What was your first canoe/kayak camping trip?

In 1987 I went on a group backpack through Paria Canyon, on the Utah-Arizona border.
One of the women in the group was dating a man that owned a company that ran canoe trips in Colorado and Utah. She talked me and one of the other guys, on the trip, to go on an overnight trip from Loma to Westwater, on the Colorado River, near the Colorado-Utah border. I had very limited canoe experience, but my partner had none, so I took the stern. I made a few blunders, but we survived I had so much fun you could almost say it changed my life because shortly after that I bought my first canoe and started my life in canoeing and kayaking.

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Mid 90’s when I was maybe 12ish on the Saco River with a buddy and his much older brother. All I remember is the rain.

First big trip was in the Adirondacks on the Raquette River 6iah years ago. Went with 5 buddies and we’ve gone back a couple more times. Those trips (and mainly the portage) made me really appreciate carbon and Kevlar boats

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Boundary Waters/Quetico sometime around 1979. Lots of day trips before that.

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My father was an avid fisheman and from before I can remember we took motor boat (12’ AlumaCraft with a 7.5 Evinrude) fishing/camping vacations every other year to Northern Ontario (Red Lake chain, L.Pakwash, and the Wabaskang chain of lakes) in search of that elusive monster Northern Pike. We tent camped, usually on islands, on those trips back then.
One year the family of a coworker of my father’s came along. Their son Mike, a couple years older than I, had a Grumman that we towed in behind us on that trip. The Wabaskang chain on the English river was the “scene of the crime”. That was my first intro to canoeing and I guess it must have been in the early to mid 60s, though I don’t know precisely. And I was hooked.
On the road with Alumacraft:


Mike, at the foot of Perrault Falls Ont. (to the best of my recollection), Wabaskang chain for sure:
Mike 61

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At 14 our Boy Scout troop did a week on the Walbash River in Indiana. It rained. We often cut corners by paddling through the corn fields. Water was up…one night we were having a difficult time finding a camp site. (No dry land)

We rafted up to talk and drift. We went under transmission lines across the river. THEY WERE LOW. We could hear the popping, snapping and crackling from the lined. No one raised a hand.

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Isle Royale in 1980 by kayak. Crossed the island on way too many portages via Chickenbone, Richie and Siskiwit lakes.

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September 2020. Brazos River below Possum Kingdom dam. I was in my Blackwater 12.5 and my buddies were in rentals. It was great.




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Boundary Waters/Quetico summer of 1956; first of many such trips.

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I didn’t own a boat of any kind until 1972 when I bought a Sawyer tandem in Virginia. My wife and I paddled on the James River for our first trip.
I never camped from a paddle boat until last year.

We did a lot of power boat camping in the 1950s. First canoe camping trip was with the Boy Scouts in 1961. We rented aluminum canoes above Great Falls, VA and paddled up the C&O Canal. Then we floated down the easy rapids of the Potomac River.

ppine:
That’s sounds fantastic.
My dad took us car camping, which I’m grateful for. I think my dad is why I love the outdoors so much. But no boats, until he bought a couple aluminum canoes when I was in high school. By then, we were back in Ohio. I wish he’d gotten them when we were in Penna. I think there would have been some nice paddles there.

Josh:
That looks really nice. Hope it’s close to where you live. I have to drive several hours to get to anything that isn’t serious whitewater or just a day run.
I was already a backpacker, so it was pretty easy to move to canoe camping. I still have trouble packing a kayak.

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Overstreet:
Ah, nothing like being tired and can’t find any dry land to camp on.
It was an adventure though, right?

PJC:
I take some comfort in knowing I’m not the only old/young at heart guy on this forum.
I think I have a family album with an old camping photo or two. I’ll have to dig them out.
Somewhere I even have a photo of soldiers lined up to go off to fight in World War One.
Some historic farming photos too.

Boys Scouts, want to say '82, Deleware Water Gap in October. No fancy clothes, sheatshirts and jeans for everyone. Cold as *@&^# at night.

Oswegatchie River (NY)in a Grumman May 1964

Ouachita River in the early 70s.

Josh, the Brazos below PK was the first one I ever took my wife on. We were camped on of those big gravel bar islands in the middle of the river and were treated to one of those fast moving Texas T-Storms overnight. Wind was blowing so hard the tent was almost touching out noses. Never had to worry about here wanting to come again. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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oh dang, certain images ingrained in my brain . Summer camp on the Housatonic river, around 1969. Fleet of kids age 8 to maybe 12, 3 to a Grumman. I’m in the stern of our canoe, we’re headed upriver day one, get to a bridge, slight current against us, I tell the kid in the middle to tie down our sleeping bags and packs. He says he can’t reach them. Canoe ahead of us is 3/4 the way through the current under the bridge when I decide it’s time for us to make our move. We get into the current, canoe upriver, the guys stop paddling, come back down sideways, hit us, and knock us into a street sign (yes, and not the only time I’ve run into a sign on a river, the second being 40 years later, eddying into one on the Naugatuck which tore a nice gash into my Encore). Anyways, we capsize, I come up to see my sleeping bag floating downriver, a visual I’ll never forget. We recover, finish the days paddle in a field filled with cow patties and those thorny pants that seem to love pastureland, set up camp. Seeing as my stuff is wet I’m hanging out at the campfire with the nurse, only female on the trip, so the uh…less disciplined… kids decide to run around bare assed and give her a “thrill”, though it seemed a few of them forgot the pasture was full of that thorny plant, so in the dark it was “ow ow ow”…

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In the late 70s I had a sales territory of Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Upper Michigan Peninsula, and the Dakotas. I was selling welding equipment and my largest customer was just outside of Mountain Iron, Minnesota and visited them ever 6 weeks. I traveled with my Irish Setter and in the spring and fall when the black flies were not biting too bad, we would solo into the Boundary Waters for a weekend. Every portage took two trips. Many great adventures traveling that territory.

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