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Outfitting & preparing for canoeing River trips

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I would like to welcome you all to the world of canoeing , for those of you with canoeing experience your input is most welcome. As our questions from the newbies. Now admittedly I take the minimalist approach to outfitting. I make it a rule to only take things that I actually need and will actually be using in the course of the trip otherwise it does not go. The canoe I am outfitting for is a square Stern canoe which enables me to put an outboard motor on it


The first thing you need to do is take down the big ticket item that is your canoe. You need to select a canoe of the appropriate size to meet your needs. You also need to choose whether you want to paddle or if like me use an outboard. Do your research and take a look around to see what's available for you. Bear in mind when selecting a canoe there is a maximum weight capacity not to exceed for safety please select an appropriate size canoe for you. This is one safety rule you do not want to break never overload your canoe. It can be a very dangerous thing. When they are speaking about the capacity of the canoe they are speaking of every single item going aboard. A good tip is to weigh yourself and everything going into the canoe when preparing for long trips you don't want to just guess the weight. 


Now that you have selected your canoe with or without a motor you're ready to move on to the next thing and that is your safety equipment. In regards to the safety equipment I even practice the minimalist approach here I only take what is absolutely required by law & one or two other things. I believe in Oregon you must have a life vest a spare paddle, a bale device, A flotation throw device with rope. This is so you can get a flotation device to a man overboard. You must also have a whistle or blow horn. I generally add my anchor to the safety list I generally get an 8 pound mushroom shaped anchor with a plastic coat to protect the canoe. Oops I forgot if you have a motor you are required to have a fire extinguisher I need say no more on that subject. But As you can  see writing this out helps me to identify what I do and don't have to take. make a checklist this may sound silly but will prevent you from not having what it is that you need And no I did not forget Also on your safety list a critical thing to have is a good first aid kit please do not skimp on this and select a decent one that will be of actual good use if called upon. Be sure and do inventory on it and make sure the pain relievers in it are going to be adequate for you if not replace it with what is suitable for you.



Now let's talk food, Water and snacks. This is quite obviously the fun part of outfitting after all who doesn't like to think about or talk about food. Let's let us look at water first when going on a trip you will need to locate places along the trip that have sources of water it is the single most heavy thing you will carry aboard. You can save some money by using plastic pop bottles . It doesn't cost anything and allows you to know easily how much water you have left. You may find yourself in places where there is no water available along the shore line. So stores and gas stations to name two are places that may not be there so carry with you on every trip a survival water filtration system these are lightweight and are critical to have in regards to your safety. Being dehydrated on the river and in the sun without adequate water can in fact kill you so please be certain of how and where you can get water.


Now that we have discussed water let's discuss our food. How much food you are going to carry will be determined by how many days you plan on going. I am currently planning a three month trip with food and supply stops along the way. If there are no stops along the way you have no choice but to rely on what you brought. Look into dehydrated food the water content has been taken out and so it is much lighter but you need to add water to rehydrate them so you can eat it. I recommend when it comes to freeze-dried food to go to your local camping store and purchase just a few of them and try the meals. The reason for this is that I found that dehydrated foods irritate my mouth it may just be me but you may want to find out before going. Another choice for food is the MRE ( meals ready to eat)The military uses them and they are self h eating meals with no fire necessary. I avoid canned goods as they are considerably heavy and takes up your weight capacity quickly . You can select from grocery stores things that are dehydrated like powdered milk macaroni and cheese. Summer sausage cheese crackers. You can also get your chips and snacks as they keep long-term or at least long enough to suit your purposes. If you have noticed I have not made mention of a cooler. Coolers take up a lot of space and weight so I avoid them on long trips short trips when you don't need as much that's okay. As you can see you have to pick and choose what's going or not. Please do not expect this list to be complete It is a works in progress And needs work.


Now the fun stuff deciding where you want to go as you know I did a topic on this. Now is where you select the river of your choice and you obtain river navigation charts and maps so you can navigate through a good river guide will also list places for fuel food and water. You want to look at the towns you will be passing through because if you can't carry enough aboard you will either need to purchase food along the way or have it all boxed up and ready to go and have it shipped to you at post offices Locations along the way it's a great little trick. If you are going to use canned goods on your journey I recommend canned meats Like Can Chicken Canned ham & spam that kind of thing. Now that I have given you a general idea on food we can move on


Tools toys Toys and odds and ends: if you have an outboard motor you're going to need a small emergency tool kit generally a toolkit will come with outboard motor. You also need an emergency patch kit for both your canoe and tent. A sleeping bag and Mat to sleep on are highly recommended Along with the pillow like the ones used for hiking they are compact and lightweight quite adequate for your purposes.. Take clothing with you that is adequate for the weather conditions this is a good place to take the minimal Approach when selecting things such as jeans and shirts how many do you really need and are there laundry mats along the way. That kind of thing use your imagination and it will take you far. I generally like to take a hatchet and a machete these are two tools I don't like to go without as there are so many things you can do with them. A knife and pocketknife is also recommended. Just for fun If you are a birdwatcher take some Binoculars I like the compact 10 x 25 I find it more than adequate on the river. No I did not forget the fishermen Same thing goes Take only the tackle and weights and what  you absolutely need.


I have put quite a lot of information in this post so please bear in mind after having read this it is actually my rough draft for my trip so if you see anything missing that is absolutely needed please feel free  to comment. And no I did not forget waterproof matches and lighters LOL.



I look forward to your replies and thank you for your time.

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Where do you keep your boat when you're off in town.? What stops someone from happening upon it and stealing it? 😕 

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You bring up a very good point Eddie and yes theft can sometimes be a problem. This is a good place for some creative thinking let me come up with some ideas that may help. I say may help because of a thief really wants it he'll get it no matter what you do. ( sad fact) so let me see here the first thing of course would be to lock it up. That's if you can on your particular canoe. Mine has an eyebolt on the bow is not actually called an eyebolt I just forgot what it was called LOL. If you cannot lock your canoe up then you can try to find a person and ask them if they wouldn't mind watching your canoe while you pick up your supplies at the post office or grocery store. I personally will be looking for a stoner and will pay him in weed a bona fide stoner will stay for hours for 1/4 ounce or so LOL. A lot of this depends on location as well for example if there is a beach with woods you can take your canoe and hide it in the trees and underbrush should be safe. And there is of course the possibility you will have a partner along in that case one watches the canoe while the other fetches the supplies. If there's quite a bit alternate. Then there are places you can more where there are lots of other boaters around so a thief wouldn't feel comfortable just up and taking it. Boaters are generally really good at looking out for one another. Always be willing to assist someone in trouble as you may need assistance yourself one day you never know. 


If you are really worried about it and there's no place available to lock up whatsoever have good insurance on your canoe just in case a thief does get it. Yes your trip may be ruined But the insurance company will pay for a new canoe. It is always a good idea to have insurance. I'm going to be looking into a policy that will cover all my gear aboard as well. Be sure and take pictures of all your canoeing supplies so they can be presented to the insurance company if need be.


The bottom line of course is you  pays your money and you takes your chances LOL funny but no joke!






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