There’s nothing better than enjoying a nice, relaxing day on the lake. Whether you have your own boat, or are renting, here are some safety tips from Popular Mechanics:
Stay Afloat: You’ve heard it before: Life jackets save lives. According to Coast Guard studies, 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Of the remaining 10 percent, many were wearing a model that wasn’t designed to keep the head out of the water after the wearer lost consciousness. Legally, having PFDs in the boat is good enough—it’s not mandatory that you wear a life jacket, just that there’s one onboard for each person on a boat. Read More
Stay Alert: It’s a sad fact that 17 percent of all recreational boating fatalities are the direct result of drunk boating, or BUI (boating under the influence). While attitudes toward land-based drinking and driving have evolved significantly in the past couple of decades, downing a cold one as the wake fans out behind you still feels like a rite of summer. “It’s not illegal to drink in boats. The problem is, people often don’t know when to stop,” says Jennings, whose office has seen accidents in which drunk boaters plowed into bridges, jetties, as well as other boats. “Very rarely is a stone-sober mariner involved in a serious boating accident.” Read More
Stay in Touch: Cellphone coverage is often spotty; phones can get wet, and batteries can die. A modern VHF marine radio, on the other hand, is a near guarantee that you’ll be able to communicate with rescuers and guide them to your exact location in the event of an accident. (A good marine radio runs about $100, provides frequent weather updates and can be connected to your boat’s GPS for even greater geographic accuracy.) All marine radios sold after June 1999 have a built-in feature called DSC, or digital selective calling, a button that sends an automatic mayday call with your vessel’s name and location. Read More
Stay Informed: In most parts of the country, there are no licensing requirements for boat operators. But you can still hone your skills by taking a safe-boating course. (A class is also an excellent idea for young drivers; in most states kids as young as 12 are permitted to operate small motorboats.) Go to boatus.com to find classes near you. The best reason: Of those 700 annual fatalities, just 10 percent are in the boat with a driver who has had any sort of formal safety training. Read More
Tranquil. Peace. Time to get away. These are the images that should come to your mind when taking a vacation. The Lake of the Ozarks is the perfect place to find peace and relaxation. It can be difficult to get that relaxation. Here are some fantastic tips from Shape Magazine to make your next vacation the best it can be.
TRAVEL HASSLE #1: Traffic
TRAVEL SOLUTION: Get out the door on time.
No one plans to leave during rush hour. But even the best intentions go awry when you’re tying up loose ends at work and at home. How can you stick to your departure time? “Be truly ready to go the minute you wake up,” says Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing From the Inside Out. Start packing three days ahead and jot down any final-hour items—like a favorite toiletry—as you go. Hang the list on your door and put a copy on your suitcase. At the office, send out an email to coworkers two weeks, a week and then two days before you leave so that no one springs a must-do task on you when you’re rushing out the door. Figure out in advance who’ll cover for you and defer any last-minute “emergencies” to her.
TRAVEL HASSLE #2: Belly bloat
TRAVEL SOLUTION: Snack smarter.
“Flying tends to wreak havoc with your belly because the gasses in your digestive system expand at high altitudes,” says Shape contributor Cynthia Sass, R.D. To reduce bloating, skip the greasy stuff and seek out healthier fast food options or BYO snacks: Pack a baggie with unsweetened dried fruit and /or almonds—a golf–ball-sized portion of each will keep you full and balance your blood sugar without taking up too much space in your belly. Instead of carbonated drinks, order hot water and bring your own tea bags. Stash peppermint or ginger teas in your carry-on, since they soothe your digestive system.