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Information on Canoeing Holidays

ON a canoeing holiday ensure that you have adequate cover in your insurance policy, and make sure that all instructers are certified to the correct grades for your party.

Canoeing can be a great time, as you will get to see more of nature than you would walking alone the river banks, but there is also the inherent dangers of water sports.

You can quickly and easily master getting into and out of a canoe without getting wet if you remember the following important points:
Keep your center of gravity low, and move slowly and deliberately.
Transfer your weight slowly form shore to the bottom center of the canoe.
Board your canoe directly into your paddling position whenever possible
For maximum control and stability always kneel in canoes, even though some canoes have seats.
To get out of a canoe, simply reverse the steps described above.

Canoe capsizing: Once you have capsized, relax and make contact with the canoe with your hands, if you have not already done so. Stay upside down long enough to extract feet and legs from the canoe. Then surface, maintaining contact with the canoe. Keep your eyes open.

Some Water calssifications

Riffle. A shallow spot extending across the river bed with rapids.

Eddy. Current that is deflected by an obstruction or bend in the river and is moving in a circular motion or opposite directions.

Line. Walking and pulling or carrying the canoe through or around shallow water or rapids.

For Water grades - click here

Following is an advisory list of rudimentary cautions and basic points.

1) Sudden changes in water level can result from storms and water releases from dams. Faster water, increasing difficulty of rapids, and an increase in the number of rapids can result from an increase in the water flow. Be alert for such changes even in mid-summer or fall.

2) When the river is low many normally hidden rocks and ledges appear. Choose a route through these areas by finding the deepest channel to avoid running aground in the shallows.

3) Pull over above each section of rapids. This will allow you time to check for hazards and the best navigable route through these waters.

4) Since the wind has a tendency to blow upriver (particularly in the lower reaches) travel may be slower than anticipated. Allow for this on a windy day and plan to paddle harder and to spend more time on the river to get to your destination.

5) If you want to start and finish at the same point it is easier to go upstream first and then float downstream to your destination.

6) If you are unfamiliar with a stretch of the river, go ashore and walk upstream to scout the area and assure a safe approach to potential hazards such as rapids or dams.

7) Most river campsites are primitive in that they are not routinely maintained and do not have fire rings or picnic tables unless otherwise noted. Please leave the campsite as you found it.

8) When the river is at flood stage or excessively high water it should be considered off limits to all parties.

9) If your canoe upsets, immediately get to the upstream end so that you cannot be crushed between a rock and your boat by the force of the current. Always keep your feet at the surface and look downstream for an eddy. Hold onto your boat. There are few exceptions to this rule. It is your biggest and best life preserver and you will be easier for rescuers to spot. The only time you should release your boat and swim for safety is if it will improve your chances, especially if the water is cold or dangerous rapids lie ahead.

10) A spare paddle in the canoe can prevent disaster. Always carry one and keep it close, secure, and readily accessible.

11) A life jacket is required for all parties. A snug fitting, vest-type preserver offers back and shoulder protection as well as the floatation needed to swim safely in whitewater. Without a life jacket you would not be able to float high enough to see where you are.

12) Boating alone is discouraged. The minimum party is three people or two craft.


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