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What Are the Best Tips for Planning Canoe Trips?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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The first and most important tip for planning canoe trips is to map a route carefully and analyze that route to ensure it is within your skill level and your preparedness level for that specific trip. Some rivers will require that the canoeist do a portage, which involves carrying the canoe over land. If the canoe trips being planned included portages, some additional preparations will need to be made beforehand. Map out where these portages occur so all trip members can be prepared for them. If the trip is a multi-day excursion, meals and shelter will need to be planned carefully as well.

Participants can expect to get wet on canoe trips, so waterproof clothing and fast-drying clothing will need to be purchased and packed. If rain is a possibility, even if it is not in the forecast, the canoeists will need to have rain gear handy and ready to use at any time. It may be a wise decision to pack rain gear and other clothing in waterproof bags to ensure they do not get wet by accident during paddling. Canoeists should base their clothing choices on the season, and they should always have at least one good pair of warm clothing regardless of the season. Canoe trips can be dangerous, so it is best to be prepared in case someone falls in the water and needs to warm up quickly. Cotton clothing should be avoided, as cotton tends to get wet and stay wet, meaning a person will be uncomfortable and cold.

Review and inspect all gear being taken on canoe trips in the weeks or days leading up to departure. Canoes will need to be inspected for any damage, and bags or other equipment will need to be inspected for tears or rips that may lead to leaks. Paddles or oars should also be inspected for damage prior to use. It helps to make a checklist of items that need to be taken on the trip. The canoeist should think carefully about how all the gear will be packed, and where it will be stored during the trip.

It is important to check all local laws or regulations regarding canoeing down specific waterways. Sometimes parts of waterways are restricted, meaning canoeists should not be on the waterways at all. Other areas are only open seasonally; in some cases, it may be necessary to obtain permits to navigate the river or camp on its shores. The canoeists will need to research any regulations such as these before embarking on canoe trips.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari , Former Writer
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By nextcorrea — On Jun 11, 2012

I have been on a few canoe camping trips and I think it is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors. You get both the land and the water. You can hike or fish or go swimming or do just about anything. Total access to the outdoors.

By gravois — On Jun 10, 2012

If you are going to be renting a canoe do some research when you are planning your trip about what canoe rentals are available and what they cost. Also find out what kind of trips they offer. Some rental companies offer multiple parts in the river where you can end your trip and others offer only one.

Having this stuff worked out before you start your trip is the best way to ensure that you will have a boat and a ride when you want them.

By truman12 — On Jun 09, 2012

Make sure that you have a few water proof bags and pack them with clothes, shoes and anything else that you want to be absolutely protected from the water. The worst thing on a canoes trip is if you loose a cell phone or camera or a pack of smokes in the river.

But do not just wrap them up in a plastic grocery bag or a Ziplock. These are rarely actually water proof and they can easily break open once they get into the water. It is worth it to invest in a professionally made water proof bag.

Dan Cavallari

Dan Cavallari

Former Writer

Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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