Tips and Hints

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Canoe Packs

Choosing the right canoe pack can be tough.  There are a lot of items that need to be taken on these trips and you need to make sure you have the right fit and design to hold all your gear.  Even though you won't be carrying it much, you still what something that works best for your needs.  Here are some designs that might help you decide on the right canoe pack for you;


Canvas Pack - this style has been claimed to be the most traditional dating back all the way to 1882 and this style of pack really has not changed much. The canvas pack is a large volume, frameless pack that fits perfectly in your canoe.  They are awfully durable and will take years of hard abuse.  However, they can be somewhat hard to waterproof with out using a few layers of garbage bags, but you can always separate your items by using waterproof sacks.


Pack Basket - another traditional pack, this woven ash pack basket can keep fragile gear from breaking and can keep those awkward items from jabbing you in the back.  These packs can however be uncomfortable to carry and are not waterproof


Wanigan - this comes from the native term meaning "kitchen" and that is exactly how people use it.  A wanigan is a wooden box and is great for carrying all your pots, pans, utensils and some food when canoeing in larger groups.  The lid can be used as a cutting board and later as a serving table.  It fits snugly in your canoe, it even floats in the event your canoe tips over


Barrels - these plastic barrels are waterproof version of wanigans.  These waterproof barrels were first used in the 1980's when some canoeist started buying them at yard sales when they realized they great for keeping gear dry out on the water.  Barrels share some of the same characteristics as a wanigan, but they are very uncomfortable to carry.  You can find these kinds of barrels now at most outdoor stores.