Travel

9 Non-Essentials You Must Bring On Your Next Canoe Trip

9 Non-Essentials You Must Bring On Your Next Canoe Trip

When Elena Wood and Karam Nwilati set off on a three-week trip in a rental canoe nicknamed Truffle, it was their first big trip, and “neither one of us really knew exactly what we were doing,” she says. The duo turned the adventure into a short film, which is as much an ode to their learning curve as the Algonquin Park wilderness they explore.

Throughout the documentary, the duo good-naturedly gripes about the weight of their gear as they double-carry portages and pine for pizza but say they wouldn’t change a thing—except to bring more peanut butter. Here are their top picks for the best of the non-essential essentials they carried. —Eds


Overhead shot of campsite with gear all laid out.
This shot was taken the old-fashioned way—hanging a camera from a branch and hoping for the best. | Photo: Karam Nwilati

Karam & Elena’s essential non-essentials

1Hammock

A big part of slow travel is precisely that, slowing down. And there’s no better way to slow down than snuggling up in sleeping bags in a hammock overlooking a wilderness lake, 30 miles from the closest road.

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2E-reader

Paper books smell, feel and read differently. But on a multi-week trip, pack an e-reader—just preferably not a Kindle because we don’t like Amazon. Pre-download as many books as your heart desires, or just Dune in my case, to optimize your hammock time.

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3

Dehydrated meals

Our Harvest Foodworks dinners were an absolute highlight. The just-add-water meals rehydrate in about 10 minutes, which is a blessing after a long day. Plus, they’re all completely vegetarian.

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4
MIZU Water Filters

These babies are the bomb! Fill up the bottle, close the lid, which contains a filter, and you can immediately drink via the straw. None of the fussiness about waiting a certain amount of time with chemical treatment or needing an additional pump—just water on demand. Perfect for staying hydrated on the water.

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5

Film gear

Our camera gear weighed 22 pounds. I shot our documentary on the Sony Alpha 7RII with four lenses: 16-35mm, 70-200mm, 50mm, and 24-70mm. We also had a lot of accessories: Gorillapod tripod, intervalometer for time-lapses, on-camera mic, extra batteries and a battery pack. We didn’t have a drone—I took the first shot in this article by throwing a rope over a branch and then pulling my camera up while facing down.

6 Solar panels 

Recharging film equipment was essential. With the Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus in full sunlight, we could directly recharge mics, camera batteries and a laptop used for file transfers.

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Two people standing at top of waterfall, one with canoe and other with blue barrel.
Gear you don’t have to, but should bring. | Photo: Karam Nwilati

7 Menstrual cup

Fifty-one percent of the population menstruates, but unless you’re on an all-women trip, the topic is taboo around most campfires. Elena wants to lessen the stigma around periods and give women more information about options to camp at ease. “Reusable cups aren’t for everyone, but they are comfortable, only need to be emptied twice a day, and are easy to clean with boiled water. And, since they’re zero-waste, they’re perfect for longer canoe trips,” she says.

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8 Dear Diary 

My diary comes everywhere. Setting out on our trip, we already knew we wanted to make a film of our adventure, so I wrote detailed entries to remember every little fact, emotion and meal. The accuracy with which I could recall a specific feeling or smell from the trip when writing the video script was purely due to my diary keeping. Reading it over puts me back amongst the lakes and loons.

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9 Analog camera

Whereas I focused on catching moments on video, Elena—who has much less patience with filming—prefers to point and shoot, capturing quick snaps. Photos on film are raw and untouched, totally different from the digital footage we would later cut and edit. Bonus: wait a year before developing the film so you can re-live the adventure.

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Other canoeing accessories we recommend

In addition to Karam and Elena’s list, there are a few more canoe trip accessories you should consider adding to your gear closet. These might not be as fun as those listed above and are in no way essential, but they will move your canoe trip from great to awesome in short order.

Drybags

Drybags are game-changers for canoeists. You can store electronics, extra sets of water treatment and matches, ID, maps and books. They are also great for packing a day kit with lunch and sunscreen, and their straps can be hooked onto the gunwales or thwarts of a canoe for secure placement and easy access.

They come in a range of sizes and shapes to suit everything you want to protect from your beloved DSLR camera to your daily medications. Never have to worry about your gear getting rained on again.

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Canoe rack

Show your canoe some love with a canoe rack to call home when it’s not cruising lakes and rivers. It is no secret that proper storage of a canoe can extend the boat’s life by decades.

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Emergency communication device

Increase your ability to stay safe and in touch on long and remote canoe trips with electronics like a satellite phone or satellite messenger. Even though canoe trips are a great time to get away from constantly being plugged in, having a means of communication just in case is great investment in your well-being, even if it stays happily stored in a drybag for the duration of your expedition.

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Canoe mounts

Can you picture yourself relaxing in your canoe waiting for a fish to bite with a cup of hot coffee in hand? Make your canoeing activities simpler with a mount. Mount functions range from holding your paddle to your fishing rod to your cup of coffee, and allow you to simplify and worry less about your different possessions falling out of the boat when not in use.

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Canoe cart

Canoe carts can be a serious luxury when transporting your boat. They are relatively small given their large utility, can fit in the trunk, and have sturdy wheels designed for roots and rocky trails. If you are unable or not interested in putting your canoe on your back, a canoe cart is a great option for getting your boat to the water.

Some adventurers also use canoe carts on long expeditions to make endless portages more bearable.

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PBG_Issue63_Cove_300w-248x300.jpeg?lossy=0&strip=1&webp=1This article was first published in Paddling Magazine Issue 63. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the digital archives here.


This shot was taken the old-fashioned way—hanging a camera from a branch and hoping for the best. | Photo: Karam Nwilati

Published at Thu, 03 Jun 2021 12:00:50 +0000

Article source: https://paddlingmag.com/gear/canoe-accessories/