Hard core boaters may be out year around, but there are many who only come out when the sun is bright and the temperatures are high.  

Having access to local reservoirs, lakes, and rivers is something that may come as a surprise to those who are not familiar with Nevada.  While mountainous, Nevada also has spectacular water features that attract boaters, fast and loud, as well as slow and low.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is the boating safety, education and enforcement agency.  

The goal of the Boating Safety Office is to “create a safe boating environment and experience for Nevada boaters.”  Their website, ndow.org/boat, provides useful information for boaters of all kind.

People who choose to be slow and low by using canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards are still considered boaters and are subject to many of the same requirements as motorboats.  

For example, paddlers are required to carry a life jacket that fits properly for anyone on board, and children under the age of 13 are required to wear the life jacket at all times.  Regardless of how old you are, or how good a swimmer you are, wearing a life jacket at all times simply makes good sense and puts safety first.  Why take a chance and wish you had it on?

Planning ahead is important for a good day on the water.  Be sure to let someone know where you are going, especially if you are alone.  

It’s always best to go with a friend, but at a minimum let someone know your plans.  Be sure you have plenty of water and food on board and dress in layers that can be easily adjusted to the quickly changing weather of Nevada. 

Also, be sure to wear and reapply sunscreen since being on the reflective water can give you an amazing tan, but it can also burn you bad.

Knowing your boat and equipment is also important.  Practice getting in and out of your vessel in expected circumstances, and in unexpected circumstances.  You never know when you may tip over in the middle of the river or lake and need to either get out of or in from a different position.  

Always be aware of your surroundings.  You may be alone, or you may be sharing with a lot of other boaters and especially if you are in a smaller and lower vessel, never assume others can see you.  If you are with a group, travel together and watch out for each other.  Wearing bright and noticeable clothing is wise, nothing wrong with being easily visible and fashionable.

Getting out on the water is good fun and good exercise.  Wear your life vest, plan ahead and be aware. Get outside and explore the amazing water that Nevada has to offer.