Liza Stallsmith wrote:
Water experience - Started life together by buying a high quality raft and our honeymoon trip was a rafting trip down a river. Lots of learning happened but we survived only to return more experienced.
Yrs later raft rotted and we switch to canoes. Kids came along and we jumped to two canoes. Kids grew we went to kayaks. Now the kids have left and we are returning to canoes, but
still use our kayaks some. My son's German Sheppard that got left behind likes to go with me so that limits the kayaking. We been on the water, but have gotten away from water
camping trips, just two complicated with schedules. It was easier to do day trips. Looking forward to revisiting canoe camping trips.
Renting - Really struggling with the prices of renting because I could put that money on equipment to use again. I am really looking for light weight canoes as I have no desire to portage our old 17'
aluminum canoe. Does anyone have a favorite? I would love one that could be used tandem or solo.
Sounds like you have plenty of experience :)
Swift makes good canoes.
I personally would rent a canoe for the first trip, they are an expensive investment and the number of trips for payback compare stop renting is more than some of the other gear. See how much you love it (or don't). Used canoe prices have gone nuts here in Canada, and there is a shortage of new ones so deals aren't great there either Canoe pack and barrel pack I would buy rather than rent (over a week long trip you almost pay the cost to buy them). Maybe you have them already. Oh, and money for good life jackets (like Salus) designed for comfortable wear while paddling. I like shoulder season canoeing, so am a big believer in buying life jackets you will actually enjoy wearing (and therefore wear). And decent (resin tipped) paddles. Basically, stuff you will use even if you decide tripping isn't for you anymore.
A 17' kevlar canoe can be soloed backwards, just make sure it's a symmetrical canoe hull and flat traditional style seats. I solo a friend's 17' fairly regularly. You can add a few jugs of water as ballast at the front. Or a German Shepherd.
Comforts - don't want all the comforts of home, but want a good night rest for old backs. They make some increditably light chairs now. Don't owen any yet. We have never done much of the dehydrated
food . Do you have any suggestions?
Back support - YMMV but look for self inflating 3-4" thick mats. I own two (one for backpacking, one for car camping and guests). It's awesome. It's got tons of insulation and is almost as comfortable as my bed at home. Thermarest is the classic brand (made in the US), but there are others. Heavier and bigger than the other ones, but in my opinion, worth it. Try in store if you can.
Food- I make my own food. You can also bring stuff like sandwich ingredients of course. For the first days, having some fresh food is nice.
This is a good website for getting started
I like having a dehydrator, and at $10 for a single meal from the commercial sellers, payback for a dehydrator is pretty quick! Plus, it tastes better.
We had planned to do the Allagash Wilderness Waterway next yr, but after the new covid norm I have decided to change plans. They are so busy that it doesn't even sound like fun to me. We are looking into the Adirondacks, but I also just got a map of Algonguin Park canoe routes and was totally blown away with how many options there are. Not sure about planning a trip outside the US right now because of how fast boarder rules are changing, but it definitely made it to the top of my want list because it is less then 8 hrs from us.
Algonquin is an awesome place for a canoe trip. There are Outfitters that rent canoes and will deliver them to your site, allow you to do a one way and shuttle you, etc. The Barron Canyon is spectacular.