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Canoeing Tips for Beginners

Rahul Thadani
Canoeing is a very enjoyable experience, but it also carries a lot of risks and dangers along with it. A beginner should not go canoeing without proper instructions, and the tips given here will come in handy at some point or the other.
Canoeing is one of the most challenging, pleasurable, and recreational boating activities that one can undertake. Before you set out on your canoe though, you must be aware of some important pointers.
Being physically rewarding, it is an activity that does not harm the environment in any way. There is no burning of fuel as you move along in your canoe, and there is certainly no emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere.

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Canoeing (similar to kayaking) is also very calming, as it enables the people on the canoe to just float along on the water and undertake many other activities involving nature, such as photography, bird watching, and fishing as well.
For people searching for more thrills, they can even go on rivers and streams that have a faster current. It can be fun for people of all ages, and it also goes without saying that you must know how to swim before you set out on this adventure sport.

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Basic Canoeing

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The most important thing is to pick out the right kind of boat. Many canoes feel comfortable and sturdy, but you will not know the difference till you actually sit in them and try some paddling movements. Here are some more tricks for you to keep in mind.
✦ Always carry extra paddles when you go on a trip. Paddles can break, get lost or stolen at any point, so it is necessary that you have a spare one of them lying around.

✦ If possible, take a course for beginners. Paddling is not as easy as it looks, and along with physical strength and endurance, it also requires some technical knowledge.
✦ Always wear a life jacket, as you never know when the boat may just topple over.
✦ Understand the technicalities of rivers before you set out on them and mark your navigation course. Some routes are dangerous, and you must avoid them unless you are highly experienced and adventurous.

✦ Always inform people of your whereabouts.
✦ The person sitting at the back of the canoe is the one who is in charge and must give out the right instructions at correct moments. This means that it requires a lot of teamwork and cooperation.
✦ One of the most important tips is that, if there is a wave heading your way, make your boat perpendicular to the wave. This means that the boat should be facing the wave. Also try and sit squarely in the middle at all times. If you are tipping excessively to one side, you will inadvertently topple over.
✦ Always ensure that you are sitting at a lower level. The higher up you sit, the more chances there are of toppling over.

✦ Make sure that you have had enough rest before you set out canoeing, as this is a physically taxing task. It can tire you easily, so it is best to be as well prepared as possible.

River Canoeing

Canoeing is best undertaken on a river, and there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when you are doing so.

✦ Know your abilities and limitations. As long as your boat is under your control, you will do just fine.

✦ If there are any anglers fishing in the river, keep away from them. Their lines could cause problems to navigate your capabilities.
✦ Do not paddle when it is raining heavily or at the time of a flood.

✦ If there are more canoes involved, keep a suitable amount of distance between each.

✦ It is best not to try paddling alone. Bring at least one more friend along, as you never know what can happen.

Winter Canoeing

If you are canoeing in the winter, then you need to be well prepared. The weather can be a major hindrance to your adventure, and the only way to enjoy this trip is to be prepared.
✦ Fix the course beforehand, rivers and streams will freeze at this time of the year.

✦ Carry enough warm clothing and protection, as you do not want to freeze if you fall into the water.

✦ Always carry a first aid kit and a throw bag with you for safety purposes. A throw bag is one that contains a long stretch of rope that can be thrown over large distances.
Keep these useful tips in mind at all times, and this will make your trip all the more enjoyable. The primary concern should always be that of safety, and without the proper precautions in place, you must not set out canoeing.