Canoe Trip – This Summer Get in Touch with Nature

by PennPaddler

This summer you want to get more adventurous and closer to nature but you are not sure what hobbies you are most suited for. The easiest way to get involved in nature is to take advantage of the opportunities that are in your local geographical location. And if you truly love nature and are looking for a real outdoor experience then you may want to seek canoeing as a hobby.

A canoe trip offers an array of experiences. You can do short one day canoe trips on a local lake or river, or paddle extended canoe trips for several days or even weeks. You could camp on a river island, in a commercial campground, or in a hotel if you like. You could canoe through the deep woods, on local lakes, through water trails, or on a bay. You can enjoy solo canoe trips, trips with the family or through organized sojourns with other paddlers.

Because canoe trips offer such an array of adventure opportunities most people who try canoe tripping usually adopt it as a lifelong hobby, and for some, it becomes a lifelong obsession leading to other outdoor hobbies. If you already enjoy camping, canoe camping will greatly broaden your camping opportunities in secluded areas you probably never thought of camping. If you enjoy nature photography or painting, a canoe trip will provide canvas opportunities you haven’t encountered. If you enjoy fishing, fishing out of a canoe on a slow moving river like the Susquehanna offers double the enjoyment, not to mention the opportunity get closer to the fish habitat. Canoe trips could put you in touch with history as well. Antietam Creek offers a unique canoe trip experience capturing a great outdoor experience as well as a historical experience at the Civil War Battlefield.

Canoes come in a variety of designs. So before running out a purchasing your canoe, learn the basics of canoe design and try paddling a few. Many canoe clubs and dealers hold special events allowing the inquisitive to test different canoe models. Learn about canoe designs here . You may also want to consider taking a paddling course before going on your first canoe trip. In fact, many paddling clubs will not allow members to participate in scheduled club paddles until the member has completed the appropriate canoeing instruction class. Taking a class is a very good idea if you are planning to take the family on your canoe trips. Accidents on the water do happen and although a great percentage of the accidents happen due to poor decision making, a certain percentage of accidents happen while paddling innocently on a mild lake or river. Chances are that throughout your lifetime of paddling you may never be in an accident or seriously dangerous situation, but if an accident does happen you will need the confidence to react to the situation properly.

What is a good age for a child to begin canoe tripping? It is a subjective judgment. Many confident adults take their children canoeing as early as 4 or 5 years old. There is nothing wrong with this if you have the confidence in yourself and use some common sense. Otherwise wait until the child is a little older and is confident in the water. And just use good judgment. Don’t take your child down a class 3 river if he can’t swim well. Instead take him on a flat water lake for the afternoon to slowly build his confidence. And always use life preservers that fit the child well. Never try to economize by buying a life preserver a child can grow into.

While on your canoe trip you will most likely observe kayakers. You should be encouraged to try paddling a kayak too. Many dedicated kayakers start out in a canoe and many paddlers do both. Kayaking offers a different experience from canoeing, and the combination of different styles of kayak and canoe design offers paddlers so many choices in their adventure.

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