Here are some tips for ensuring you have an enjoyable and seamless paddle if you plan to go on some outings on the rivers in and around Winnipeg.
The planning phase
Explore some of the suggestions WinnipegCanoeRentals.com has to offer from our list of canoeing attractions just off the water in Winnipeg and our link to canoe routes. Take a look at Google maps, talk to friends, dig into your memory or get in your car/ride your bike to scout out a proposed trip and possible landing sites. We suggest you have a plan before you start and have decided on what you plan to accomplish before you set out.
Logistics of moving canoes and kayaks
Method #1 “The support crew”
Probably the easiest approach – This system works with a single car top or trailer. Put together a ground based support crew that will drop you off at the launch site and be available to pick you up at your destination when required.
Cell phones come in handy for this method as you can easily call your ground support crew some appropriate distance from your destination. If timed correctly everyone will show up at the take out location at the same time.
Method #2 “The two car system”
This is best for a single canoe placed on a car roof and at least two paddlers. Having two vehicles available will serve much the same purpose as the support crew. This is how it works:
Strap your boat to one of the vehicles. Drive both cars to the take-out point and park one car there. Everyone then piles in the car with the canoe or kayak and travels to the launch site. The boat is unloaded and the journey begins. Make sure to bring along the foam blocks and ropes with you so they can be reused on the car that’s waiting for you at the end of your trip. At some point you’ll need to drive back and pick up the car that was left at the launch point.
Method #3 “Trailer hauling multiple canoes”
If you used a trailer we suggest you first drop off all the equipment and several members of the canoeing party at the launch site. Two vehicles now proceed to the take out point and leave the tow vehicle and trailer there before returning to the start point in the second vehicle. Now the trailer and a vehicle will be waiting for you at the end of your trip. At some point the car at the start point will need to be picked up. However, by shuttling the vehicles in this manner the waiting time will be at the start of the trip rather than at the end when everyone is tired and possibly impatient.
Method #4 “One + vehicle(s) and pubic transit”
Vehicle(s and trailer) and people arrive at the launch site. Cars are parked and canoes/kayaks are set in the water leaving everything that is not needed to paddle in the vehicles. Paddle to your destination and lift out of the water in a location where equipment can be secured to a tree. While you take in the sights, one member of the crew can bus back to the vehicle location to pick up the car and return to the others.
Example: Dropping in on the Assiniboine River at St Charles Catholic Church (at the south end of St. Charles Ave) would be a great starting point as it is on the #11 bus route. This part of the river is quieter and offers sights and stop off points such as Assiniboine Park, Sargent Sundae ice cream shop, the legislative grounds and the river walk path. Upon reaching the forks the boats are lifted out of the water and the equipment secured to a tree with a cable. Most of the canoeing party can enjoy the forks for an hour or so while one or more people travel on bus #11 to St. Charles Church to pick up the vehicles and return to the forks for the rest of the party and the equipment that remained there.