Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
lrrpinman

Solo Canoeing

9 posts in this topic

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer my canoe solo. I just kneel or sit down 1/3 the way from the back, paddle away! Or, i will hook up the trolling motor for duck hunting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Way to go team!! I sure took the avg score down with my jake
    • nice story, fishing has a way of easing the pains we have. even when we hurt like crazy when done for the day we are looking forward to the next outing.
    • way to go, guys yep, the toms not about to give up even though its close to closing time have seen several strutters the past couple weeks and heard gobbles yesterday while fishing
    • great job. makes it 5 for 5 for team 5 congrats on a nice tom, 57 and that willl give our team score a boost
    • One More Cast      Photo by:  Roger Abraham   If any of you out there are regular readers of my tales, you have followed my recent struggles with back and knees.  I can’t put a name to this drive I have to be on the stream as of late.  It borders on obsession. I guess in my mind if I am healthy enough to fish the world is right with me and I am not getting old and feeble.      Today I was a witness to that I am not the only one.  Lots of anglers and hunters live to go out into the outdoors. .  It is what drives them.  It makes them feel alive.  It is their passion.  I told my fishing buddy Abe today my thoughts.  I told him how I was feeling a little old.  I guess my 60th birthday coming up next month makes me feel mortal.  Abe laughed and said I was a young buck compared to him.  Abe turns 76 this year.     Abe told me tales about catching big trout in tiny streams in Wisconsin and out west.  The twinkle in his eye when he reminisced I had seen before in many trout anglers.      We fished a stretch for 2 hours.  I sat down and rested often.  Abe kept on fishing. He got hung up in a box elder branch and lost a lure.  Abe told me box elders trees were his nemesis when he fished.   He asked me which tree was my kryptonite.  I told him, "ones with branches."  We both had a chuckle and continued fishing.   I thought to myself this guy is really driven.  I hope I am like him at 76.     We got to the vehicle and Abe wanted to continue fishing.  Abe’s waders sprang a leak earlier and he fell in the water a couple times.  He was quite wet.  He wanted to change in to dry clothes before we continue.  Abe peeled off his wet shirt and there were two things stuck to his chest.  He could tell by my questioning look he needed to tell me what was up.     Abe told me he had been having heart problems lately and he was supposed to be wearing a heart monitor.  He left it in the car because he was afraid of getting the electronics wet.  Here I have been whining about being old and the guy I was fishing with left his heart monitor in his vehicle.      Abe reassured me that he was in no danger and he could continue fishing.  I started brainstorming on a place to fish where it was not so hard walking.  Now that I knew he was not as healthy as he looked I wanted an easy place to fish.  I knew the place and it was upstream 5 miles.     We arrived at the well manicured field.  It looked like a golf green.  I picked the area because the farmer kept sheep and goats on the land and the weeds and brush were gone because of the goats.  We walked and fished.     Abe told tales of the old days and of fish lost and landed.  I walked a little forward to fish and looked back to check up on Abe.  What I saw when I looked back scared me and I immediately asked Abe if he was ok.  Abe was laying flat on the ground face down.  I thought the worst and he could tell by my face.  He told me to calm down.  His back was acting up and he needed to straight it out and that was the best way to do it.   We fished a little bit more and he took a photo of me.  He liked the lighting. He told me it captured the essence of trout fishing.  He did not have a camera.  I let him use mine.  He was not camera savvy and needed an impromptu lesson on how to use it.   We drove to his car and we talked about our love of the outdoors. We shook hands and headed our separate ways and promised to fish again soon.  As I drove home I smiled and thought about how I am going to be when I am 76.  I hope I am like Abe and my eyes still twinkle when I talk of chasing trout and I am still driven to make one more cast.
    • The past week has had me having multiple close calls and missing a brute at 45 yards.  Tonight I talked my dad to give it another try and there were birds in the field when we got there.  Birds ended up leaving as we tried to sneak in.  A short 20 minutes later they were back and we watched and worked the big group of toms and hens for more than 2 hours before we got one to commit.  Dad shot him with his 20 gauge at 48 yards,(this thing shoots an awesome pattern).  The 3 year old was down and only flopped a few times.   Nice 1+ inch spurs, 10" beard and heavy.  A good evening for sure!
    • Sorry to disappoint guys, but this tom was not my first bird of the season. Apparently that's part of the rules. The score won't count towards the team. I don't have any measurements for the jake I shot so we will have a zero from me.    At least my freezer is full. 
    • Way to  go 1957 !! Congrats!!
    • sugar is not a drug. 
  • Our Sponsors