Top 10 Things To Take Canoeing

Whether you want a relaxing day on calm water or an exhilarating white water experience, canoeing or kayaking has something to offer everyone. Canoes are great for families and couples as they can fit two or three people and they can also carry larger loads making them perfect for overnight canoe and camping trips.
Here are our top 10 tips of what you need and should take when you venture onto the water!

1: Pick the right Canoe

The type of canoe you choose depends completely on what type of paddling you wish to do, how many people will be in the boat with you, and what level of paddler you are. General purpose canoes are perfect for people who want to paddle their local lake, pond or quiet river. Though these canoes do not have the performance features of more specialized canoes, their stability and versatility make them the right choice for families and newcomers to the sport of paddling!  Most modern canoes have inherent buoyancy built in during construction; however before venturing onto the water make sure you fasten in extra buoyancy at the ends of the canoe. E.g. airbags or buoyancy blocks. They will help prevent the canoe from completely sinking if swamped or capsized and they also make emptying a water logged canoe much easier.

2: Bring Paddles:

Canoe Paddles can be made from Wood or Aluminium shafts with plastic blades and are single-bladed. An open canoe paddle is measured by kneeling down and holding the paddle upside down just below the blade with the handle on the ground. If your arm is horizontal the paddle is a good length. Everyone knows you can’t canoe without a paddle therefore every canoeist should have one in their hand and an extra paddle with them secured in the canoe in case of an emergency.

3: Take your Buoyancy Aid:

A buoyancy aid should be worn for every canoeing activity; regardless of how well you can swim. It will help keep you afloat should you fall into the water. They fit like a vest and the modern designs ensure they do not restrict movement like old traditional lifejackets. Ensure the buoyancy aid fits correctly and has adequate buoyancy for your size – look for the CE certification mark to show that the buoyancy aid has been subjected to rigorous safety tests. Should you capsize it will keep you afloat and you can easily swim to help yourself. A buoyancy aid is probably the most important piece of safety kit you’ll invest in!

4: Bring a First aid kit:

Just remember whether you kayak, canoe, raft or participate in any other outdoor activities, you should always bring a first aid kit. You can purchase a ready made first aid kit or put one together yourself. Just make sure you check the kit regularly and replace any used or expired supplies. You may also want to take a first aid course so you will know how to use the contents of your kit.

5: Dry bag:

A dry bag is a type of bag which seals in a watertight manner. Using a dry bag will keep your belongings, first aid kit and sensitive equipment dry. Just make sure it is attached inside of the boat! When using one, it is vital to ensure the roll top closure is folded at least three times, to create a watertight seal.
6: Clothing – Get the right stuff!

Wearing and taking the correct clothing when canoeing will make a huge difference to your enjoyment on the water. Paddling in the colder winter months is just as enjoyable as the summer providing you wear the appropriate clothing. We advise customers who are coming canoeing with us to wear and bring the following: Wear warm comfortable clothing. Wool or polyester is ideal. Leave cotton clothing for the pub and no jeans! Wear trainers or boots you don’t mind getting wet (no sandals/flip flops). Bring a Warm hat and gloves, a spare fleece, and always bring Waterproofs (Trousers and Jacket with hood) that are actually waterproof! If you are planning a longer trip on the water, maybe an overnight adventure your kit list will be much longer!

7: Sun cream – you never know! Since you are completely exposed to the elements in canoes, it is always a good idea to bring along some extra sunscreen during the summer months.

8: Drinking water/Food and Snacks – Make sure you take plenty of drinking water – e.g. if you are heading out onto the water for a full day, take at least 2 litres (maybe more if it’s a scorching summers day!). A flask of a hot drink is a must by our books, but not a necessity. Regarding food/snacks, anything in a wrapper that you can stick in your buoyancy aid pocket is good. High energy bars, flapjacks, peanuts that kind of thing. Of course if you are on the water for a full day, take a full packed lunch box too.

9: A Camera. No explanation necessary!

10: Leave no trace – Last but certainly not least. The idea is simple – leave the places you enjoy as good as or better than you found them.


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