat, it always goes on passenger side. Easier for me to see it out the sun roof.
Check boat by pushing on it to see if it is loose on rack before putting key in ignition and make sure I have phone, wallet and extra key to car. Somehow I seem to forget phone a good bit.
Double check to see that helmet (ww), pfd, sprayskirt, and paddle are in car before leaving driveway.
At the river
Hide key in same spot on vehicle.
Launch from the side of the launching zone to leave room for others to launch.
Make sure that grab loop is out and run my hands around the cockpit rim to make sure I have a good seal before launching.
Double check to make sure all buckles are buckled on my pfd.
pop skirt a 2nd time and adjust backband latches, double check grab loop.
Do a few warm up strokes, stretches.
on a trip
take frequent glances at who is ahead and behind me
leave or create space between other boats
eddy out below trouble spots and bigger rapids
pop skirt and drink plenty of water, check grab loop again
at some point I ask others how they’re doin’, need to stop? want a break?
at the takeout
I always try to accept help if it is offered- loading and carrying boats
I provide cold drinks while shuttle is being run- you make a lot of friends this way
back at home
hang wet stuff on clothes line located near car (often the boat gets left on car) but much of the time the throw rope, pin kit, first aid kit are left in boat if I’m boating again in the next couple of days