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lrrpinman

Solo Canoeing

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Is it a lot harder to use a solo canoe than a two seater?

I've never used a solo canoe and my paddling partner cant go on a May trip to the BWCA, should I rent the solo and go anyway or is it too hard for a newbie?

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All I can offer is that a solo is a heck of a lot easier to portage and paddle than going solo in a regular canoe. I used to take my dad's Old Town into some backwoods lakes, fill up the front with rocks, water jugs, whatever was handy to keep the bow down. The thing must have been 18-19 feet or more long. Now I have a solo that I fish with and it's much nicer to carry, paddle etc.

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Generally, a solo canoe will be a tad bit tippier than a regular canoe, and it only took me an extra 20 minutes of paddling around to get used to that aspect.

If you are embarking on your first solo trip in a solo canoe, I'd just suggest sticking to smaller water, especially while the water's still cold.

The thing I like about solo canoeing, is that the only lillydipper I can blame for the lack of paddling is myself. smile

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Yes, solos are a bit tippier, but it's nothing that you can't get used to. After soloing for a while, a regular canoe will feel like a pontoon.

They can also be a bit more difficult to steer, so I'd avoid rivers until you're well-practiced. Just my $.02.

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Yes tippier but just keep body centered [left-right] and no wiggling. Like Carmike said you get used to it. I find a modified J stroke, 2-3 times a side and switch sides to keep a nice straight track.

I wouldn't reccomend first trip to the bwca to be solo, definetly not in May with chilly water, one dump and hypothermia comes in to play right now.I took my first in #rd week of July. I've got a few group trips under my belt before I went solo, there's nothing like expirence. I'm sure if you look a little bit you can find someone to go with, just make sure you can spend 4-5 days in the sticks with them, the woods make poeple change.

I love going solo[i think its the challenge]. Yes the canoe is lighter and you have less gear but you also have to do all the work. Good luck and enjoy.

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I did my first trip in a solo last year in Quetico,same problem,my partner couldn't make it.I used a kayak paddle since I was traveling with another tandem canoe.I took my bent shaft but never used it the whole week.Didn't take long at all to get use to the solo.I rented a Prism.Only draw back was it was tough to fish,your at the mercy of the wind.I traveled some big waters and didn't have any problems.

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I agree with a lot of the folks who posted...

1) Use a solo canoe...safer once you get your "legs" in it and you have much more control when the wind blows.

2) Use a kayak paddle. It maximizes your energy. Get one that breaks in the middle and has the optional single paddle back...that way if you want to paddle with a single you still can but don't have to portage an extra paddle.

3) Balance is the key with your canoe. You are the weight in the back, your heaviest gear should go in the front. I'm a big boy so that works for me, but try different balance systems so you aren't plowing water but are also maintaining good contact for good control in the front.

4) When you are going solo there's nobody to save your butt. Make a commitment to yourself and your family that you'll always wear a life jacket no matter how warm it gets. You can flip a canoe faster than it takes to read "canoe."

5) Have fun! It's a blast to go solo canoeing.

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When I Solo Canoe, I'll make the front the back & the back the front of the canoe. Basically, just sit in the front seat & turn your body around to face the center of the canoe. Makes it a little more stable & I also don't get the bow up in the air & in the wind to blow me around. But, I guess I'm a little off topic for as this is more of a portage & gear thread for one person.

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