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  • NSPN Trip Levels

     Trip Descriptions

      Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
    Lakes, sheltered rivers, protected harbors, tidal estuaries with minimal or no current, etc. May involve limited exposure to open ocean with access to sheltered water or landing near at hand (less than .5 nautical mile). Coastal or tidal paddling, potentially up to 1.5 nautical miles from landing. May involve significant exposure to open ocean with limited access to landings (two nautical miles).

    Maximum Conditions

      Level 1 Level 2  Level 3  Level 4 
    Wind Some 10 knots 15 knots 20 knots
    Waves/Chop Minimal 1 foot 2 feet 4 feet
    Surf Minimal 1 foot 2 feet 4 feet
    Current Minimal 1 knot 2 knots 4 knots
    Distance 2 miles 10 miles 15 miles 20+ miles


      Level 1 Level 2  Level 3  Level 4 
    Paddle None Forward, reverse, sweep Level 2 skills.
    Correcting and boat handling strokes.
    Solid bracing.
    Level 3 skills.
    Strong bracing skills. Surf skills.
    Tidal current skills.
    Rescue None Wet exit Wet exit, paddle float self rescue, partner rescue Level 3 skills
    Rescues and tows.
    Reliable roll or very strong bracing.
    Pace None None 2-3 knots 4 knots
    Other None None Basic trip safety
    Basic navigation
    Trip planning Environmental conditions
    Charts, navigation, VHF, environmental conditions, trip planning and emergency   procedures
    Desirable   Experience None Basic class in kayak safety and paddle strokes Level 2 trips or equivalent.
    Class in rescues and tows
    Level 3 trips or equivalent.
    Level 3 classes.
    Classes in trip planning, safety, and navigation.
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