Canoe Camping: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted on: April 1, 2018

Lakeland Provincial Park is a fabulous location for outdoor activities like canoeing and camping. Have you ever considered combining the two? More and more people each year are discovering the excitement and adventure of canoe camping. There are seven lakes in the provincial park, making it perfect for a weekend getaway.

If you’ve never been on a canoe camping trip, you’ll need to plan ahead and get organized to ensure that you have the best trip possible.

Canoe Camping: A Beginner’s Guide

Canoe camping is an exciting way to see parts of nature you couldn’t access otherwise. Keeping reading to learn how to get started on this adventure.

Planning the Trip

The first word of advice is not to bite off more than you can chew. It’s important to plan your route ahead of time. If this is your first camp trip in a canoe, you’ll want to start with one you can handle. Your maiden voyage is about figuring things out.

Do you want to spend time fishing while on the water? Would you prefer solitude, or is this a chance to socialize? And would you rather spend more time in the canoe or camping?

Gathering Gear

Take time to give serious thought to what to pack for your trip. Check the forecast for the next few days, and pack for whatever weather conditions you expect to encounter. Make a detailed checklist of items you’ll need. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the campsite and realizing you forgot something important.

Getting Packed

The more you can organize your gear when packing, the smoother and more pleasant the outdoors experience will be. Probably the best packing tip for a canoe camping trip is to pack everything into dry bags. This will keep your gear dry and allow you to organize the gear by type.

Pack your sleeping gear into one dry bag, cooking equipment in another, food in another, and your clothes in another. It’s also highly recommended to bring along an empty backpack for transporting various gear between the campsite and your canoe.

Loading the Canoe

Load your gear should with ease of access in mind. Stow important items you might need while paddling on top where you can reach them easily. Stash your maps in waterproof covers and put your cell phone in a waterproof bag just in case they get dropped overboard. Never exceed your canoe’s capacity. Leave behind anything that you don’t absolutely need.

Another great tip for canoe trips is to bring along a water filter or purifying tablets so that you can make fresh drinking water if necessary. This way you don’t have to overload your canoe with extra drinking water at the beginning of the trip.

Focus on Safety

Make sure that everyone travelling in the canoe wears a life jacket. Canoes are notoriously unstable boats and can easily capsize.

It’s a smart idea to make a dry run before your trip begins, allowing you to practice loading your gear into the canoe and taking it for short jaunts down a stream. Doing this helps you become familiar with your gear, as well as what to expect while on the water.

Plan Your Canoe Trip in Alberta

Take advantage of everything Lakeland Provincial Park has to offer and enjoy one of Alberta’s best-kept canoeing secrets. Click here to learn more about canoeing in Alberta’s Lakeland!

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