The Basics of Canoeing

Canoeing is a fun activity that’s exciting and adventurous. It is a great way to explore the water in a different way. Canoes date back for ages and the oldest canoes were found in the Netherlands and were sighted around 8200 B.C. Back then, canoes were used to take on the deep seas and combat new territory, as well as making basic tasks such as fishing and hunting possible. Even though there has been many changes throughout the years, the structure of the canoe is still basically the same. People go out and canoe for many different reasons. Some want to enjoy the calmness of a lake, others want to see how many fish they can catch. Whatever reason you take your canoe out, you’re sure to have loads of fun. However, before you get out on the water in your canoe, you need to learn the basics.

Getting Started

If you haven’t purchased your own canoe and gear, you can always buy an affordable, inflatable canoe. However, the best and simplest way to start paddling quickly is to just rent a canoe. Most accessible rivers have canoe rentals that allows you to rent boats, paddles, and even safety gear for an hour up to a whole day. If you’re canoeing on a safe river, prior experience is not required and you’re responsible for getting back to base at your appointed time. If you’re seasoned at paddling, this could be extreme fun, however, if you lack the knowledge of how to stop and turn your boat, you may feel a little intimidated or even frightened. So, if you’re new to canoeing, it may be a good idea to take a paddling tour or beginner’s session just so you can get familiar with everything.

What To Wear

What you need to wear depends on the climate you’ll be going out in. At different times of the year, you may need a little more clothing than just your swimsuit and a t-shirt. You may want to dress in fully insulated, waterproof gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, and insulated jacket. It is definitely smart to bring some spare, warm layers just in case you slip and fall in and need to warm up. You should store those extra close in a dry bag and secure to the boat. You also need to bring along non slip shoes that dry quickly. Although it may be tempting to not wear any shoes at all, you will be glad you did because of all of the debris at the bottom of the lake or river.

What To Bring

When going out canoeing, there’s no limit to what you can take. If you’re wanting to to keep it simple and just go out for a day of fishing, then you just need to take your fishing gear, maybe some sunscreen, and a map or compass. However, if you’re wanting to make a full day of it where you make stops and create memories, you may want to bring food, drinks, a cooler, a camera, etc. Just make sure you don’t go overboard on weight and be sure that whatever you bring along is secured tightly to the boat using rope.

How To Paddle

How To Paddle
How To Paddle

If two people are working together paddling, the person in the front, known as the bow paddler, is basically the brains of the operation and doesn’t really need to worry much about the where the boat is headed. However, the stern paddler, which is the person in the back, is in charge of steering. Sometimes the roles definitely may overlap from time to time, but it is crucial that you work together as a team and not compete against one another.