How to Get in a Canoe

How to Get in a Canoe
Canoeing can be such a peaceful experience. Exploring the local waterways in a canoe is unlike any other type of water travel. No motor, no sails--just you, a canoe, and a paddle. It's just too bad that such an enjoyable experience can be totally ruined by not knowing how to get in the canoe in the first place. This article will help you with the subtle art of surviving your very first time getting in a canoe.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Paddles
  • Life jacket (one per passenger)
Step 1
Keep your weight and the weight inside the craft balanced. The best way to do this is to load your canoe with any supplies before you load yourself and passengers. Canoes, because of their minimal surface-to-water contact area, tend to be quite unstable. Putting your gear in after you've boarded would cause excess movement and create additional chances for a mishap (like dropping stuff into the water) or a capsize.
Step 2
If you someone else is around, have her hold the canoe from a stable location while you climb aboard.
Step 3
Stay as low and balanced as possible. Stretching your body but not overextending, reach across the canoe and grab the opposite side gun-wall.
Step 4
Lower your body onto the seat, staying low and level. Center yourself on the seat.

Tips & Warnings

Canoes are pretty stable craft when the load and canoers are centered and weighting is right. But it doesn't take much to throw off the balance and tip you over. When your in a canoe, don't stand up unless it's absolutely necessary. Standing not only causes weight displacement, it gives you less balance as well, so even if the craft doesn't overturn, you may lose your balance and go in the drink instead. And getting back in a canoe soaking wet is no recommended.
Do not overfill your canoe. Too many people can wreck a fun day on the water.
Watch the weather. If you see lightning, leave the lake or river immediately.

Article Written By Patrick Cameron

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

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