Fun in the sun
Well, you have finally made it to camp, done some swimming, hiking, and now today is the day you want to go canoeing. No problem, but you are going to want to know what to take for your trip for the day or your half day canoe trip.
I myself, keep it simple. You do not want to carry too much, but you do want to make sure you have enough. There are always times when unforeseen problems arise, and you always want to be prepared for those. The fun will end if any problems arise and you always want to have a fun filled day for everyone that goes. That’s why my list is simple, because I do enjoy the fun in the sun. I love the outdoors and get out there every chance I get.
What to bring
Remember to always bring sunscreen. The fun in the sun will be a miserable concept after you return home. You want to make sure the exposed parts of your body have some sunscreen so you can keep protected while out. Since you are going to be on the water, I would suggest a sunscreen that is waterproof, and apply it every few hours to make sure it stays on.
Bring some insect repellent. The bugs or mosquitoes may be bad on that day, especially if you are in a humid climate. You want to make sure you come back without bites everywhere. That will not help you any either.
Take a small cooler with snacks, drinks, and a meal or 2, depending on how long you are going to be gone. You will get thirsty and hungry, so you want to make sure you have something with you. Have plenty of water, even though you’re going to be on the water, with you so you don’t have to worry about dehydration.
You need to dress appropriately for the task at hand. You can wear shorts and a shirt with a bathing suit underneath. I would stop somewhere and decide to go swimming for a little while because it will be warm.
Wear appropriate shoes. A lot of people wear flip-flops, which is fine, unless you run into trouble and need shoes. They have water shoes you can wear and I wear an old pair of tennis shoes I don’t mind getting wet. I wear socks with them so they do not rub blisters on my feet if they do get wet.
Always be safe and make sure everyone, especially children or those that cannot swim, have life jackets. If you own your canoe, you will need this before getting on the water. If you rent a canoe from the area you are camping, they usually provide them for you at no extra charge. Always make sure you keep them on, because you never know when you may need it.
You will want to take a dry bag to put the items that you do not want to get wet in. Especially something for your camera, if you are brave enough to take it. If you are going across a lake, it shouldn’t be a problem, but if there are going to be rapids, then you may be better off leaving it at camp because you do not want to have to replace all that equipment.
Make sure you bring a hat with you to help with the sun. It will be hot and the sun wears you out. You do not want to wind up with head exhaustion. Of course, sunglasses are also a must have, They will protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun while out on the water. It will help you see better and with the hat, keep you protected.Last but not least, you will want to bring a basic first aid kit. You never know what may happen out there. If you stop and get out for a swim and someone falls, cuts themselves for whatever reason, you are going to want that around so it can be cleaned and bandaged up immediately. You do not want an infection to set in from something you fell on or from something that may be in the water. First aid kits are handy to have just about everywhere now and if you are camping and canoeing, you should have one with you.
What not to do
Now we have covered all the basics for a half day or a day canoe trip, we should talk about what not to do while out on the water canoeing.
- Never bring alcohol. Canoeing and alcohol can be a bad combination. You want your day to be fun and not have to deal with the stress and worries of one or two people getting out of hand while out on the water.
- You shouldn’t bring your pets, unless they are acclimated to the routine that you have and have done it with them often.
- Make sure you not take infants. If something were to happen while out, you would have them to worry about too, along with whatever else is going on. You do not want them in the sun that long anyway.
- Make sure you never go alone. Make sure you always make sure you go with someone or with a group.
- Anything that you do not want to get wet or lost in the water, you should not take. Ex: cell phone, computers, or any electronics, unless they are waterproof. You never know when your canoe might tip over.
What to do
Now we have covered what to bring and what not to do. To cover what to do is a really simple task. Use some good common sense and have a wonderful, fun filled day. It’s all so easy and will be a really beautiful experience if you just cover the basic rules.
When you rent a canoe, the rental place will cover all of this and probably more for you. They will also provide you with a map. They will take you to your start point and pick you up at your destination.
Keep in mind, you are there to have fun, maybe be able to add in a little photography on the way. There’s nothing like having your camera handy when you see something unexpected. To be able to capture that perfect spot along the way.
You also have to remember, that unless your camera is waterproof or can be made to be, it’s not wise to bring it. The trip down the river can open your eyes to some new trails to hike through for the shots you missed.
Never go alone and always let someone know where you are going so they know when to expect you back. Unfortunately, the unexpected happens and you want someone to know, just in case.
I have covered the basics, so now the rest is up to you. Have fun and do some exploring. Make sure the people you go with are interested in what you have planned. Always have a plan before you start and end the day sitting around the camp fire talking about everything you did today and what you are going to do tomorrow. Don’t forget the s’mores. It’s always a delicious treat to end the day.
Don’t forget the photography of nature while you are there. It’s always a good release and way to forget about the world we live in for a while and re-connect with nature. It’ll be refreshing when you come home after a fun filled week. Enjoy!