"Dinnae Dae Stupid" - This is just a 30 second introduction to one small part of outfitting a canoe for open water - it's a possible starting point, and nothing more - and no outfitting is a good substitute for judgement.
Many canoeists get away with things time after time. Some end up vastly experienced in getting away with not being prepared. Others get that responsible judgement depends on understanding what we might have to manage... and genuinely knowing what we can and cannot manage - that we can reduce our reliance on luck.
Understanding comes with reflection on significant personal experience, but we don't have to repeat the mistakes of others (as we can learn from their experiences) and we don't need to learn through misadventure in unforgiving environments - which is what open water can become with the wind in the wrong direction, or if we end up swamped, or unable to re-enter our boat.
Knowing what we can and cannot manage can only come through challenge and check - through going out in meaningful contexts (e.g. with tripping kit on significant bodies of open water in less than optimal conditions) and testing to see if we really can do what we thought we ought to be able to do.
Ps. Lot of genuinely experienced folk are more than happy to point others in the right direction. This can be a great way to learn. If in doubt contact a groups such as the Open Canoe Sailing Group or Open Canoe Association.
Music Store Credit: "Quiet March" by Adam Selzer (http://www.needledrop.co/wp/artists/adam-selzer/)