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answer about canoe trip

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  • Jay
    Still researching this one but these are our notes so far. First of all alot changes between 1 and 2 as you know so some of our ideas won t apply.
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 1, 2006
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      Still researching this one but these are our notes so
      far.
      First of all alot changes between 1 and 2 as you know
      so some of our ideas won't apply.
      Unfortunately we decided my own trusty canoe was too
      small and heavy-- it's a 12ft wood and canvas and
      moves like a dream, good size for 1 or 2 adults who
      pack light but a child of course changes every
      equation known to mankind. We will be borrowing a 17
      ft Kevlar touring with shallow arc bottom.

      Ordinarily we have 1 medium size pack for the two of
      us but this time we will have 2 (is this an
      exponential increase? does canoeing with 2 kids mean
      you have 4 packs?LOL. If you need to portage one can
      take the child in a front carrier or sling with one
      pack and the portager can take the other pack. More
      packs will obviously present difficulties if you're
      not good at packing under the canoe.

      What you want to look for in a canoe at this stage is
      stability and width- you have more to pack, you will
      be moving more in the canoe, the weight will be
      shifting. You could look into keels for added
      stability, esp if u will be on fairly calm water, but
      you alsocompromise manoeuvrability. If like us you are
      used to rough waters/shifting currents/etc, my advice
      is put it on a backburner for a few years or at least
      forthe first trip out (as we are).

      Advice we've had is to keep the kid(s) low and
      preferably in the middle. We've instead decided to
      nestle a carseat in the bow, where Mom can keep an eye
      on him and reach him easily. And of course you do NOT
      strap him/her into the seat. We were told about a
      Crazy Creek Canoe Chair but I have not had time to
      look into it. Umbrellas and/or netting canbe rigged up
      ahead of time if u need.

      More weight up front makes stern paddling harder, and
      given that Mom will also be unable to paddle some or
      much of the time, you definately need a strong stern.
      (Which I am being a year round paddler). If you do not
      have a strong and skilled stern paddler then move VERY
      slowly only on CALM water and stay very close to shore
      at all times.

      Try on LOTS of pfd's and make sure you get one that
      will not ride up and get in the way when he is
      sitting. We've chosen one with a flat nylon back so he
      can sit and move comfortably in the seat. Most of the
      ones we saw but shockingly not all had large loops on
      the back, for grabbing in an emergency.

      You might also want to invest in new models for
      yourself, ones you wore pre-kid maybe don't have the
      range of motion you'd want or need with a child to
      hold, grab, or pass things back and forth. (My own is
      a tow and rescue with alot of freedom but these are
      pricy and not necessary for a regular family trip.
      (Ordinarily my wife and I would be taking a much more
      extreme holiday LOL)

      Up front with the carseat have a small pack with
      essentials (wipes, food, liners, drinks) to avoid
      needing to pass stuff forward enroute.

      Introduce your child to WATERPROOF toys before the
      trip so he/she can pick favorites, you can tie these
      with 2 metre or so string to thwarts or seats.
      Apparently kids love to throw stuff overboard. Of
      course this is all that should ever be tied down. Keep
      non waterproof toys in your packs, to be brought out
      only when you've landed. My sister strongly recommends
      a soother bib so soothers don't get pitched overboard.

      Above all PRACTICE and prerably in the canoe you will
      be tripping in. The last thing you want is to set out
      on thr first morning and discover you can't control
      the darn thing. You can throw in weight to match
      child/packs and make sure you r comfortable
      moving/manoevring esp. any strokes for turns,
      reversing, siding into shore, also practice in wind if
      you can. If you're lucky and you've got the time there
      might be a local outfit that can give a crash course.
      If its possible you will also want to take your child
      out once or twice before you discover she is scared
      sh*tless in a canoe and you have two weeks of
      screaming to look forward to (We live on Lake Ontario
      and have a canoe and a kayak so we fortunately have
      lots of practice and Matthew has been out in both but
      not enthroned the way he will be on the trip. Our
      first overnight will be this weekend, camping on the
      beach 10 minutes walk from home LOL.)

      Every trip plan, kids or not, should have "escape
      routes" built in but you may want to make sure there's
      one a day or so, you just never know when you'll have
      to bail out. (This will of course depend how far you
      think you can paddle in say half a day in bad
      conditions.) And build in extra time, you'll be making
      pit stops more often in all likelihood. If before you
      could happily paddle in whitecaps/wind, this time
      DON'T. This means your overall trip will probably be
      shorter distancewise, with alot more time spent at
      camp then on the water, depending on weather and water
      conditions. We personally enjoy risk and challenge but
      there is no way we do that with Matthew on board until
      he and we are far far more experienced tripping
      together.

      Of course pack the usual signalling devices
      (reflective surface, whistles), and a WATERPROOF first
      aid kit. Consider that you may need to evacuate alot
      faster with an injured child than an adult. Review
      self-rescue, and re-review your rescue plan and
      emergency procedures. Because of the kinds of things
      we do we already have a GPS personal locator beacon
      but these are pricy (800 Cdn 2 years ago) and of
      course you will not need one if you are not in remote
      areas.

      Well that was all done in a rush so I am sure I left
      out a ton of things or folks will have a ton of
      corrections. I guess alot of the safety/planning
      advice applies alsotobackpacking so it will be in the
      archives which I have not had time to sink into yet.
      And sorry to the moderator if this is all off topic
      cuz its about canoes.

      Hope that helps
      Jay


      --- mahkagari <mahkagari@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Jay,
      >
      > My turn for questions for YOU, now. =) Can you give
      > some advice on
      > canoeing with toddlers? I assume you've done a bit
      > with your son, even
      > if not on long trips. A buddy and I are looking at
      > investing in some
      > canoes and one of the things I'm weighing on is
      > being able to take my
      > daughter on trips. She'll be 2 in September. Any
      > advice?
      >


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    • mahkagari
      ... Thank you! Lots of good info. I ll look forward to what you have when you are done researching. =)
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 1, 2006
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        --- In backpackingwithchildren@yahoogroups.com, Jay <studjaya1@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Still researching this one but these are our notes so
        > far.

        Thank you! Lots of good info. I'll look forward to what you have when
        you are done researching. =)
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