Big River trip

Need a Canoe for the long haul down the mighty Missippi. Need to stay under $1200. Stability #1, load capacity #2. Starting in mid April. We’ll see how far we get by Sept 1st then… Would like to complete it all. Been reading a little. I know the river but canoe experience is only around 100hrs. Family owns an old tank. Tandem is the plan.

Contact FreightTrain here on P-Net he paddled the Mississippi in a canoe twice I think.

He used a canoe both times too.


April? Man, i think the bugs would carry you away once you get into june/july @ mid river, then worse as you go S into aug/sept. I am planning the same trip, but am going in the fall and in two solo yaks. Tandem in a canoe will take alot of teamwork unless you are planning on doing most of the paddling anyway.

It’s just my opinion(s) so do your homework!


If you have to consider "stability,"
do you belong out there? Virtually any big canoe you can buy will be stable enough, especially with a load of gear in the bottom.

Bell Alaskan
You need a big, seaworthy boat that can deal with the riprap and concrete landings. I suggest the royalex Alaskan by Bell. It is listed at $1295, but I’ll bet you can get it for your $1200 limit.

On the Missouri
We used a OT Penob 186.

Packed to the gills, it was stable as a barge.

Must have Subject!

– Last Updated: Feb-16-06 9:17 AM EST –


if it were me, id take that 1200 and buy 2 solo min-16' royalx canoes- mohawk or wenonah with the longest double balded mohawk canoe paddles.

I would also go with a BRITE COLOR such as red.
Green or dark colors turn invisable in a very short distance.. your gonna see some nuts out on that water somewhere before its over... make sure they see you!

get or make cheap wheels to strap on bottom for portaging around a few of the dams... kevlar canoes cant do this because the weight of items inside will stress fracture the hull.

i would look to start mid to late may... possibly June1st... April in Northern Minnesota is quite cold and the water will be insanely mind numblingly cold. For the first week or two you will be paddling towards Canada.
i started Sept1st, had winter chasing me the whole way and pulled out 600 miles shy Nov11th at Hellena Arkansas...-2 weeks worth of paddlin.

I would plan on three months for the trip.. june july august

free maps

– Last Updated: Feb-16-06 8:53 AM EST –

call or write the MN DNR for free maps of the headwaters (first400miles) these maps show the free canoe campsites every 8-20 miles along the riverbanks..some with leantos,cut firewood and privys.. and places to get water...

there is a town on the south shore of lake "wini"-winibigoshih or something.... forget the name of town but stay away from it.

then you may want to purchase the upper n lower river charts, and to order Pool Maps....

if you get the pool maps you may not need river charts. The pool maps show the HUge Lakes before each Lockndam and show which side of the lake the lock is on... very handy information when the lake is miles wide and countless miles long!!

contact the army corps of engineers to purchase the charts for 25 n 30 dollars. they are huge n heavy about 2'x3' cover from end of headwaters to the Ohio river and from Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico. I think the pool maps are free

Can’t go wrong with a Bell Northwind.

Watch out mean going into towns that have bridges. I had a ton of stuff including over $2500 of camera gear ripped off, and the cop said that stuff gets ripped off of boats all the time by the transients that use the bridges as shelters to sleep under. The camera gear was recovered, but I never got back my strobe light, compass that I had since I was a boyscout, or my favorite knife.

Fish license
What do you normally do for a license if you decide to fish on the way down the Miss?

We-No-Nah Cascade
Great river boat, I’ve had it on the Pipestone in Ontario and the Waterfound and Fon-du-lac in Sasketchewan. Held a load, not to bad on the straights for a big hull, and was very manuverable and comfortable in whitewater, though on the Mississippi whitewater won’t be a problem. Give it a look.

i found a rod n reel, and was finding tackle along the way but I never did do any fishing.

if your gonna be in or along a state for a while you can always buy a few day to week long fishing licences… i would get one for Mn n Il

Wenonah Prospector 16
in royalex ought to do it and just squeek under the $1200 limit. I own one. It is stable. It carries a lot. It is a good river canoe.

Just curtious about the trip.
Is there enough safe camping along the river? How about all the barge traffic? How many miles can you make in a day? How do you resupply, etc?

I like the idea of such a long trip. I would love to do the Yukon to the Bering Sea but I doubt if I could ever get a partner. It isn’t a very difficult trip since the river really moves and there are no rapids, but very remote so going solo worries me. The Mississippi, on the other hand, seems like a trip that would be safer for a single canoe to make?

im heading out aug 19th from cincy
starting on the little miami, hitting the ohio, and then miss, ending in new orleans… so far a solo expedition, would anyone want to join the cause for the long haul or just for a few miles? im taking an OT loon 138, and attempting to make it the some 1200 miles in 3 weeks.