PADDLERsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 03 - Trip Planning and Preparation


To safely trailer your paddle craft from Point ‘A’ to Point ‘B’, follow these steps:


Step 1: Stow any loose paddle equipment inside your vehicle.

Step 2: Attach the coupler to the hitch ball (make sure they fit together properly).

Step 3: Attach the vehicle to the trailer with criss-crossed safety chains that cradle the hitch (in case the hitch fails).

Step 4: Check your brake lights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly—look at both the vehicle lights and the trailer lights.

Step 5: Check the tire pressure and the wheel bearings (are they properly greased?).

Step 6: Adjust your mirrors, buckle up and head to the lake!

Remember, when you arrive at your launch location, you’ll need to unload and transport the paddle craft to the water by hand. If you’re carrying your paddle craft alone, use the portage (overhead) method. If you have a helper, carry the paddle craft at your side by the handles, with one person at each end.  

Don’t forget to make arrangements for your return trip. If you’re being picked up downriver, your pick-up vehicle will need a roof rack or towing arrangements to accommodate your paddle craft. Don’t surprise a friend with this because they may not have all of the tie-down equipment you’ll need when they arrive!

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