Excursions/Camping advice needed

I am taking up kayaking as a new hobby. I have used a canoe, jon boat, etc. for most of my life when I hit the water, and decided to consider this as a new option. The reason I am considering a kayak is becaues I have read, and heard of a lot of people using those for camping trips and excursions. I have a Cairn Terrier which goes pretty much everywhere I go, so I am thinking maybe a tandem kayak for extra space. I am needing something to carry tent, backpack, puppy food (I call him a puppy but he is 4 years old but only a medium sided dog), and of course enough rations to last from 3 to 10 days. (depending on the trip) Unfortunately I have a couple of aging knees which need the occasional stretch to keep from sounding like a green stick breaking when I stand up. (I know some of you can relate there). That being said, can you give me any advice that I may need to know,and suggest a kayak that would suit my needs? Also, if you feel that I may want to just consider a canoe and bar the idea altogether, then please tell me that along with reasons that you feel that way. I am always open to information which may make my trip more enjoyable and less painful. One last thing, I am definitely not going on a whitewater adventure. Everywhere I will go will be from calm creeks to moderately chopy lakes. Thanks


Stick with the canoe
To me, there are a couple of reasons for camping out of a kayak vs. a canoe. I can cover water faster in the sea kayak, can overcome wind more easily, and I can laugh at lake chop because I am all buttoned up.

But for streams, rivers and lakes, the canoe can pretty much go everywhere just about as well as the kayak. If you get a canoe that is right for the job, they are not even that much slower and are tolerable in the wind, especially if you equip it with a spray cover. The spray cover will also help out in lake chop that might be sending spray across your gunwale.

I think the dog will be much happier in the canoe. It is easier to get in and out of the canoe. It is easier to load and unload the canoe, and you are not limited by having to fit all gear through a hatch. You can, to some degree, change your leg position in the canoe, depending on the seating arrangement. So, I vote for a canoe. It would be a closer call were it not for the dog, because you are not going to be able to button up the kayak with the dog on board. If the kayak is open, you won’t be able to laugh at the lake chop.


Dog will thank you. Your knees will too. If you want something kayak-like, consider a partially decked canoe, like a Kruger Sea Wind, Clipper Sea-1, or Sawyer Expedition.

Kayaks are fast, but not real great for dogs.

Not real great for creaky knees sometimes either.

kayak camping
I did a four night camping trip last year out of my kayak. I have a 12’ Dagger and was able to get everything I needed in it for the trip. I used primarily dehydrated meals which I prepared myself. Gear included 2 person tent, sleeping bag and pad, food & snacks for 4 days in a backpacking bear resistant container (I brought way too much), kitchen gear (minus the stove, but it would have fit, propane lantern, camp chair, and clothes. It’s very doable - you just have to have a backpacking mindset rather than car camping out of a canoe. The kayak also has a bit of an advantage on a windy lake especially paddling solo. Go for it.

Prism solo canoe
Denisehurt left your dog on shore! I have a Necky Manitou II (tandem) Specifically for the dog. I love the 3-5 day river trips. I took the Yak out once May 08 for a 4 day/3 night river trip. Well…I ended up buying a Prism this past month for my September outing. -BOB

old town appalachian 16

I’ve been a camper kayaker for many years but am switching over to a solo canoe because of back and knee problems that come from long distance hiking and working construction. I just can’t get in and out of a kayak very well anymore. I always packed my 12 foot dagger like i was backpacking and never had a problem with space, unless you want to bring beer! Good luck, check out mohawk canoes.

Is there much portaging involved
in your planned trips?

You will find a light canoe easier to carry. There are some light kayaks but there are many more light canoes. If you dont need a deck, why carry it?

I have quite a few solos that are in the 25-35 lb range.

I find canoeing easier for me. I got back last month from a 21 day solo involving 53 portages. I could not have done that in a kayak. Too much packing of small things and getting in and out at abrupt drops.

You can take a ten day trip in a kayak too…it holds more than you might think.

People seem to have more problems getting out of kayaks as things get older and switch back to the comparative ease of getting out of a canoe.

canoes are better. They can carry more and your knees can relax a bit. Historically, kayaks were for ocean hunters in the north and canoes for traveling in the Great Lakes region and south. Why? Necessity in the north and usefulness south. Think of Marquette and Joliet. Canoe. The voyagers went with the canoe. Why. Usefulness. Kayaks are a gimmick unless on real big water (ocean or Great Lake)and promo for advertisers. Canoes are for real for travel/camping.

Canoes (birch bark)
were what the Abenaki used long time ago and everyone up to twenty five years ago on the Gulf of Maine.

Kayaks are recent.

Sea sense is not.

if you didn’t have the dog, an arguement could be made for the kayak, but with a dog … I don’t know how’d you do it.

I’m a solo canoe camper. Love it.

With a canoe you’ll have room for the dog, it will be easier on your knees, you can load/unload easier/ portage easier, the canoe is lighter than the kayak, you can carry more “luxury” items with a canoe.


Sea Wind
A Kruger Sea Wind or Bell Rob Roy might be right

for a dog and a lot of gear . The Sea Wind costs a lot

and has to be ordered months before . If you are interested , I have a Sea Wind that I could sell for a

good price . I am in Northern NJ .

we still dont know about those
excursions or if portaging is involved.

There is another option …a pack canoe. That in essence is a deckless kayak. Ergo you sit in the bottom, your load behind you and your dog somewhere in front or in your lap.