Any Canoe Campers Here?

Posted by: Paddler Al

Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/06/20 01:40 PM

Hey all, I just registered. Anyone else here canoe camp? I backpack because I have to. It's the only safe way to spend time in the woods in the winter for me. I mostly go solo. My true love is canoe/kayak camping. Paddle, fish, camp, eat, nap, repeat! All of my gear crosses over from backpacking very well, but there is just more focus on waterproofing and if it's just a weekend trip, there may be an ice chest!
Posted by: DTape

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/06/20 01:58 PM


For canoeing I use a Seal Line portage pack as it is completely water proof. I use a different pack for backpacking. For me, the only real difference between my backpacking gear and canoeing gear is the backpack, and paddling specific stuff, like pfd.
Posted by: snapper

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/12/20 11:01 AM

Here's one more canoe camper. These days I prefer to use my canoe over a kayak but other than that, paddling and camping remain two of my favorite past times. Add a little fishing and I'm a happy camper. Not trying to downgrade all the wonderful times I've had while backpacking but sometimes I enjoy the change of pace that comes with paddling in the back country.

That's all for now. Take care and until next well.

Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/12/20 12:37 PM

Snapper, if I may ask, and hoping the OP won't mind, as someone who would like to try paddle camping eventually, what are your reasons for preferring a canoe over a kayak? From naive observation on the sidelines, kayaks always seemed more maneuverable, sort of a sports car to a canoe's Lincoln, if you will.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/12/20 02:24 PM

To answer the OP first: I love canoe camping and did it quite a bit when I was a kid. The opportunities are much more difficult here in the West where I live now, so I have not gone out in quite some time.

To 4everplan: I can't answer for snapper, but for myself there are some differences that might make some prefer a canoe: 1) Canoes are mostly for two people and kayaks are mostly for one, so canoes are a bit more social. Obviously there are exceptions to that. 2) Canoes are easier to load and unload gear, which can be advantageous for camping. Of course I would rather have my gear more securely stored in a kayak when going over a waterfall. 3) you sit higher up in a canoe, so you can see around more and they don't hurt as much when you hit a rock. the down side is that they are more tippy.
Posted by: Paddler Al

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 02/19/20 12:40 PM

I have a solo canoe, a rec kayak and a whitewater kayak. The choice for me always depends on the river. Class 1+, solo canoe. Class 2+, rec boat. Class 3 is whitewater kayak only. But it also depends on the water and air temps. Sometime I'll risk a bigger boat if its warm and a swim is no big deal. The bigger the boat, the more comfortable you can be, up to and including even bringing a 40qt ice chest!
Posted by: snapper

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 03/09/20 11:15 AM

4evrplan -

First off, let me apologize for the lateness of my reply. I recently retired from work after 40 years and have spent a lot less time with a computer; which is OK by me. Today is the first I've looked at this site since my original reply so please excuse my lateness. More being lazy than rude. I hope you'll understand.

As to your question; here you go:

1. I started paddling back when I was 12 in 1965. Canoes, tandems for the most part, were all I had access to. Even if I was going to paddle solo, it was from the bow seat looking back towards the stern. Growing up in canoes, I think that just never leaves you.

2. I was lucky enough to have as my first kayaking mentor a woman who worked with the US Olympic men's & women's kayaking teams in '68 & '72. She was a wonderful instructor but, coming from MN, she too was partial to canoes. Our many conversations about the two different style of paddlecraft kept me more in the canoe camp than the kayaking one.

3. My first knee reconstruction was back when I was 17. Between then and becoming 34 I had six knee surgeries; including another reconstruction. Eventually when I turned 57 I had a total knee replacement. Over the years, all those knee tweaks led to some difficulty in entering the cockpit of a kayak. While I can still enter/exit it's with great difficulty. Add to that a shoulder injury I had 3 years ago and the problem has become compounded. None of this is an issue with my canoes; which goes a long way in my being able to get out on the water.

4. My dog. I did have a friend who was able to train her pooch to lie out on the stern deck of her kayak but I've never had a dog that would be willing to do that. Our current pooch is more then willing to stretch out on an old yoga mat on the floor of my canoe. She can be contented there for hours so this enables us to share many adventures on the water.

5. Last, but not least; weight. All of my kayaks are left over from when I was guiding. They are wonderful sea oriented touring kayaks but they all weigh in the 60+ range. They are all asymmetric as well so finding an easy to grab balance point can be tricky. None of my solo canoes weigh more than 34 pounds (one is 26!) so the lighter weight and ease of carrying makes them my go-to choice. A long time ago I read a statement to the effect that the easier a boat is to put up on top of your vehicle, the more you'll paddle. For me, I've found this to be all too true.

So at 67 I'm now looking for light weight, ease of loading, ease of entering/exiting the craft and being able to take my dog. If you consider all of that, going with a canoe is the logical choice.

And hey, for what it's worth, even my tandem canoes all weigh in the mid-40 pound range; and my wife would rather paddle a canoe then a kayak so who am I to argue?

That's all for now. Take care and until next well.

Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 03/31/20 11:26 PM

Does wanting to get into the activity count? I fell in love with kayaking when a friend took me out for a few hours in FL. this week I ordered a Tucktec eco folding kayak on Kickstarter. Before the crazy epidemic, the delivery was estimated to be June. That was pretty much OK since the water here will be dang cold until about then. I wanted folding so I could get the kayak into or ONTO my van. This should do it. According to Google Maps, I'm about 8 hours from Warriors Mark from eastern MA. Another friend lives north of Harrisburg and has a canoe or two. Maybe we can get up a group paddle sometime after the crazy pandemic is calm enough to be safe. Will be happy to hear all the tips and ideas people have. I agree that backpacking gear, once loaded into dry bags, could be ideal for kayak or canoe camping.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 03/02/21 11:28 AM

you can haul more gear more easily in a canoe. I have 2 canoes and 4 kayaks and only the 16 foot white water kayak has a reasonable sized cargo hold. Also you can sort of sit in a kayak without balancing, but a canoe tips over if you don't balance it. Canoeing is harder to become good at than kayak paddling. Jim
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Any Canoe Campers Here? - 03/02/21 06:15 PM

I'm fixing up a van for camping. It will be great to take the Tucktec along and be able to paddle and camp. If I take a water trip, I anticipate needing to use my backpacking minimalist skills.