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Thread: Hi from the North Cotswolds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Blockley, North Cotswolds, Glos.
    Posts
    3

    Default Hi from the North Cotswolds

    Hi! Just to introduce myself, Iím a wild camping / bushcraft enthusiast whoís been watching far too many canoeing across Canada videos on YouTube

    This started me thinking that a canoe is a really excellent way of getting quite a lot of kit to inaccessible places - and so began the canoe research a few months ago.

    I havenít been in a canoe since I was a kid and it was possible to hire one at our local park with absolutely no regard for safety whatsoever Iím finding it fairly difficult to go and do an introductory day though as all of the hire places Iíve looked at on the Wye, Avon and Cotswolds Water Park require a minimum of 2 people. Iím also not quite decided on whether I should pursue the canoe idea at all, considering that if (when) I end up in the wet stuff, I wonít be wearing a nice comfy wetsuit, Iíll be wearing warm clothes and have a canoe full of kit that Iíll hopefully have tied down in dry bags. I would no doubt be suffering from cold water shock and a large dinner. This would make righting the boat harder and getting back in it difficult to impossible. This makes me think that maybe the best preparation would be learning to swim to shore pushing an overturned loaded canoe

    Seriously though, Iím here to research whether itís feasible and reasonably safe for me to consider canoeing as part of my outdoor pursuits and how I could start small and gain some experience without being a complete hazard to myself and others.

    Iím 55, pretty strong and about 90Kg. I have no desire to voluntarily undertake fast water and would most likely be canoeing lakes and lochs and carrying camping gear.

    Iíve been enjoying reading the forum and everyoneís adventures.

    Ian - near Chipping Campden



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr Hampton Court, West London
    Posts
    2,866

    Default

    Its my standing joke that lots of people take up canoeing because they can't get all their kit in a backpack, so you are on the right track. However, the next step is not commercial hirers, but your nearest paddle club that has an interest in open canoes, which is not all. Or an appeal to folks on here, but for that you need to reveal your base area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Blockley, North Cotswolds, Glos.
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Hi impcanoe,

    Yes that sounds about right. As I get older, the pack gets smaller and the required amount of kit gets bigger. Thanks for the tip, Iíll see what I can find paddle club wise. Iím just outside Chipping Campden in North Glos, but I like driving


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,465

    Default

    Hello and Welcome!

    The trick with "expedition" canoeing, be it in the Highlands or the wilds of Scandinavia or Canada, is to use your judgement to make sure you don't fall in in the first place.

    Impcanoe's club suggestion is a good one, or try to hook up with other paddlers through this site, as many invariably have a spare canoe or three to try out!

    The Avon just to the north could be a perfect place to learn to handle a canoe. The other Avon, to the south, is pretty good too, well the Kennet and Avon canal bit. Just need somebody in the area to be planning a Meet or fancy a paddle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hebrides
    Posts
    3,243

    Default

    If it helps to encourage you, I bought a canoe and some gear and went canoeing when I was 52. Had kayaked a bit in my teens never in a canoe. Never been on a course.

    I've kept a note of all my paddles since.

    Here's the notes from the first outing:

    26 July
    Loch Slapin, Isle of Skye,
    solo
    Put in:NG568219
    Distance: 1.6k approx.
    Weather: fine and dry
    Wind: sse light air
    Waves: slight ripples
    Notes: first paddle in new canoe, spent 1/2-3/4 hour paddling up and down to get used to canoe and practice paddling, then paddled up to the head of the loch and back.

    Plenty of solo and alone trips followed increasing my experience.
    Paddles 83,84 and 85 were consecutive days, solo, from Lechlade to Oxford on the Thames but all the ones in between were on Scottish lochs.

    I have never fallen out of the canoe because I work on the basis that I don't paddle in conditions that might put me out and if the conditions are marginal I stay in quick swimming distance to shore. (basically I chicken out early).

    From the start it was all about common sense and managing the level of risk as I developed my experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Blockley, North Cotswolds, Glos.
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks Mal Iíll take a look at the Avon.

    Quercus, thanks thatís actually quite a relief. My natural way of doing anything new is to be humble, start small and learn bit by bit, so that sounds like you have done what I would do if I hadnít been scared by talking to hire companies

    There a LOT of great info on this forum so thereís plenty to keep me occupied while I figure things out.

    Thanks!


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