Choose between Two Options
- $279 for three-day canoe trip for two people: includes camping and cooking gear, food supplies, a canoe, life jacket, and paddles for each person (up to a $590 value)
- $505 for three-day canoe trip for four people: includes camping and cooking gear, food supplies, a canoe, life jacket, and paddles for each person (up to a $1180 value)
Kayak or Canoe?: Two Ways Across the Water
Splash into our exploration of their respective merits to decide whether to rent a kayak or canoe.
The basic form of the canoe is so ideally suited to the water that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosts an annual contest in which young designers build concrete canoes that have no trouble staying afloat. But despite their inherent seaworthiness, canoes aren’t right for every nautical outing—try turning one around when the current becomes too strong, and you may wish you were in an agile kayak instead. When deciding whether to use a canoe or kayak, you should first consider the watery terrain in which it has to travel, even before deciding whether The Slim Seagull is an appropriately cool boating nickname.
In general, a kayak will be easier to maneuver among rocks and other obstacles, whereas a canoe’s open top makes it easier to carry if you hit shallow waters. Kayakers also tend to have the advantage on the ocean or on rivers with rapids, since the vessel’s smaller profile pivots nimbly. Kayakers can also wear a special skirt that seals the gap between the deck and the rider’s waist so that water, even during rolls, doesn’t get into the vessel.
The human element is important, too. A double-bladed paddle propels a kayak through the water quickly, since the distance to the water on either side is minimal. And because they’re sitting almost level with the surface of the water and holding a long, balancing paddle, beginners may find a kayak feels more stable than a canoe. However, paddlers of different strengths can balance each other more effectively in a canoe, whereas in individual kayaks, weaker paddlers may end up straggling. In addition, the top of a canoe is almost always open to the air, making it easier to move around, cast a fishing pole, or have a face-to-face conversation about which side is starboard.
Since the company's founding in 1964, Canadian Waters, Inc. has ushered countless visitors into its over 2 million-acre backyard: the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area. For hundreds of years, this ancient network of woods and winding lakes and streams has been used for transportation, fishing, and camping. As an outfitter, Canadian Waters, Inc. helps customers tap into that history. The company organizes multiple- and single-day canoe trips, each of which begins with a briefing. Before anyone sets out, waterproof maps are marked with useful information, ranging from suggested campsites and fishing areas to locations of American Indian pictographs and the place where all socks go when they disappear.
The staff also prepares adventurers to tackle the wilderness for any length of time with customized gear packages. They may include canoes by Mad River, Bell, and Wenonah, as well as freestanding lightweight tents and waterproof personal packs stuffed with freeze-dried foods. The company also rents out satellite phones on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis so that travelers are never too disconnected while they escape from the daily grind.