Afloat

Getting To the Water and Going Afloat

Are you new to canoeing or kayaking, and are unsure of what kind of boat to buy? Or perhaps you’ve often paddled on day trips but now want to spread your wings with a longer excursion. Maybe you want to learn more about how to read water, or navigate large lakes. Then you’ve come to the right place. Our archived articles linked below touch on these and many others related to getting your boat to the water and going afloat. You’re in a hurry? Then here’s a table of contents to take you straight to the subject you want:

Stop back often. We’ll be adding more as time goes by. Want to know when we add something new? Then subscribe to our RSS feed. Think of it as a newsletter, if you like — minus the in‑box clutter, the ads, and the data mining. And if there’s something you’re looking for but can’t find, you can always reach us through our Contact page. Don’t be a stranger!

The Howl of the Weather by Frederic Remington


Safety First! Staying Out of Trouble


Everypaddler’s Essentials

Life Jackets – Personal Flotation Devices – PFDs

Drysuits, Wetsuits, and Dressing for Capsizes

Can I Drink the Water?

Flora and Fauna With a Bite: From Poison Plants to Noshing Insects

Medical and Dental Care in the Backcountry

Girl Talk!

Hazards On the Water and Off

The Case for Scouting

Paddling in the Cold and the Heat

Swamping, Capsizing, and Rescue

Caught Out! Wind, Wetness, and Weather

Risks and Rewards of Paddling Alone

Worst-Case Scenarios and Lessons Learned

When Wilderness Trips Go Bad


Voyages of Discovery: Contemporary Trip Reports and Journals



Impedimenta: Boats and Gear


Canoes, Kayaks, and Sit-on-Tops, Generally

Canoes and More Canoes

“Tin Tanks,” or Aluminum Canoes

Pack Canoes

Cover-Up: What About a Spray Cover for Your Canoe?

Concerning Kayaks

How About a Sit-on-Top?

Loading Gear Into Your Boat

Pick a Paddle

Flotation, Bags, and Packs

Storing and Securing Boats and Gear


Different Strokes: Starting Out and Moving On


So You Think You Want to Go Paddling?

What Kind of Boat Should You Buy?

Basic Training in Canoeing and Kayaking

Learning the Strokes

Using a Double-Bladed Paddle in Kayaks AND Canoes

Pros and Cons of Paddle and Boat Leashes

Beyond the Basics of Canoeing and Kayaking

Canoe and Kayak Sailing


Knots and Ropework for Paddlers


Knots to Know

Painters and Tow-ropes

Understanding and Implementing the Z-Drag


Maps and Dreams: Where to Go, How to Get There, and How to Get Back


Getting Away for a Day, Overnight, or the Weekend

Planning Your Big Trip

Maps and Charts: Reading, Understanding, Carrying, and Storing Them


Mass Transit: Hauling Boats and Gear Overland


Taking the Pain Out of Portaging

Getting Over Beaver Dams

Wading and Dragging, Lining and Tracking

Hitting the Road: What Makes the Perfect Boat-Car?

Hitting the Road: Car-topping Your Boat

Hitting the Road: Shuttling from Place to Place

Hitting the Road: Trailering Boats and Gear


Understanding the Medium That Holds Us Up


Water Dynamics and Character

Run, River, Run

Stillwaters from Ponds to Lakes

Down By the Sea Shore

Liquid Assets: Marsh, Bog, and Swamp


The Things We Carry: Our Personal Gear


Carry-Along Kit

Edged Tools: Knives, Multitools, Saws, and Big Blades


Sartorial Concerns: Outfitting Yourself for Paddling


The Well-Dressed Paddler

Head and Shoulders Above the Rest

Insights on Eyewear

On Your Feet!


Tamia Nelson and Farwell Forrest are In the Same Boat - (c) Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions