These tips will ensure much safer and enjoyable canoeing experience:
- Wear your life jacket.
- Take a spare paddle.
- Don’t canoe alone.
- Have tether ropes on both ends of the canoe.
- Take insect repellant.
- Take ample water.
- Take sunscreen, sunglasses, and wide-brim hat. The sun’s reflection off the water can be
intense. If it is hot, start early or later in the day and make the trip shorter.
- Put extra clothing, gear, and food in water-proof bags.
- Take rain gear but not ponchos.
- Take first aid kit. Learn what poison ivy and poison oak look like, as well as black widow and
brown recluse spiders.
- Do not attempt to handle wild animals, especially babies. Prairie rattlesnakes exist on the
Dismal, Niobrara, and the west end of the Republican River.
- Avoid contact with all livestock.
- Protect your feet with tightfitting wading shoes.
- Camp only in designated areas. Obtain permission prior to camping on, or entering the
water from, private land.
- Read maps and plan ahead. Be off the water before dark.
- TRASH. Pack it in, pack it out.
- Build fires only in fire rings, drown flames and coals after use. If no fire ring exists,
use only camp stoves.
- If you encounter a barbed wire fence, STOP and plan your passage. If necessary, get out
of the canoe and walk.
- Use caution when loading and unloading near highway or county bridges.
- Never canoe flooded rivers.
Nebraska boating laws are as follows:
- Nebraskans must register motorized canoes. Nebraska will honor canoes registered in other
- Each canoe occupant must have a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V life preserver. Persons under 12 must wear a preserver.
- Each canoe must have a bucket or sponge for bailing water.
Nebraska weather is characterized by extremes of temperature, humidity, intensity, and rate of change. Summer storms rapidly
form, are fast-moving and can have rain, hail, high winds, lightning, and tornados combined. Heed signs of bad weather, get
off the water and take cover as quickly as possible.
Do not trespass. Portaging around obstructions is permissible.
State highway and county maps can be purchased from:
Dept. of Roads
U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle maps can be purchased at:
Conservation & Survey Division
Cost is $4 + shipping