The beauty of the Adirondack waterways is legend, and there might not be any way better to enjoy that natural splendor than a canoe trip down one of those beautiful rivers and streams.
But there might not be any feeling as frustrating as having that relaxing journey interrupted by the realization that you have forgotten something essential to the trip. Whether you are a novice to canoeing or a veteran with years of experience, you can always overlook something that you really wanted — or needed — to bring. Never fear; this handy checklist will cover the necessities to keep you out on the water.
Sunscreen and lip balm should be at the top of the list, along with a hat and sunglasses to block out those nasty rays of the sun. We shouldn’t have to explain about that one, just remember that out on the water the reflection of the sun gets even more intense than on land. Be prepared!
For day trips, bring or wear a bathing suit, take along a beach towel, a light picnic lunch and snacks like granola or power bars, and plenty of drinking water. A cooler filled with ice and tied to the canoe is a great asset, not only to keep your stuff cool but to use as an emergency floatation device if the canoe flips over. Make sure you have bug repellent and a first aid kit. Don’t forget some dry clothes to wear on the way back home. And bring along your camera for some great pics to chronicle your adventure.
Overnight trips will take some more prep and entail the addition of more items, including everything already mentioned plus essential tools like an axe, a shovel, a compass, a flashlight with extra batteries, a lantern, and the ever-multi-versatile duck tape. Bring garbage bags to collect your trash. Pack enough food for the time you will be gone, and figure at least a gallon of drinking water per person per day. You’ll want cooking ware like pots and pans, a grill top to cook on, and some firewood. Don’t forget the tent, air mattress, and sleeping bags for a pleasant siesta.
And please make sure whatever you bring in you take back out with you, including your trash. Help keep the Adirondacks waterways clean to enjoy for years to come!
Missing anything on your canoeing checklist? We have a backup plan — visit Charlie Johns Store for all of the essentials you need for a happy trip along the waterways of the Adirondacks. They are located at 111 Elm Lake Road at the four corners in Speculator. For directions or any other info, call them at (518) 548-7451.