Spending a night away from the comfort of your home on a riverbank can be one of the most adventurous things you will ever do in this life.
That said, it’s not advisable to invest your time in an overnight float trip without good planning.
Fortunately, the task is not as hard as you may imagine and we are here to help you through it. Here are some tips to help you plan your tour.
Select the Right Vessel
The very first step involves choosing the most suitable vessel for your expedition. So, how do you do it? Well, there are some factors to consider.
If you intend to have an overnight trip, it is likely that you are already familiar with either a kayak or canoe. Both have their own benefits but it is better to pick the one you can handle most comfortably.
A canoe is perfect if you will be traveling with your family or pet because it has ample storage room. However, before you choose this option, think of the waters you will be venturing into.
A heavy and deep canoe will be more stable in large bodies of water, while a lighter and shallow one will slide effortlessly through low waters.
Carry only what you Need
Unloading your car at your local campground and preparing for an overnight float trip are two different things.
It is no longer an option to pack your vehicle and head on out. Whatever you decide to carry on your float trip will add weight to your boat and occupy space.
As such, you should ensure that you carry only what you will need while on your trip. What you probably do not know but will learn by experience is that everything you carry on your trip will get wet at some point.
Now that you have that piece of knowledge, it is important to leave all your valuables at home unless otherwise.
If you have to carry something that you want to remain dry, store them in a dry bag or zip lock bag. A trash bag will not keep your essentials dry so do not rely on it.
As expected, your float trip will lead you far away from civilization so remember to carry some of the items you take for granted.
These include; drinking water, fire starters, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and insect repellant. Other stuff such as a camp chair and a comfortable sleeping pad will also make a whole lot of difference.
A float trip can be exciting, but you will not enjoy it if you are unprepared. Being away from civilization also means that you will have to think of ways to preserve your food.
As such, you want to have a cooler at hand and open it when it is absolutely necessary.
Memorize your Route
It takes a lot of careful planning to have a successful float trip. This means that you have to take note of important checkpoints and landmarks.
Identify probable initial take-out spots in the event of an emergency and make it a point to know exactly how your destination looks like from the lake otherwise you might just pass it by without even realizing!
Let somebody who is offshore know your route along with when you are supposed to arrive to your destination and what they should do in case of any delays.
Be keen on the weather and water conditions leading up to the date of your float trip. You can always consult with a paddle rental service or a local conservation agent. They are in a better position to tell you what to do and they are happy to do it as well.
If the weather or waters pose a risk, it would be best to postpone your trip.
Enjoy Your Overnight Float Trip
Although the process of planning and preparing for a float trip is a tedious one, the whole point is getting away from civilization and having a good quiet time.
Forget the tedious process and focus on enjoying yourself. Take in the flicker of campfire on a secluded area, skip several rocks, and paddle as if your life depends on it.
Before you know it, you will be planning your next trip even before you embark on the present one.
If you will be paddling on your own, you might want to consider using a kayak because it is more comfortable and easier to maneuver for long overnight float trip days.
However, it comes with less space, which means you cannot carry a lot. You may want to get a hybrid kayak that will accommodate all your gear and still maintain its swiftness in water.
If you will be traveling in a group, it would be best to have a canoe or two carrying all your gear as you enjoy the flexibility of a smaller kayak.
You can always switch as required to relieve tired shoulder muscles or cramping in your legs. Read more about the muscles used in kayaking and how you can get the most from them.