Canoeing is one of the most popular outdoor sports, it can be as simple as paddling across a placid lake or brave white water rapids. It is a sport that you can do with friends or you can pack up your canoe and go it alone. If you’re ready to start canoeing alone then there is some gear you’re going to need and tips you should follow to make sure you stay safe and your trip is a pleasant one.
Finding a Canoe
If you are a canoeing enthusiast then chances are good that you already own a canoe, but is the right one for the solo trips that you want to take. Canoes come in all shapes and sizes from single person paddlers to canoes built to hold 4 or more people. If you don’t yet have a canoe of your own then you need to find one for the type of water you frequent the most. Flat bottom canoes work well in quiet water, if you just want to get out for a paddle and maybe do some fishing. Round bottom canoes are better suited for the adrenaline junkie who wants to head out on faster waters. Make sure that your skill level matches the type of canoeing you want to do or you can find yourself in trouble.
Solo canoes are much smaller than other canoes you may be used to. They are built for the solo canoer to be able to carry them to the water and there isn’t a lot of room, if you plan on a trip with a lot of portaging then you are going to find it difficult. Much of your gear won’t fit inside so you’re going to need to travel light.
When you are canoeing solo you have no one to rely on but yourself if something goes wrong so make sure that you have the right safety gear with you always. Inexperienced canoers should always go with someone else regardless of how good a swimmer that you are. Once you have enough experience under your belt then you can head out solo. You should always be wearing a personal flotation device, if you hit your head when the canoe capsizes the PFD can save your life. Ideally you should have some communication device with you to call for help.
Solo canoeing is a great way to get out into nature and just enjoy the water, but prepare for any possible danger even if you are just paddling around a quiet lake.