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Canoe Trips - Checklist

Canoe Trips - Checklist

We have divided the checklist items into two following categories.

Necessary or Very Usefultop

Any tent will be OK, but keep in mind that it should fit in your canoe, so a small tent may be more convenient than a family canvas monster. If you don't have a tent, you can try to borrow, buy, or rent one (see Frequently Asked Questions).

Sleeping bag
A sleeping pad (or an air mattress) is optional, but nice.

You will need rope to secure things in your canoe and to hang up your food bag at night. Bungy cords work really well, but they should be the right length (something like 36-40 inches stretched).

Waterproof bags
Since we are bound to get a little wet (there is always some water on the bottom of the canoe), put anything you want to keep dry in a waterproof bag. You can try gallon-size zip-lock baggies for clothing and other small stuff. Double layer garbage bags work fine for clothes and sleeping bags. It is a good idea to mark your bags with your name or some colored tape - all garbage bags look identical and this causes confusion during loading and unloading from the outfitters truck and canoes.

A personal garbage bag
We will be carrying all our waste (except perhaps for organic waste) with us starting from Saturday morning and dispose of it when we get back to Cooksburg.

Flashlight, matches, knife, pot scrubber, paper towels, small towel

Everyone is responsible for bringing and preparing their own meals. You will need 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1-2 dinners (depending on when you arrive Friday and leave Sunday, basic components for the Saturday dinner will provided). Some creative things that have been successfully roasted on the fireplace in the past are baked bagels, shish-kebab, burritos, marshmallows, and s'mores. Whatever food you bring, you will need to keep it away from the night critters. Food should be put in a bag and hung from a tree at night. Do not take food into your tent.

Drinking water
There is no drinking water on the Friday night campsite and during the two canoeing days, so bring some water with you for drinking and cooking. The quantity depends on your personal needs, but as a heuristic, a plastic gallon container is usually enough.

This is just to scare away rain. In case you don't have a good raincoat, plastic bags with holes for your head and arms work well in case of emergency. (Although they may not scare away the rain.) Whatever you take with you, make sure that it is easily accessible when you are in the canoe.

When the weather is sunny, you will be exposed to sun for at least six hours a day. It is prudent to wear a hat and some lightweight clothes and use sun block on all exposed parts of your body.

Useful but not Really Necessarytop

A cooler
Canoes are large enough to carry coolers, so if you put enough ice in them, you can keep your drinks cool and also take perishables like milk and meat with you.

Bailing gear
A large sponge helps in getting small amounts of water out of your canoe. In case you get a lot of water in, you will need a bailing bucket -a chopped-of gallon plastic milk container works very well.

Extra clothes
This is in case you get wet (your canoe capsizes or scaring away the rain does not work). It is also a good idea to leave a dry set of clothes in your car. The weather in June is usually very warm and T-shirts and flanel shirts with long sleeves are sufficient, but if you think you may get cold, take a sweater or a sweatshirt with you.

Shoes or slippers that you don't mind drenching
While capsizing does not happen often, you are practically certain to have to wet your feet. This is especially true when the water level is low and you have to jump out of the canoe and push it on shallow water. Also, when you get stuck on a rock, the best remedy is for one person to jump out of the canoe and push it. Some people found old sneakers good, others did not like that they never get dry and preferred plastic/rubber sandals. - Bathing suit and towel - Insect repellent - Stoves You can do pretty well without them if you plan your dinner in such away that it can be cooked on the fireplace (e.g., shish-kebab). If you like soup, coffee, noodles, etc., a stove is better than cooking on open fire (especially for cleaning the pots afterwards!).

Cooking and eating utensils
Enough cooking and eating utensils for your own meals.

A soft cushion
Some people find it hard to sit on the canoe bench for several hours. A small cushion may ease the possible ache. If you don't use your life jacket, you can sit on it too.

A small trowel and toilet paper
Fines are stiff for "littering" and there are rumors that people have been caught in the past. See Deuteronomy 23: 13-14 for more detailed instructions.

by Tomek D Loboda and Mark Voortman