Don’t be the only one in the canoe party that knows the route – have maps marked out, go over it with your group – if something happens to you to make you incapable of leading the way back to civilization it is necessary that someone else be capable of getting everyone home.
Do not depart for a canoe trip or outing without making someone back at home aware of the route you plan to take, where you will put in and take out, at what time you plan to return, and who is going with you. Notify a responsible family member or close friend who you can trust to get help should you not return when expected. Some canoe routes also have places where you check in your vehicle prior to commencing your trip. Leave your travel plans with a person of authority at this location – they would be the first to notice if you had not returned to your vehicle on time.