During this unfortunate lockdown period,? I have had time to sort thru a lot of photos and I came across pics of a canoeing trip. And I was reminded of while doing the? canoe trek down the Whanganui river in New Zealand, I had the fortune?(or misfortune) to experience the canoe tipping over and take an unexpected swim. I thought I would share some lessons learnt from that cold splash.
Canoe weight distribution matters intently
Balance is everything in a canoe and a slight shift in weight can make the balance of the canoe one-sided.? If you are carrying lots of items, make sure the weight is distributed equally side to side.? That is, when you are in the canoe, make sure the canoe sides are balanced so that one side is not leaning more in the water. If it leans in the water, while just sitting in the canoe, once you are moving and steering, you will have an increased chance of water coming in on the side that is dipping down.? Once water comes in on that side, it will become even heavier, dipping down even more. Until eventually you will end up overturned.? Not the best way to be in a canoe.?? Evenly distribute the weight, left to right, front to back.? You may want to place heavier objects more toward the back. This will help to keep the canoe more streamlined in the front.? The main thing, keep the sides balanced, or you will end up swimming.
Water tight barrel / bags are essential.
Watertight bags or plastic barrels as we used, are essential for the trip to store your gear in.? Not only do they keep your gear dry, but it will also keep the canoe buoyant and floating more on top of the water rather than in the water if you overturn the canoe. An upside-down canoe that is partially submerged is a back breaker to get it back upright.? The watertight barrels will also keep the canoe from completely filling up with water while upside down.
Strapping everything in you want to take home with you
This may seem obvious, but I saw many water bottles and jackets floating separately from the owners? canoe.? If you want to take it home with you, tie it or strap it to the canoe.? An easy method is to tie a string to the canoe, thread the string through all of your small objects like cups with handles, waterproof cameras with long straps and such, and tie a two-litre empty plastic milk bottle to the other end.? This way the string will float with the object, if it is being dragged behind by canoe upright or upside.
If you follow these three tips, I can’t guarantee you will stay dry, but I can assure you that all of your belongings will reach the destination safely. If you enjoy canoeing and the outdoors, and want to experience nature on your terms, we can help.? Our trip consultants can build the perfect challenge for you.? Be different. Trek the lesser explored, and live Life with Passion.
Respect nature and those around you. Take out more trash than you packed in and Leave No Trace.