Canoeing

There is nothing quite like a canoe, or the places it will take you.

image

image

With a little knowledge sImple white water is easy in a canoe, just get the line right and run straight.
With a little knowledge simple white water is easy in a canoe, just get the line right and run straight.

“When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known”  Sigurd F Olson

The canoe is a wonderful thing and Mr Olson (American, but of Swedish parents) was onto something.  Whatever its made of, birch bark or Kevlar, your canoe is a simple craft with an honest and uncomplicated relationship with the water around it.  Once you know your canoe, understand it, trust it, it becomes a channel through which you can feel the water and the land the water flows through.  Its enriching and cleansing all at the same time, kids get it… dogs get it…. it just works.

I love paddling my canoe on rivers and open water, even on the sea.  I use traditional techniques like poling, tracking and lineing to move around difficult sections and I can portage over the worst.  On open water I can sail, in a tandem or alone, and get the excitement of speed without the sweat.  When I rest I can live form the boat.  I can carry large bulky loads; children, dogs, vast tents – it’s all easy once you know how.

Just, the boat and the river.....
Just, the boat and the river…..

The crunch is, like Mr Olson said, you do have to become part of your canoe to make this happen.  Just sitting in the boat and moving it around will give you only a fraction of the experience.  You have to understand edge, know trim, connect to the boat physically, anticipate its next move.

DCIM118GOPROG0048477.JPG

Perhaps that’s where I can help.

I run courses for canoe paddling, including the Norsk Padleforbundet Intro and Grunnkurs (where you can get your vaattkort).  A list of all the available NPF canoe courses is here.

I also run packages for traditional skills, expedition preparation and canoe paddling with children.  Get in touch if you what to know more. mattskuseventures@gmail.com

When it's too shallow to paddle you can pole, even up stream is not a problem once you have the feel for it.
When it’s too shallow to paddle you can pole, even up stream is not a problem once you have the feel for it.