answer about canoe trip
- Still researching this one but these are our notes so
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
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
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
--- 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
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- --- In email@example.com, Jay <studjaya1@...>
>Thank you! Lots of good info. I'll look forward to what you have when
> Still researching this one but these are our notes so
you are done researching. =)