Winging it… Responsibly!

For many of us, much of the time, paddling is just another thing we ordinarily do. It’s like nipping out on foot to stretch our legs. It’s just what we do – and we really don’t want to be over-thinking it.

As a rule, we don’t need to consciously consider anything whatsoever… because the most natural ways for us to carry on keep our options open in ways which mean we’ll be able to adapt to what’s in front of us as and when we need to!

If we’re challenged over our plans for anything we ordinarily do when we nip out, we might say we’re going to “wing it” – and that’s often fair enough!

Keeping our options open…

Outdoorsy people tend to get a bit twitchy around people who “always” do things a certain way… as that’s a pretty lazy way of preparing appropriately for whatever we’re likely to find on a given day. We tend to be more relaxed around people who turn up in ways which show they’re just tuned into things that matter on a particular occasion!

If we’re sure we’ve got more than enough options… and that no-one’s going to worry if we’re back late because things haven’t gone to plan… we might be good to go. In effect, we’re sure we’ve got a “good enough” float plan even if we’d struggle to say what it might be!

So long as we’re confident we’ll be able to adapt to whatever we find in front of us… our “float plan” can be really vague.

Tools to help if we’re not sure…

Pennine’s priority is ensuring key questions get asked by competent people at appropriate times and supporting enthusiasts to work in ways which make sense to them – and what that means in practice for particular paddlers at particular moments will always change.

Our Safety Advisors will be on hand ahead of any and all sessions where members might want to seek advice… but the club has also produced some templates (below) which any paddler might find helpful in trying to make a plan for going afloat.

The important bit isn’t what gets written down… it’s asking the questions in the first place!

Float Plan Templates

The following Float Plan Templates are mentioned on our Activity Safety Framework page and are provided here as aids to reflection: