getting started

How do you river soloists get started? By that, I mean, how do you start paddling in one location and take out at another? I have yet to figure out a good way to get my car from one end of my route to the other. Or, I have yet to figure out a good way to get my canoe from the ending point to the car.

You need a friend
There are a number of ways to accomplish it with a little help from your friends. If I’m paddling somewhere close enough to home:

1: Have someone follow me to take out & leave a vehicle there They take me & boat to put in & drop me off.

2: Go to put-in and arrange to have someone come & move vehicle to take out before I’m expected to arrive by boat.(requires at least 2 friends)

3:Have someone drop me off at put in with an agreement to meet at take out at predetermined ETA

4:Have someone drop me off at put in & call on cell phone for pick-up at end of trip. (this can result in some loitering at the take out if cell phone signal is poor on the water)

I’m fortunate to live reasonably close to a great little river with an understanding wife and son old enough to drive along with every vehicle I own equipped to haul boats. Then again with such helpful folks why would you want to paddle solo.

Mtn. Bike
I bring my Mtn. Bike and drop it where I’m going to end up. Then I peddle back to the car and drive it down to get the kayak. Need a car or roof rack that will carry both, but the real challenge is whether or not you’re in good enough shape. Ever thought of getting a small scooter?

That About Covers It…
That pretty much covers the common methods.

I am an outgoing guy and have been known to show up at the put in at popular whitewater spots on weekends and “make friends”

I also got in potentially big trouble once doing white water solo…I would have lost the boat if not for the kindnesss of a stranger who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and it could have been much worse…

I had one favorite run that ended at a county park. The caretaker would drive me back up to the put in for $10.

I grew up at Fort Benning/Columbus. The Chattahochie was my home river for many years…

I just
paddle upstream. Sometimes even with a friend if we are paddling farther from home.

I pole upstream several miles a few times a wk during the summer since I can’t seem to get a shuttle a lot of times. Then I drift back down while enjoying the sun and a beverage. Poling is much faster going upstream then paddling. Very enjoyable way to go!


I go upstream, by whatever method is necessary, and then work my way back. It totally eliminates any logistical problems.

Option number one
sounds like both cars have to have roof racks to make this one work or am I missing something?

the shuttle is always Class V

You can’t poll up a class V ??? (woosie newbies)

this is what i do
Depends on how far I want to travel.

If its a few hours I may paddle upstream then drift back.

I live on the yellowstone river so time I will hitchhike to get my truck. Either do this before or after. I ALWAYS carry my paddle when I hitchhike. Its makes for an instant ride. Beats carrying an ax or musket!

If the trip is really far I may do a shuttle with others. Or have someone pick me up.

In the case of my last to LONG trips. The recent on my g-friend picked me up since it was 2500 miles from where I put in. Other times I flew back and put my boat on a barge (this was in the arctic, no mid town usa)