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7 Steps To Plan Your Dream Canoe Trip

Frank Wolf towing his canoe behind him on a portage
Daydream believer. | Photo: Frank Wolf

Spending weeks or months paddling free as a bird through the wilderness is every canoeist’s dream. Alas, the enormity of the task often leaves people stalled at the dream stage instead of making the trip a reality. Fear not, it’s easier than you think. Use these tips to paddle away on your bucket-list expedition.

Got vision?

First, you need a vision for your trip. The almost limitless interconnected waterways of North America provide opportunities for a lifetime of journeys. What areas are you curious about—the far North or the deep South? What kind of wildlife do you want to see?

How about following a heritage fur trade route or canoeing in the wake of a historical figure? Or, go off the beaten path and explore the unexplored. Where would you like to spend weeks with a paddle in hand? The only limitation is your imagination.

Keep it simple, stupid

The key to planning any large trip is simplicity. I like to think of an expedition like a weekend trip but with more food. The gear is the same for a three-month epic as it is for a Boundary Waters overnighter. Once you have a boat, tent, and food, you can paddle forever.

Shop local

Postal rates have gone up exponentially, making it prohibitively expensive to ship food ahead to remote communities. Now I shop in local grocery stores along the way and plan my route accordingly.

I can’t carry a season’s worth of food, but can easily manage to carry enough for weeks at a time. Even with sky-high prices at remote outpost stores, it’s vastly cheaper and more convenient than buying, prepping and shipping.

Make time

Balancing work, bills, family and other adult responsibilities is a juggling act, but everyone who is committed has the ability to do at least one big, epic journey.

Bank your time off, take a sabbatical or an unpaid leave—heck, even quit your job and get a new one when you return. Twenty years from now you’ll still be talking about your epic journey, not those few months of playing desk jockey.

Money matters

I save money when I’m in the woods for a month or two. There’s nothing to spend money on out there. To keep costs low, avoid bush planes and remote drops. Spectacular point-to-point wilderness journeys can be linked between towns serviced by regular air.

Buy a canoe at one end and sell it at the other, or use a folding canoe or kayak and check it as luggage. Or, drive to the end of the road, zip off for a month and return to the same spot without repeating a single stretch of water. Even today, $3,000 is plenty to cover two people on a summer-long epic, including flights. That’s cheaper than a month’s rent in San Francisco.

Sponsorship

It’s certainly one way to help with the costs of an extended trip, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you opt to chase sponsorship—often granted in the form of complimentary gear—you have to reward a company’s investment. Quantifiable promotion in the form of writing, photography, film and social media can be a job in and of itself.

Be tenacious

Once you’ve decided on your mission, stick to your goal. Ignore doubts—your own and those of others. Once you’re sitting in your boat at the put-in to an epic journey, your worries will fade away. The daunting task quickly boils down to the joy of paddling and moving through a wilderness dream that you’ve made a reality.

Frank Wolf is a filmmaker, adventurer, and environmentalist. He takes off on a multi-month expedition each summer, and he’s known for swimming naked and being part of the first duo to canoe across Canada in a single season.

Daydream believer. Feature Photo: Frank Wolf

The Worst Reviews Of The Best Paddling Destinations

two men paddling a canoe on calm waters of the Grand Canyon
"I give your sterning abilities one star." | Photo: Tim Romano

What might be a gorgeous bucket-list destination for a keen paddler is evidently a nightmare for others. Using TripAdvisor and Yelp, we combed through the best of the worst one-, two- and three-star reviews of our most cherished paddling areas.

Even though the vast majority of reviewers raved about these locations, there’s always a few sour grapes in every bunch. Some made us laugh, some made us cry. See for yourself.

“Couldn’t see what all the fuss is about. Dragged here by the missus when I should have been playing golf. It’s just a hole in the ground. A big hole, mind.”

—Grand Canyon National Park

“Snooze City. I was advised to go here for the view, but I don’t get off on a bunch of grass. You’ll spend maybe 10 minutes here—tops. Perhaps there is more to be seen had I ventured further into the park or gone on a boat tour or something.”

—Everglades National Park

“There are so many outlooks and trails to try, and they are all a distance away. Warning: Trails are not flat! The trails are more uphill than downhill. And uphill there are more stairs than ramps. The views are really boring, more river than the falls itself. It’s not worth the effort.”

—Yellowstone National Park

“Scariest ****ing place! It felt like a scene from Deliverance. Fishermen warned us about local red necks. ‘Make sure you got a knife nearby or screwdriver will do,’ said one man. We hauled ass back, grabbed our camping gear and left quickly.”

—Campsite near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

“Nature is crap. I’ve been to a number of so-called landmarks in my time but what the hell was this? Just an overblown sandy ditch.”

—Grand Canyon National Park

“Our guide welcomed us aboard and promptly proceeded to tell the passengers about eating a lamb’s eye and other disgusting organs, which is not appropriate for a family trip. The trip had very few facts, mostly just the guide’s hearsay.”

—Outfitter on the Colorado River

“Forbidding and scary. No shade, very hot in summer. Very cold and frigid in winter. Too windy to enjoy.”—San Jaun Islands, Washington

“I was extremely disappointed with the lack of safety precautions taken, the complete disregard for us, and the fact that we never knew which way to go. And DO NOT use the vending machine, lost $2 and I wasn’t the only one.”

—Outfitter on the St Lawrence Seaway

“One of the kayaks had a crack in the bottom. It took on so much water that it went under and we had to pull it out and drain it. We called to get a replacement, no answer. Ended up stopping three more times to drain it out as we traveled. They gave us a $5 credit.”—Outfitter near Crystal Springs, Florida

“There was no snack bar at all. Could only get a cup of coffee. No hot dog. No hamburger. One star.”

—Campground on the Ottawa River, Ontario

Nouria Newman Takes On Patagonia’s 3 Toughest Rivers

Nouria Newman says that she has always been drawn to Patagonia because of how far away it is from everything else. She teams up with Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry to take on the Patagonia Triple Crown.

The Patagonia Triple Crown consists of three major rivers in Patagonia that include the Rio Baker, Rio Pascua and Rio Bravo. These are all very large, high volume rivers that will require careful navigation.

The greatest thing about exploration kayaking is that sometimes you don’t find the good kayaking but it is still a beautiful adventure – Nouria Newman

These world-class kayakers show the fear and nerves that come with paddling new remote rivers. After their careful scouting and flawless execution, you can see the excitement in their accomplishment.

Win a Mustang Hudson Drysuit and Khimera PFD

Stay safe, warm and dry through all seasons. We’re giving one lucky paddler the opportunity to win a Mustang Survival Hudson Drysuit and Khimera PFD. To enter, complete the form below.

When you enter the sweepstakes you’re automatically signed up for a FREE digital subscription to Paddling Magazine for your phone, tablet and computer. Don’t forget to share after entering to earn 25 bonus entries for each person you refer.

Then check out what’s new from Mustang in our Paddling Buyer’s Guide.

 

Top 5 Inflatable PFDs For Paddleboarders

Life Jackets For Paddleboarders

Inflatable PFDs offer the best of two worlds—peace of mind without the bulky and restrictive foam flotation of traditional life jackets. An inflatable PFD is a perfect option for some paddlers.

The five low-profile PFDs featured here all use a manual mechanism for inflation. In an emergency, a manually inflating PFD needs a conscious paddler to pull the jerk tab, triggering a CO2 canister to fill the PFD’s bladder with air.

To assess whether a manually inflating PFD is a good fit for you, consider your swimming ability, the likelihood of paddling alone, the water temperature you’re paddling in—water colder than 60˚F can cause cold water shock, rendering a swimmer incapable of inflating his PFD—and how likely you are to fall, due to skill or balance.

Manual vests are not recommended for people who don’t know how to swim or for children under 16, and they must be worn to be legal, rather than being stowed on your board.

1. Khimera | Mustang Survival

$249.99 CAD | www.mustangsurvival.com

Mustang Survival Khimera PFD
Mustang Survival Khimera PFD

The innovative life vest from Mustang Survival blends the security of foam flotation with the sleek profile of inflatable technology. The Khimera offers 20 pounds of dual buoyancy—7.5 pounds from foam, plus an additional 12.5 pounds when the air bladder is inflated.

The front flotation panel hides a manual toggle—pull it in an emergency and inflation cells in the chest and upper back swell. The cells expand under the fabric of the vest, so when it’s inflated the vest looks like a regular, inherently buoyant vest. Adjustable shoulder and waist straps create a slim, body-hugging fit. Also features bright reflective shoulder patches for visibility. Weighs just under two pounds with a 12-gram cylinder.

2. 16G Belt Pack | MTI Adventurewear

$69.95 | www.mtiadventurewear.com

MTI 16G Belt Pack PFD
16G Belt Pack – MTI Adventurewear

A buckle-it-and-forget-it kind of belt, the ultra-slim 16G Belt Pack from MTI Adventurewear is a top choice for minimalists. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size; the 16G packs a punch with a whistle included, and a moveable D-ring attachment point for accessories.

In case of an emergency, pull the toggle to inflate the pillow-style bladder, then secure the strap behind your head. The 16G offers more than 16 pounds of inflation thanks to a 16-gram CO2 cylinder and it weighs just over a pound.

3. M-16 | Onyx outdoor

$99.99 | www.onyxoutdoor.com

ONYX M-16 PFD
ONYX M-16 PFD

Onyx’s M-16 is so slim you can put it on and forget it’s even there. The M-16 truly feels like a belt. But pull the jerk tab, and the 16-gram CO2 charge provides 17 pounds of buoyancy, and the oral inflation tube can top you up to 26.5 pounds.

Once activated, a pillow-style bladder emerges from the M-16, with a nylon strap to secure behind the neck. There is no zippered pouch in this ultra-slim package for storage, but you can clasp small items, like keys, to an attached D-ring. The jerk tab clips to the belt, keeping it out of the way but close at hand.

4. Esprit | Salus Marine Wear

$159 CAD | www.salusmarine.com

Salus Esprit PFD
Salus Esprit PFD

Salus refers to this burly inflatable as a “paddler ring” rather than a belt, promising to combine comfort and full range of motion with peace of mind in this fanny-pack-style PFD. The Esprit features an accessory pocket with secure zippered closure, an ultra-comfy padded nylon belt, high-vis accent color, and mesh on the front pocket to help the belt drain if it’s immersed.

The foam-filled liner of the belt also helps it float if dropped overboard. A Velcro tab keeps the inflation tab out of the way and secure. When the yoke-style bladder is activated, the Esprit offers 35 pounds of buoyancy and an oral inflation tube allows for top-ups.

5. Ripcord | Level Six

$155 CAD | www.levelsix.com

Ripcord Level Six
Ripcord Level Six

Level Six’s new inflatable PFD is lightweight and low profile, especially considering the 33 pounds of flotation it offers. The Ripcord weighs just over a pound and uses a 33-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a yoke-style bladder in just seconds, and it can be inflated further using the blow valve as a backup. The Ripcord features reflective piping and boasts a zippered pocket for stowing small valuables or a couple tasty snack bars.

What Is Happening With Cannabis In Canoe Culture?

a grinder filled with cannabis and small characters camping
Cannabis + Campouts + ??? = Profit! As Canadians smoke, eat and otherwise consume $4 billion in cannabis products in 2019, marijuana tourism of all kinds is predicted to drift into a campground near you. Photo: Colin Field

Picture this. A luxury guided trip. Ultralight canoes. Six-inch-thick air mattresses. Pan-seared steaks prepared over the fire at night. Chocolate fondue drizzled over fresh fruit for dessert. A friendly guide offering you the choice between a pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon. All set under the backdrop of hanging boughs in a remote, spruce forest. Sounds a bit like paradise.

Now can you imagine the same scene, but instead of offering wine, your friendly guide offers up some cannabis?

That’s exactly what some new start-ups are proposing to do this summer. Thanks to legalization in October of 2018, Canada’s cannabis business is booming. Canadians are slated to spend $4.3 billion on cannabis sales in 2019, according to Deloitte, and that’s said to be just the tip of the iceberg. With experiential tourism continuing to be the hottest niche in travel, experts are predicting cannabis tourism to be Canada’s next high.

South of the border, in states where weed is legal, tourists can seek out thriving bud and breakfasts, puff-and-paint classes, blaze-and-gaze art tours, weed-infused yoga classes, cannabis-friendly wellness spas and blossoming coffee shop scenes. Think of every activity tour operators have ever paired with wine or beer tastings—cycling, gourmet food, walking tours, and more—and imagine it with marijuana.

As Canada’s first summer with legal cannabis approaches, a handful of entrepreneurs are taking reefer madness to new heights, pairing cannabis’ new legal status with the most classic of Canadian pastimes—camping and canoeing.

New Green Economy

“Canoeing is quintessentially Canadian, and there is going to be an increase in tourism for cannabis—we’re trying to be ahead of the game,” says Jeremy Blair, owner of Ontario Cannabis Tour (OCT) (ontariocannabistour.ca). The company specializes in fully-guided, cannabis-infused backcountry canoe trips in Algonquin Provincial Park and on the class I to III Madawaska River. It starts running trips this summer.

OCT is a BYOB operation—bring your own bud. “Due to the regulations, we can’t purchase cannabis for clients, but we can make recommendations on strains based on desired effects,” says Blair.

Once clients arrive, OCT runs like any other full-service guided trip. Trips start at $550 for a long weekend, and include equipment, transport, food—some of it cannabis-infused—as well as three guides who are experienced with cannabis. Of those three guides, one acts as a cannabis guide—like a sommelier but with more plaid and marijuana—while the others remain sober for risk management purposes.

Blair anticipates a majority of this summer’s clients to arrive internationally, but he’s also getting interest locally from seniors attracted by the pain relief potential of cannabis, in addition to the full-service guiding.

“There’s a consumer out there looking for a more in-depth experience with cannabis and a lot of people who are curious first-time users. Either way, this is a safe space to explore,” he says. Blair is quick to agree with comparisons to alcohol—is what OCT offers different than luxury guided tours providing their clients with a glass of wine or a beer after a day of paddling? Is it much different than guided canoe trips touring the distilleries of Scotland by paddle?

“Of course, we’ve also seen what alcohol can do. You can enjoy yourself with a couple of beers, or you can be the drunken fools. We’re providing an opportunity to experience cannabis responsibly,” he says.

We view cannabis as an addition to the camp routine only

On any Canadian canoe trip, guided or not, cannabis can only be consumed off the water and canoeists cannot be on the water intoxicated. Toking up in a canoe could result in a $1,000 to $5,000 fine. A landmark decision last fall declared canoes subject to the Criminal Code of Canada’s impaired driving laws. The first case in Canadian history where a paddler has been charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death is currently before courts.

“We view cannabis as an addition to the camp routine only,” says Blair, stressing that consumption only happens after the paddling day is done.

Spliffs And S’mores

Under Canada’s new laws, adults can carry 30 grams of cannabis—almost enough loose buds to fill a one-liter Nalgene—on domestic flights, in cars and, yes, in canoes, so long as the cannabis is stored and sealed. However, where it can be consumed varies by province, with some provinces treating it like alcohol and others treating it more like cigarettes.

Last fall, Parks Canada announced it would allow cannabis use at its campsites. “While Parks Canada campgrounds are public areas, the agency treats individual campsites as temporary domiciles for our visitors. For this reason, at Parks Canada campgrounds, consumption of cannabis will be permitted in campsites,” spokesperson Marie-Hélène Brisson wrote in an email to the CBC, likening its rules to those around alcohol.

However, she cautioned: “It is important to maintain environmental awareness and a clear mind when performing activities in Parks Canada’s places to help prevent accidents, incidents or injury.”

The warning is an understatement to some. Not everyone is stoked on the idea of legal cannabis entering the outdoor recreation sphere. In an article titled “Why it’s a Bad Idea to Get High in the Mountains,” posted last summer on British Columbia’s North Shore Rescue (NSR) blog, first responder Curtis Jones writes, “There is no safe way to experiment with drugs in the mountains… The combination of mind-altering drugs and being in the wilderness is a terrible and dangerous idea.”

The mountains are not the place to lose yourself in a drug-induced stupor

In response to impending legalization and the burgeoning canna-tourism scene, he wrote that SAR teams have enough trouble with unprepared hikers flocking to the mountains and regularly respond to calls for those who are well prepared, do everything right, are completely sober, and still get into trouble. “Being in the mountains is worthwhile, but it comes with significant risks, which can be reduced through fitness—including being clear-headed—and preparation,” he says. “When you’re high in the mountains—and I don’t mean elevation—you shift your position on the continuum between prepared hiker and candidate for rescue significantly towards the latter position.”

Jones goes on to cite recent intoxication-related incidents North Shore Rescue responded to, including a snowshoer who consumed edible marijuana, had a seizure and required intubation and ventilation; a hiker who consumed mushrooms and marijuana, and fell 60 meters into a ravine sustaining a serious head injury; and two young people who left a bar on Burnaby Mountain drunk, took a shortcut down the mountain and fell to their deaths.

“The mountains are not the place to lose yourself in a drug-induced stupor, nor are they a place to experiment and learn your tolerance. The reality we face is the wilderness is unforgiving, and it can take a long time for rescue crews to reach you, even if you are only a couple of kilometers up the trail,” Jones writes. “This is our plea to everyone to be responsible in the mountains, and leave the weed at home.”

There are high-profile stories confirming these fears—a highly publicized case in 2017 of four men getting stoned on Scafell Pike, England’s tallest peak at 3,100 feet, and rallying a mountain rescue with air support and ambulance to get them off the summit comes to mind. However, statistics on the effect legal cannabis has had on search and rescue operations are hard to find. So Paddling Magazine contacted four search and rescue organizations in the outdoor recreation mecca of Colorado, the first state to legalize cannabis five years ago. Colorado now hosts millions of cannabis tourists on weedcations every year and credits a quarter of its tourism to legal cannabis.

“We have not noticed any uptick in search and rescue mission counts or incident type trending that can be related to recreational marijuana use,” says Patrick Caulfield, commander of Fremont Search and Rescue, located a few hours south of the mile-high city, Denver. He adds drug-related SAR activities in Fremont are rare.

“The biggest challenges currently for the SAR community are the increasing number of people getting out there, social media-based versus experience-based expectations of a backcountry adventure, and inadvertent non-emergency activation of personal locator beacons,” he says. “All result in an increasing number of missions for our non-paid professional SAR teams here in Colorado.”

Cannabis And Canoe Culture

Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in Colorado, Alaska, Washington, California, Nevada, Oregon, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Another 22 states are pursuing some form of cannabis decriminalization or legalization. And while the cannabis tourism industry flourishes in some states, outdoor recreation within it remains a small niche.

“A lot of cannabis tourism in the U.S. focuses on immersing cannabis in party-style tours. I see an opportunity in Canada to get away from that, and more into education and sightseeing opportunities,” says Tristan Slade, owner of Vancouver-based High Definition Tours (highdefinitiontours.com) and a founding member of the National Association of Cannabis Tourism (NACT). “The goal is to combine Canadian culture and cannabis culture in a fun and legal environment.”

Many cannabis strains are complementary to physical activity

Matt Cronin, founder of Canada High Tours (www.canadahightours.com), provider of more than two dozen cannabis-infused experiences, expects growth to be slow but steady. “Alberta is ahead of the curve in terms of instant access to legal dispensaries. Coupled with their amazing parks and lakes, we believe Alberta will be the go-to province for combining all that’s great about Canadian and cannabis culture, especially when we look at outdoor activities—kayaking, hiking and camping.”

Slade is quick to note the risk factors many outdoor recreation activities present aren’t compatible with any level of intoxication and indicates cannabis should be consumed back at camp or after activity has concluded.

But not everyone agrees. “Many cannabis strains are complementary to physical activity,” Cronin insists. “And equally, just like you may have a beer or two after a long hike or a two-hour paddle, you may well want to sit back, relax and have a nice mellow joint or two instead.”

Cronin’s clients are diverse—from 20 to 60 years old, and from Canada, the U.S. and Europe. In addition to the Maligne Lake Paddle and Puff Experience (two hours, $95) which takes place in Jasper National Park, Canada High Tours offers a Stoned Stampede Experience—which is a visit to the Calgary Stampede—and a Moose and Mashed Experience—a wildlife viewing opportunity—plus more typical fare appealing to the average canna-curious tourist. It’s this type of tour—low commitment, half-day trips with less risk and investment than a backcountry-style tour—that have gained a foothold in the U.S.

NACT’s Slade is quick to note stigma is a barrier for the emerging market, both in terms of attracting new customers, but also in reticence from owners of already established tourism operations to experiment.

Black Feather, a Canadian guiding company with 30 years of experience leading remote paddling trips all over Canada, has no plans to welcome cannabis on trips, according to lead guide Steve Ruskay.

“The spirit of our policy remains the same,” he says. “No one—guide or guest—shall consume any substance that causes impairment before or during any wilderness activity. On certain trips in high-risk environments, no consumption is permitted at all.”

Ruskay adds there’s not enough evidence to determine to what extent, and for what duration, impairment from cannabis will cause, and therefore guides are not to permitted to consume cannabis while in the field. Alcohol consumption for guides is also limited to certain trips, small amounts, and after all activity has concluded. Similarly, Paddle Canada’s policy extends to any inhibitors of judgement, “so even though it was written pre-cannabis legalization, we didn’t feel a need to update it,” says executive director Graham Ketcheson. Paddle Canada members may not consume alcohol, cannabis or other drugs on the water, and there must be eight hours between consumption and paddling. “This is a safety policy for Paddle Canada instructors and for participants taking training, to make sure all are coherent and able of mind and body,” adds Ketcheson.

The risks can’t be ignored, but nor can the fact Canada’s cannabis-tourism industry is about to spark. Mixing weed and wilderness legally has only just begun and integrating cannabis into Canadian experiences—whether city tours, tastings, wellness experiences or backcountry campfires—is already in full swing. It’s something the entire outdoor community will have to reckon with. Regardless of the controversy, pot-loving adventurers, tourists and entrepreneurs will be enjoying Canada’s green rush and blazing new trails this summer, legally for the first time.

Kaydi Pyette is the editor of Paddling Magazine. Of the more than 40 slang names for cannabis she came across while writing this article, her favorite was the wacky asparagus.

Cannabis + Campouts + ??? = Profit! As Canadians smoke, eat and otherwise consume $4 billion in cannabis products in 2019, marijuana tourism of all kinds is predicted to drift into a campground near you. Feature Photo: Colin Field

9 Best Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts for Whitewater in 2020

Discover some of the year’s best inflatable kayaks and rafts from Advanced Elements, AIRE, Cronin and Kokopelli. Perfect for day trips and whitewater, each of these boats boasts comfort, versatility and efficiency. Grab one of these boats and get on the water.

Best Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts for Whitewater

Attack PRO Whitewater Kayak by Advanced Elements 

Price: $699.99
advancedelements.com

Fully upgraded with drop stitch technology, take on the roughest conditions in the Attack Pro Whitewater Kayak. With 12 inches rocker, a wide stance, and a 9.5-inch tube diameter, this self-bailer is stable, responsive and made for whitewater. Featuring thigh straps, a high-back seat and adjustable foot pegs, it weighs in at only 25pounds, making it light enough for longer portages. It is a blast on the water.


AIRE Cub from AIRE

Price: $2,999
aire.com

Built to be the ultimate river playboat, the Cub, at 10 feet and five inches, is a sporty and nimble raft. Accommodating a two- to three-person paddle team for high-adrenaline technical water, this rowdy little raft is sure to be an exciting ride.

Outfitter I from AIRE

Price: $1,649
aire.com

A bruiser in big water with large tube diameters, extra width, and low seat position make the Outfitter AIRE’s most stable and forgiving whitewater kayak. It plows through whitewater and is perfect for novice kayakers just getting a feel for the sport or the big water experts who need a beefy boat. Ideal for adventurous day outings or packing in gear for overnight river trips.

Tributary Tomcat Solo from AIRE

Price: $719
aire.com

Priced right and built to last, AIRE’s Tomcat Solo is a fun, stable kayak for paddlers just exploring the whitewater world. With vinyl bladders and a rugged PVC outer shell, this durable little inflatable will continue to be a reliable boat as your skills improve. A comfortable inflatable seat comes standard. Also offered in a tandem option to tackle whitewater with a friend.

146DD from AIRE

Price: $4,899
aire.com

The 146DD is the newest size in AIRE’s Double D raft series. This roomy ride can comfortably accommodate a six-person paddle team with a guide in the back and is perfectly suitable for rowing expeditions. If you are looking for a fun paddle raft that can also handle overnight trips, look no further.

BAKraft Hybrid from AIRE

Price: $1,649
aire.com

The BAKraft Hybrid is the lightest self-bailing packraft of its kind. Designed with a Vectran fabric shell and a urethane AIREcell, AIRE has created a lightweight, packable boat with superior air retention and simplified in-field repairs. At seven feet this versatile packraft is perfect for any packrafting enthusiast and for the laidback day hiker. AIRE also offers a 10-foot option called the BAKraft Expedition.


Tributary SPUD from AIRE

Price: $419
aire.com

Built with stability in mind, the Spud is a great choice for introducing kids to whitewater. It is lightweight, short and stable, providing a great feel for running waves, punching holes and crossing eddy lines. With its wider dimensions, adults can enjoy a wild, playful boat as well.


Ugly Ducky from Cronin Inflatables

Price: $1,100-$1,150
cronininflatables.com

The Ugly Ducky is a unique personal inflatable. Ready to tackle the steepest creeks or carry large loads, and equally capable in big and low water. Built to increase the confidence of the paddler through stability and ease of navigation in whitewater, this is the perfect boat for commercial customers or experts looking to push their personal limits.


Recon with Tizip from Kokopelli Packraft

Price: $900
kokopellipakraft.com

The Kokopelli Recon is not your traditional packraft. Engineered from Kokopelli’s toughest reinforced PVC material, the Recon is perfect for road-to-river whitewater and after-work laps. With the exact same shape and design as their original Whitewater Series Nirvanas, the Recon is self-bailing and weighs in at 18 pounds.

Top 4 Touring Paddles For Adventurous Kayakers

Paddles for kayak touring. | Photo: Matt Stetson

Cadence from Lendal North America

Photo: Matt Stetson
Get your Lendal. | Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $390 www.lendalna.com

Lendal’s Cadence is a high-angle performance paddle. The featherweight carbon construction gives the Cadence a comfortable swing weight and high return on each stroke. Its blades are tough, with a fine entry, and the power transfer is clean and crisp without flex.

The Cadence’s oval shaft is comfortable and allows for natural ergonomics, while Lendal’s Leverlok system offers feather adjustments and up to five centimeters of length extension on the fly. According to Lendal, the Cadence is designed to inspire confidence in novices, but also provide a paddle capable of tackling the most challenging waters. This is the lightest paddle in the Lendal lineup, weighing just 625 grams.


Crystal X from H2O Paddles

As precious as crystal. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $187
www.h2opaddles.com

The H2O Crystal touring paddle features an eye-catching, transparent nylon blades that combines performance and aesthetics. The Crystal’s blades are a new generation of transparent, high-performance polyamides—an aerospace-grade material—promising to be long-lasting and offering maximum feedback on the water. At the Paddlesports Retailer tradeshow in 2018, sales manager Shillion Mongru showed off just how tough H2O paddles are when he repeatedly smashed the blade with a hammer—with not even a scratch to show for it. According to H2O, the Crystal offers the benefits of a full carbon unit but at a fraction of the price.

Weighing in at 800 to 950 grams, the Crystal features a Fast Ferrule and uses click-locking technology for on-the-fly feather adjustments in 15-degree increments. It’s available in lengths from 210 to 240 centimeters.


Kalleq from Gearlab

Gearlab Kalleq paddle
Fitted to perfection. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $438
www.gearlabpaddles.com

Gearlab’s newest offering launched at last summer’s Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Denver, Colorado. The name of the 800-gram Kalleq comes from the Inuit word for lightning, and it boasts the ergonomic efficiency and lowered wind resistance of a traditional Greenland blade.

Gearlab’s paddles feature innovative swappable paddle tips, which means paddlers can choose between flat tips or rounded tips—the flat tips provide greater stability when pushing off rocks in shallow water, while round tips extend the blade by a centimeter, extending paddle and stroke.

The Kalleq is 13.5 percent lighter than Gearlab’s top-selling Akiak paddle, and its edge width is reduced almost in half. The new, sharper edge of the Kalleq improves efficiency and paddling stability. Gearlab has also redesigned the Kalleq’s internal structure to improve strength and durability, highlighted by diamond pattern carbon weave along its length.


Tango Fiberglass from Aqua-Bound Paddles

Photo: Matt Stetson
The only dance you’ll ever need. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $274.95
www.aquabound.com

Combining beauty and performance, the Tango from Aqua-Bound is an excellent choice for paddlers looking to connect form and function at an affordable price. The Tango’s multi-laminate fiberglass blades are hand-crafted using high-pressure compression molding and come in three attractive, hi-visibility color options.

Along with its all-carbon shaft, this Tango Fiberglass paddle has a light swing weight and weighs just 737 grams. The Tango Fiberglass is available with Aqua-Bound’s 100-percent carbon Posi-Lok ferrule system, which clicks into position firmly and securely.

The Posi-Lok features corrosion-free construction, convenient dual-button release and infinite feathering angles. Available in lengths from 210 to 250 centimeters in increments of five centimeters.

Digital Content Writer/Editor for Kayak Angler Magazine

Kayak Fishing Jobs: Kayak Angler staff at Virginia Beach

About Us

Rapid Media is the world’s leading paddlesports media company. We produce Paddling Magazine, including our annual 300+ page Paddling Buyer’s Guide and special 200+ page Paddling Trip Guide travel issue. We also produce Kayak Angler, the world’s leading kayak fishing magazine. Both our Paddling Magazine and Kayak Angler brands have significant digital assets including industry-leading websites, flipbook and app editions and the world’s most sophisticated online buyer’s guides. In our spare time, Rapid Media produces the international Paddling Film Festival and World Tour now touring to over 130 cities. Over the last 20 years we’ve worked hard to become North America’s most trusted paddlesports authority.

The Job — Digital Content Writer/Editor

As the Kayak Angler digital content writer/editor, you will be responsible for producing and optimizing online editorial content our readers want and enjoy, extending our reach and creating more loyal fans who turn to Kayak Angler for every gear purchase and travel decision they make.

Responsibilities include researching, planning, coordinating, assigning, writing, editing and publishing while meeting deadlines and following guidelines. The goal is to provide exceptional, essential, engaging, informative, honest and credible stories, news and reviews kayak anglers need to read.

You’ll collaborate and coordinate with the existing editorial and marketing teams to develop efficient and synergistic plans to maximize value and reach.

Expect to work in a variety of digital publishing and distribution platforms as well as with photography, video and social media.

You should have an understanding and voice of authority when writing about kayak fishing and the fishing and kayak fishing industries. Our readers are enthusiasts. You don’t work at Car & Driver because you own a minivan; you must be a car nut. You get the idea.

The position is in-house, full-time and year-round. Think…this is a real job!

Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a contributing writer, editor and digital content creator, ideally with a focus on product news and reviews
  • Marketing experience with social media platforms, inbound and SEO
  • Hands-on experiences with a range of kayak fishing products, including kayaks, gear, rigging, tackle, etc.
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with an excellent portfolio
  • Planning skills and ability to oversee projects from concept through finished layouts and production
  • Ability to manage multiple overlapping deadlines
  • Thrive on researching and telling stories important to kayak anglers
  • Clever wit and marketing savvy for punchy, effective headlines
  • Education in journalism, professional writing, marketing, publishing and/or digital media
  • Strong desire to live outside the city and an aversion to shopping malls
  • Willing to travel a few times a year to tradeshows, client meetings and editorial assignments, i.e. destination stories and gear testing

We believe the right candidate will know the skills and experience he or she will need to excel at all this.

Salary to commensurate with experience, of course.

The Office/Cottage

We are located in Palmer Rapids, which is a small rural community with a big heart. Our office is on the river-right bank of the Madawaska River. Yes, you can launch and fish from the dock. We’re five minutes downstream from class II-III+ Palmer Rapids, less than an hour from the mighty Ottawa River, and right in the middle between Algonquin Park and Calabogie Peaks ski resort. We fish, paddle, ride bikes and ski regularly and go swimming from the dock at lunchtime.

This job is based in the Ottawa Valley Palmer Rapids office. Alternative longer-term (think a couple years of in-house time first) arrangements may be made after you become familiar with the business and our systems. But we think you’ll like it here and want to stay and play. We are only two hours to Ottawa, and three hours to Toronto.

Our Team

The Rapid Media team consists of a publisher, director of marketing, director of sales, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, two magazine editors, graphic designer and production coordinator, film festival tour coordinator, some digital dude named Alex and our finance and circulation managers. Most of us wear flip-flops every day and have never been caught wearing ties at our desks. Creep us at our Team Page.

Apply Now

This is not a telecommuting position; only candidates who can work at the riverside Palmer Rapids office or truly have all the above skills and abilities will be considered. Sound like the perfect combination of work and play? Send your CV to [email protected]. Please include a nice letter with a little about you and why you’ll be an awesome fit for this position and on our team.

If you think this job is amazing but not the perfect fit for you right now, please forward this posting along. Thanks for doing so. Learn more about Rapid Media at:

Digital Content Writer/Editor for Paddling Magazine

Rapid Media Office in Palmer Rapids, Ontario

About Us

Rapid Media is the world’s leading paddlesports media company. We produce Paddling Magazine, including our annual 300+ page Paddling Buyer’s Guide and special 200+ page Paddling Trip Guide travel issue. We also produce Kayak Angler, the world’s leading kayak fishing magazine. Both our Paddling Magazine and Kayak Angler brands have significant digital assets including industry-leading websites, flipbook and app editions and the world’s most sophisticated online buyer’s guides. In our spare time, Rapid Media produces the international Paddling Film Festival and World Tour now touring to over 130 cities. Over the last 20 years we’ve worked hard to become North America’s most trusted paddlesports authority.

The Job — Digital Content Writer/Editor

As the Paddling Magazine digital content writer/editor, you will be responsible for producing and optimizing online editorial content our readers want and enjoy, extending our reach and creating more loyal fans who turn to Paddling Magazine for every gear purchase and travel decision they make.

Responsibilities include researching, planning, coordinating, assigning, writing, editing and publishing while meeting deadlines and following guidelines. The goal is to provide exceptional, essential, engaging, informative, honest and credible stories, news and reviews paddlers need to read.

You’ll collaborate and coordinate with the existing editorial and marketing teams to develop efficient and synergistic plans to maximize value and reach.

Expect to work in a variety of digital publishing and distribution platforms as well as with photography, video and social media.

You should have an understanding and voice of authority when writing about paddling —including whitewater, canoeing, kayak touring and standup paddleboarding—and the paddling industry. Our readers are paddling enthusiasts. You don’t work at Car & Driver because you own a minivan; you must be a car nut. You get the idea.

The position is in-house, full-time and year-round. Think…this is a real job!

Qualifications

  • Proven experience as a contributing writer, editor and digital content creator, ideally with a focus on product news and reviews
  • Marketing experience with social media platforms, inbound and SEO
  • Hands-on experiences with a range of paddlesports products, including boats and gear
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills with an excellent portfolio
  • Planning skills and ability to oversee projects from concept through finished layouts and production
  • Ability to manage multiple overlapping deadlines
  • Thrive on researching and telling stories important to paddlers
  • Clever wit and marketing savvy for punchy, effective headlines
  • Education in journalism, professional writing, marketing, publishing and/or digital media
  • Strong desire to live outside the city and an aversion to shopping malls
  • Willing to travel a few times a year to tradeshows, client meetings and editorial assignments, i.e. destination stories and gear testing

We believe the right candidate will know the skills and experience he or she will need to excel at all this.

Salary to commensurate with experience, of course.

The Office/Cottage

We are located in Palmer Rapids, which is a small rural community with a big heart. Our office is on the river-right bank of the Madawaska River, five minutes downstream from class II-III+ Palmer Rapids, less than an hour from the mighty Ottawa River, and right in the middle between Algonquin Park and Calabogie Peaks ski resort. We paddle, ride bikes and ski regularly and go swimming from the dock at lunchtime.

This job is based in the Ottawa Valley Palmer Rapids office. Alternative longer-term (think a couple years of in-house time first) arrangements may be made after you become familiar with the business and our systems. But we think you’ll like it here and want to stay and play. We are only two hours to Ottawa, and three hours to Toronto.

Our Team

The Rapid Media team consists of a publisher, director of marketing, director of sales, advertising and sponsorship coordinator, two magazine editors, graphic designer and production coordinator, film festival tour coordinator, some digital dude named Alex and our finance and circulation managers. Most of us wear flip-flops every day and have never been caught wearing ties at our desks. Creep us on our Team Page.

Apply Now

This is not a telecommuting position; only candidates who can work at the riverside Palmer Rapids office or truly have all the above skills and abilities will be considered. Sound like the perfect combination of work and play? Send your CV to [email protected]. Please include a nice letter with a little about you and why you’ll be an awesome fit for this position and on our team.

If you think this job is amazing but not the perfect fit for you right now, please forward this posting along. Thanks for doing so. Learn more about Rapid Media on our websites: