How far or hard is

Why not?
What’s it gonna hurt? You might feel a little sore if you’re not used to it, but 18 miles isn’t that bad of a paddle.

If you’re really concerned, go out and paddle two 10 mile days, then two 15 mile days, drop down to a 10 mile day, and then go and do your 20 miles day.

It’s really not that far.

30 km
is not far (especially without portages) unless its your first paddle of the season and you are worried about it.

Mental attitude is everything in paddling (well almost). When you start focusing on distance you get tired.

My average solo canoeing day is 24 km. I still baseline plan on 16 km (which was my starting point ten years ago). On a portageless day 30 km is the norm. Then I get bored with it and want to do something else!

You might try the shorter paddle outing first and find out how you like it.

You youngster. I started solo tripping at 50. Now I am ten years older.

Do you really want an answer?
Well you asked so who’s advice are you going to take. It was a good question and you have been given good advice.

Salty gave you the answer you really wanted. Just go do it.

Now that I’m a kayaking guide/instructor I talk to everyone going on my trips and I keep the group together regardless of skill but I wouldn’t take someone on a trip that would hold up the group for example a 10 foot boat when everyone else has 14 footers.

My first kayak was 486 miles and 26 days long and I went alone and did it because they said I couldn’t. I was younger then, only 56. You know yourself better than anyone. Do you think you can do it. Doing something in a group is always easier unless it is a die-hard athletic event but even that will make you push you own limits.

I’m 59 and I paddle all of the time. 18 to 30km is a good day on a lake but not much in moving water but talk to your guide. Nobody goes on my trips until I talk to them. Your safety is most important and when you start to tire out I’m beside you and when you can’t go anymore I’ll tow you and I can tow you and still keep up with the group.

Well if you’re ever in Atlanta call me and I’ll takeyou or the Chattahoochee.

Now for all of you Captains out there I’m an old Navy man and I started keeping track in miles and have paddled over 7,000 river miles in less than three years. For convenience and simplicity I still keep them in miles because most people don’t relate to kilometers ar knots.

My comment is go for it! and may the wind be at your back.

Some paddlers in a 10 foot boat
Some paddlers in a 10 foot boat will leave the 14 footers in their wake.

the worst that could happen
in a group paddle is to have people who misrepresent their skill level participate in a group activity that affects the goals of the group. It’s one thing to drag ones own exhausted butt home but it’s another for someone to debilitate themselves part way in a long trip that requires care by others or necessitates breaking up the group.

you can always

– Last Updated: Apr-29-07 6:20 PM EST –

if it's a paid trip with an outfitter then there has to be places from which to bail so the leader can release his responsibility with a clear concsience and see you pack your boat on the car. Anyone requiring a guided trip can't just bail when they want if it leaves the guide wondering "gee, I hope he made it back ok".
If someone has to bail it should be planned for ahead of time not some place "out there" leaving the rest of the group to discover the middle aged guy had a heart attack in his car after he got back to shore.
Sorry, the loosy goosey suggestions of "just do it" don't suffice for six hours of paddling in cold water if the person has never done it and has to ask on a forum. It's one thing to squeeze a 100% effort out by oneself but it's another to have a range of people should conditions go to sh*t and one of the folks is already at 98% and everyone else is at 80%. That person is now in someone elses hands where "I guess I shoulda prepared better" don't mean much.

If all of this is on moving water I could be reading too much into the effort as opposed to 18miles of open water.

But I am the master of several vessels—er ah, kayaks. LOL.

that must be it
I don’t know anything about the St. Lawrence River so if it’s moving at 2mph you could paddle at 2mph and do 18miles in five hours at a leisurly pace.

very few
very few paddlers i think

ummmm…too many variables…too many rookies who arm paddle…maybe I should have stayed out of this one.

Not on subject, but
I have a feeling we’re all gonna be more regulated in the future. Increased controls on commercial fisherman all the time. Now drug kits are mandatory on vessels so skipper can test crew after any incident. Soon I think fishing skippers will have to be licensed. It’s gettin real Big Brother out there.

Let’s not debate the exceptions
There are exceptions to every rule. But for the most part I’m right. And that seals my reason for talking with everyone. Is it a race ora recreational paddle? With 27 people on the river paddling 31 miles, the first person arrived less than one minute ahead of the last person. It was a great day on the river.

I think you’re right.
Next thing you know, they’ll be making us take drug kits on our kayaks, so we can test our crew in case of an incident.

I’m sure there’ll be licensing requirements and registration requirements for us soon.

I remember pre-911, we were able to paddle right up to Navy warships when they were making a port call and were anchored off Santa Barbara, CA.

THis year when the USS Ronald Regan was there, they set up a 1500 meter exclusionary zone. We could hardly see the carrier. After talking to them via VHF, a group of about 6 of us were allowed to circle her at a distance of 750 meters. Every time we we changed direction to go around her, there would be a rigid inflatable at our side with a 50 cal machine gun trained on us while several crewmen with M-16’s watched us.

It’s a different world out there now.

Miles are fine on a river or lake
but NM and knots are much better on the ocean because.

The lattitude scale on a marine chart is your mileage scale.

1 minute of latitude = 1 NM.

You can do the arithmetic in your head while navigating under way.

Trying to use the conversion of 1 minute of latitude = 1.15 statute miles is much more difficult to work with while trying to paddle, watch for breaking waves, etc.



– Last Updated: Apr-30-07 4:14 PM EST –

which no one has suggested (and why I recommended prepping) and toward which this poster doesn't seem to be predisposed.

Uh, do that distance yourself first!
You have said zilch about what distances you are presently paddling. That does matter.

If you can do 30K by yourself, at least then you can complete the tour, even if you’re lagging behind the others.

If you can’t do it by yourself, you will burden others with having to tow you.

Is there some reason you haven’t done and apparently don’t plan to do the distance by yourself BEFORE going on the group trips?

This has nothing to do with age. Endurance in middle-aged and older people declines very, very gradually, and in many cases is better than when those same people were younger.

It has to do with preparation (“training”). Do more of it if you’re only paddling 5 miles per outing now.

km for Canadian maps
The grids on newer topo (1:50,000) maps are in km. Use what you want. Moreover they are in UTM.

I use NM and knots and lat long on marine charts in my area (Maine Coast) but find the conversion to km easy in Canada.

Most of the paddling in the St. Lawrence is in Canada. And the 100 on the speed limit signs is not miles an hour.

Great replies
Thank you to all who have provided some advice. In an email it is a challenge to give all the information needed to get a detailed response. To add to some of the points, I do play hockey and curling weekly in the winter, downhill ski, and motorcycle on warm days. I have been working out for 4 months or so to increase strength and will start to add more cardio. In other words I am trying to get and stay fit but at 56 it is getting harder.

I have taken some lessons but am a typical short day paddler who wants to get more into this sport. As one writer stated I do not want to slow down a group or be a burden. With your advice I will start a working up to a longer paddle to enjoy a day with a group. There are wonderful paddling areas in Gerogian Bay and the St. Lawrence so I wanted to gain some experience in a guided paddle before going on these larger waters on my own.Afain Thank you.

No one above has mentioned my …
favorite term which is “kayak can”, or as we say on century bike rides “bike butt”.

You can have tremendous upper body strength, aerobic capacity and be as fit as a fiddle, but none of that will prepare you for the complaining your derrierere is going to be doing from about the thirteen mile mark on.

I strongly suggest that you work up to about fifteen miles or more before jumping into a longer trip.



30 km is about 18 miles
dont forget your legs. Kayaking is supposed to use your legs and your abs. Dont concentrate entirely on your arms. They are relatively unimportant.