Canoeing is a great sport, one that is both physically exerting yet scenic and beautiful. There are few key pieces of equipment that are necessary for a fun and safe trip. First you should make sure you have the correct canoe, and it is worth remembering that there are different canoes for different purposes. In other words, a canoe used for whitewater is different from a canoe that is used for recreation or even for racing. Once you have selected the correct type of equipment, you need to obviously have a paddle, including an extra one as a spare. These are the basics, let’s take a look at a few more necessary items.
A personal flotation device is also very important. It may actually be illegal to be on the water without this. This can be a life jacket or life preserver, and there should be as many flotation devices as there are people in the canoe. Float bags are an important part of whitewater canoes so if you have one of them, you need to ensure the float bags are present and in good condition. Helmets are also crucial for canoeists who risk hitting their heads on rocks if the boat capsizes.
For canoe trips the experts recommend taking a barrel pack. This is a 60-liter barrel made of plastic that is designed to keep equipment inside waterproof. People can also use it as a stool to sit on. In addition to this, a tarp of about 4 meters by 4 meters is very useful. You can use this to hang between trees and it should also have a pole in the center which you can hammer into the ground. This will provide shelter when you are resting on the bank after canoeing, and it will protect you from sunshine and rain.
It is wise to take a first aid kit and a satellite phone if you are planning on a trip, especially if you are going into the wilderness where you may encounter danger. Completing a first aid course would also be a good idea before you set out on an adventure.
Clothing and Camping Gear
Although many people will choose to wear a wetsuit when on a canoe trip, a drysuit may be a better idea. The suit can keep you warmer especially on a rainy and cold day out in whitewater. If you are planning on camping, then you should invest in a decent and appropriately sized tent. You need to take enough food and water with as well, particularly if you are camping. A Nalgeen water bottle will work well for carrying drinking water. Some expert canoeists suggest taking energy bars with even for a short canoe trip since you often burn fuel more quickly than you realize since it is a strenuous activity. You can buy proper canoeing shoes, or you can use old tennis shoes that you do not mind getting wet. The dry bag is another piece of gear to consider taking and this should contain dry clothes including a jacket if you get cold. Do not forget about sun protection. In fact, while on the water you are very susceptible to sunburn, so wear sunscreen to avoid burning. You may also want to opt for a hat which will also protect you from the sun, and this can help if it starts raining.