“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;”
There are many wonderful activities to enjoy on a hot, sunny, summer day with your friends or family, but one of our favorites is to go canoeing. Riverside Resort sits on the legendary Horseshoe Chain of Lakes and has many great places to canoe. We have embarked on several canoe adventures throughout the years. We would like to share some tips with you that we have found to be very helpful. If you follow these you are sure to have a successful trip that everyone will look back on with fondness.
Bring plenty of water bottles
Canoeing can be very relaxing and great for all ability levels, but it can also be quite physically taxing. You may not even realize you are in need of water because you are having so much fun, but make sure to keep drinking water throughout the trip.
Don’t forget to protect yourself…from the environment
It is always better to be over-prepared because weather on the water can change so quickly. Regardless of if the sun is behind clouds or directly beaming down, you should protect yourself from its rays. This can be done many ways, but the 3 most common are sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. You may also need to protect yourself from bugs, so don’t forget the bug spray!
Bring an ample amount of food
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, food always makes every experience better, right? Few canoe adventrues are short in length, so it is important to pack along enough food to keep everyone satisfied. Great foods to bring along are granola bars, pre-made sandwiches, fruit snacks, nuts, cut-up veggies, trail mix, and beef sticks.
Put your supplies in waterproof bags
Food, bug spray, sunscreen, extra clothes, and all other supplies should be kept in a waterproof bag. It is not likely that your canoe will tip, however it is a possibility. Splashes from paddling, unexpected rain, or spontaneous water fights are also ways your belongings could get wet. Nobody wants a soggy sandwich. 🙂
Prepare yourself for portaging
What is portaging, you may ask. Well, that’s when you have to get out of your canoe and walk it across land. Here is a short video to show you what it might look like. Bring shoes or comfortable sandals that will not easily fall off. It can be very painful to carry a heavy and cumbersome canoe barefoot. It is also wise to pack light so that if you do have to portage you have little to carry.
More experienced canoer in the back
Some of you may think this is an obvious suggestion, however you may be surprised how many people overlook this important detail. The person in the back controls the direction of the canoe. This is extremely helpful in making the most out of every stroke and keeps the canoe going on the correct course.
This tip may seem a bit odd, however if and when the time comes that you and your group want to just chill on the water you may find yourself thanking me. You could also have some unhappy campers if you do not have access to all the food in different canoes when it is time to eat. But more importantly, it is wonderful to all be together without having to hold on to one another’s canoes for an extended period of time. This is even helpful if you just have one canoe. While you rest, simply tie the canoe up to a tree or dock.
Have an adventurous and laid back attitude
These tips are very helpful, however cannot possibly account for everything you will encounter along the way. Adventure by definition is “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity”. This is half the fun, right? No matter how much or how well you plan, things may go wrong. If you come into the adventure with that mindset and expectation it will be easier to make adjustments when needed.
Now, you are ready to sail the high seas, I mean, paddle down the river. We hope you will find these tips to be helpful the next time you embark on a canoe adventure with your crew.