Maybe its not a good Idea.....

Recently retired I have been dreaming of doing some canoe camping before its too late, but with no previous experience and going towards 68 years of age with 115kg, maybe I shouldnt even be sitting a canoe…

Just find a place on a really sedate small river, when the water is warm, .wear your PFD and stay near shore. Maybe does not give you the longest possible run to hit those conditions but you can get out. Just need to get the right boat for your size plus gear.

I think it’s a grand idea. You’ve got a goal and a great opportunity to reach it now that you have some free time.

If you’re not already physically fit, start with a fitness program to get in shape and build endurance. That will be helpful not only for paddling, but general quality of life.

Go for it!

It is a great thought, but prior to jumping in, why not find a livery that rents canoes and try one out just paddling in shallow water.
Many of the rental places use Old Town Discoverys that would be an ideal canoe for you to try.

Good luck

Life is too short not to try to make your dreams a reality. Good suggestions have been posted - my suggestion is that you look around for a local canoe club to join. I’ve always found most canoeist and kayakers to be very eager to help teach others the sport and I’m sure they would help steer you to the right canoe as well as local paddling spots. I’m even willing to bet that some would even let you try their canoes which is always an important factor before buying a boat.

Actually it is a great idea. Age is only a number. General fitness is important, but you don’t have to be an athlete to do canoe camping. If you are not in generally good shape, active recreation is a great way to get in shape and can be a great motivator to improve.

Since you say you have no experience, I will assume you don’t already have a canoe. If you don’t already have a canoe, visit an outfitter who sells canoes and talk to them about your goals. I would not buy an inexpensive boat from a big box store from a sales clerk that has no knowledge of paddle sports. Spend some time learning about the different characteristics of boats, and what characteristics to look for in a boat for your needs. If budget is a concern, as it is with most of us when first starting out, you can shop the used market once you have some knowledge of what to look for in a canoe for your needs. Canoes can be ultra-light to ultra-heavy, somewhere in the middle is a nice compromise on weight vs, cost. A heavy canoe can be a PITA to handle as far is transporting to and from the water. If it is a struggle to load the boat on your vehicle and get it to and from the vehicle, you will be less likely to get it out and use it. Transporting the canoe is another area you need to give some thought to.

If possible find an instructor and take a class to learn paddling skills. A good outfitter may offer instruction, or know of instructors in your area. If that isn’t possible, do some reading, watch youtube videos, etc. to learn proper paddling techniques.

Start with some day trips to see how far you are comfortable paddling in a day and practice proper paddling techniques.

Invest a little bit of time upfront and you could find yourself with a recreational activity you can enjoy for many years.

If all of the above is too much trouble, then educate yourself as best you can, and go for it.

Enjoy the experience!

Do you have camping experience but not paddling experience? If so, I’d test the waters first, so to speak, by taking an introductory canoe paddling class or maybe a park-sponsored nature paddle on flat water where they don’t assume any experience. See if you like it. I don’t see that the 115 kg is terribly relevant (good ballast maybe??). You’re the best judge of how you’ve aged but one nice thing about paddling is other than the obligatory part of getting the boat to and from the put-in, off- and on-loading it from/to your vehicle (trailering is another option), the amount of exertion spent paddling is completely up to you (assuming you’re putting in on relatively flat water). You can paddle 100 feet around a bend and just sit there on a nice day, drinking coffee, reading, looking at marsh birds through binoculars, whatever. You don’t have to do a 10 mile paddle to have an enjoyable outing. I hear you though that you’d like to combine with camping. Not sure if you’re talking paddling out to a wilderness camp site, or camping at a nice park on a river or other body of water and paddling from there. The former sounds like something you’d work towards as you get better, more comfortable with paddling a canoe around and learning/expanding your limits. Courses teaching technique and safety are a really good idea (pretty much necessary IMO unless you have experienced paddling buddies who can show you the ropes).

Since you state your weight in kg, am I correct in thinking that you are in Canada? If so, depending on where you are, there may well be paddling clubs near you which are a great way to get started in canoeing and camping. I have a friend in Kingston Ontario who belongs to an excellent group (Cataraqui Canoe and Kayak Club), and many of the members are well into their 60’s and 70’s (my friend included.) I’ve paddled with them and, like most such groups, they are very open to non-members participating in their outings and have extra boats and gear to facilitate newcomers.

You did not mention where you are. Many areas have recreation areas around lakes, both natural and dammed up rivers. Some of these have camp site accessible from the water, and camping in these requires less moving water skills than from rivers, and are great for beginners. Internet search engines are your friends.

As to age, I am 74, and my 69 year old friend and I do primitive camping out of our kayaks. Neither of us are slim.

I encourage you to go for it!

Take a beginner’s class, and use rental boats for while; until you are sure of yourself & gain some skills. Don’t waste a lot of money on a boat, tent, and other gear, until you determine that your dreams are for real.
Always wear a pfd, stay close to shore, and whenever possible paddle with a partner, or group for the first year. Then you “might” have enough skills to go solo, on short trips.

Then, and only then should you think about buying your own boat & quality gear

Your weight is no big deal as far as I’m concerned.
I haven’t checked out kilogram vs pounds issue, but I weigh about 220 lbs, and have had quite a few paddling friends that were pushing 235 to 250 lbs. Not a big problem with some skills.
You’re 68; so what? No big issue. I’m older than you by 7 years & have no intention of bailing out of paddling anytime soon. I don’t do whitewater anymore, but I am still stroking downstream on class 1 and 2.
Unless health is a big issue; you can too.

Top priorities;taking a class, always wearing a pfd, and having a paddling partner, or go to group for your first year of paddling.

I think it quite possible I was 68 +/- one year when the whitewater photo was taken.

Was 73 when red boat photo was taken.

Go for it!

Well rhodiner it would be helpful if you can tell us where you live so we can try to hook you up with folks that can take you out and show you some paddling basics. We can also help you shop for a boat…I’d recommend a used solo canoe on the larger side (for stability) and also a relatively light boat so you can easily load and manage it. You need to find some safe water to practice on, like slow/ shallow rivers or calm lakes…so you can develop basic skills and also start to experience current and wind before you get onto big windy lakes or rivers with strong current.

I’m about 90 kg and my dog is 25 so my normal load is 115 kg and I can tell you that just about any solo canoe can easily handle the load. I’m also quite sure that your age is not a problem…shortly after moving to SW Michigan I went paddling with the local club and had all I could handle trying to keep up with a 75 year old woman in her kayak that was cruising at about 4 knots and telling me she’d be faster if not for a shoulder injury!

253 lb. Tons of stuff to paddle out there. I am 65 235 6’ and can go like hell. Strength will build just pace yourself and watch conditions of water. You’ll have a blast.

@PaddleDog52 said:
253 lb. Tons of stuff to paddle out there. I am 65 235 6’ and can go like hell. Strength will build just pace yourself and watch conditions of water. You’ll have a blast.

Well… You sure are young at heart! I thought you were a kid! OK you are a old kid…
To the OP… there is your answer!

Just do it.
I can’t go like hell but l but my stroke is pretty good and I am always ahead of others. and I still paddle several times a week and also camp out of a canoe. I am 72,

Never never give up because of perceived age.

Now I must admit that getting up off the dock is the biggest problem for me and I have taken a milkcrate down there to help in the getting up( its a floater and often heaving)…( I can roll out of boat onto dock, but then the getting up is an issue. I am working on this… You will find ways to adapt to any age related shortcomings and your balance will improve… Those “Have you fallen twice in the last year” annoying questions from your doc will meet with your laughter.

It’s a great idea. I was an avid backpacker most of my adult life but will turn 60 this year. I check in at 250 lbs. The past 10 years or so I’ve done a lot more canoe camping than backpacking. As I’ve gotten a bit older I like having some of the luxuries that a canoe allows me to bring. Instead of freeze dried meals, I can pack a cooler with steaks, eggs, burgers and brews. Instead of sitting on logs or the ground, I can pack a comfortable folding chair. Instead of my single burner Whisperlite, I bring a two burner Coleman and often pack a portable gas grill. I can bring a pretty good sized tarp to hang out under if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Check a site such as where you are likely to find paddling clubs in your area that sometimes run camping trips. Perhaps at first you can hook up with another member who needs a partner in their tandem. Later you may be able to borrow a canoe from another member Once you learn enough you can purchase your own canoe and head out into the backcountry alone or with a friend.

There are few things in life as enjoyable as waking up early on a wilderness lake to the sound of loons, then brewing up a cup of tea or coffee, grabbing a good book and hanging out next to the lake in a chair or hammock while watching the sun rise.

I think you have a very good idea. Make it happen! You aren’t getting any younger, so go for it while you still can.