Introduction: Go Canoeing Even If You Do Not Own a Canoe

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human tha…

Canoeing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise. But how do you go canoeing if you don't own a canoe? In this Instructable, I will give you some tips on how to rent a canoe and how to have a good time canoeing.

Step 1: Why Rent a Canoe?

I think renting a canoe is better than owning one. If you live near a lake or river or have property with a pond on it, owning a canoe would be handy. You could just put your canoe in the water and go. But when you have to put the canoe on top of the car and drive somewhere, it starts to get inconvenient. If you own a canoe, you have to have a place to store it, and canoes can take up a lot of space. Canoes can cost quite a bit of money and you would also have to buy life jackets and paddles. Renting canoes, including the life jackets and paddles, costs as little as five dollars per hour. Canoes can also be very heavy. When you rent a canoe, it can be as easy as stepping into the canoe, paddle around a bit, and then step out. No lifting involved.

Step 2: Where to Rent a Canoe?

There are lots of places to rent canoes. Most large lakes will have a marina that rents canoes. There is a river canoe company, near where I live, that will provide the canoe paddles and life jackets, and shuttle you up river to the put in point and pick you up at the take out point. I have found that State Parks are one of the best places to rent canoes. State parks may not rent canoes in the colder months but they usually have nice facilities and friendly staff to make the experience pleasant. A search on the internet should turn up lots of places near you to rent a canoe.

Step 3: What Do You Need?

When you rent a canoe, you do not need much. You might want to use sunscreen, sun glasses, and a hat to protect you from the sun. You should also bring a bottle of water. If you are going to be out longer than a couple of hours, you might want to bring something to eat. Budget between five to ten dollars an hour for the rental. Some places will require you to show I.D. and sign a waiver.

Step 4: Is Canoeing Dangerous?

Everything has the potential to be dangerous. The state park that I like to go canoeing at, is doing a great job at risk management. They have a cool floating canoe launching platform that allows you to walk out and get in the canoe and then slide into the water. When you are finished, you just paddle up to the platform and the staff helps pull the canoe up so you just step out. This greatly reduces the chance of falling in the water.

Step 5: There Is Lots to See When Canoeing.

The view of the water and surrounding countryside are not the only things to see. There are many different animals that call the water home. If you are quiet and paddle gently, you can get a close view of turtles, snakes and birds. Seeing other boaters is cool too, especially when you see a dog in his own life jacket.

Step 6: Take the Kids

You can take the kids with you. My children love going canoeing. I think part of that might be that the place we rent canoes from also sells ice cream, that tastes great after paddling on a warm day.

Step 7: Video

I hope this Instructable inspires you to rent a canoe and enjoy paddling in the great outdoors.

As usual, I made a video.

Thanks for watching and enjoy.

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