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Must Have Paddling Accessories for your Next Canoe Trip

By: Pat Quinney

With the arrival of warmer temperatures and the summer solstice around the corner it’s time to get geared up for your next canoe trip. This blog post will focus on all the canoe accessories that Level Six has designed to make your canoe trip that much more convenient and enjoyable.

Paddling Wear:

Making sure you are wearing the right gear can make or break your canoe trip. That is why I firmly believe in investing in high quality hydrophobic wear that is specifically designed for canoe tripping. You may be able to get away with a button up shirt and your rain coat, but don’t expect it to perform as well as the technical paddling gear that Level Six has to offer.

Sun Protection:

First and foremost, I always make sure to pick up a UPF 50+ sun protection shirt. When I get to the put-in I usually get so excited that I forget to put on sun screen and end up getting a sun burn on the first day of the trip. Furthermore, I am notorious for putting off the reapplication of sun screen, and that is why a sun protection layer works for me.

I choose the Coastal Long Sleeve Top because of it’s relaxed fit and flat stitched seams that prevent chaffing when worn under a PFD. I also love the coastal because it is constructed using a blend of polyamide and elastane materials for a perfect blend of high stretch flexibility and quick dying capabilities.

The Coastal tops are available in both a men’s and women’s cut and are available in both long sleeve and short sleeve options. Follow the link below to see our Coastal series.

Men's: https://www.levelsix.com/collections/mens-sun-protection

Women's: https://www.levelsix.com/collections/womens-sun-protection

Level Six brand ambassador Katie Kowalski is seen here wearing her short sleeve Coastal  top while checking out the swells in Argentina.

Shorts:

I got my first pair of Canyon shorts 10 years ago when I started working as a raft guide on the Ottawa River. After 8 years of pushing rubber, kayaking, and working at the put-in moving rafts around, my Canyon shorts never failed, and I still wear my first pair to this day.

With all that said the Canyon shorts are the perfect amphibian short. They are light enough to wear as board shorts for swimming and paddling yet robust enough to take on any nasty portage. These shorts feature two front pockets, a back pocket, and one cargo pocket on the right side for ample storage space. They are constructed using polyester making them light enough to dry quickly yet tough enough to resist abrasions and branch snags.

Ladies, Level Six didn’t forget about you, the female counterpart to the Canyon shorts is called the Aphrodite.

Level Six North American Sales Manager Pat Quinney is seen here wearing his first pair of Canyon shorts. Can you believe that he is still wearing his first pair that he got as part of his staff uniform in 2008?!

Splash / Rain Wear:

Weather can play a big part in one’s enjoyment of a canoe trip. I can remember doing a trip on the Lower Madawaska where it rained for 3 days. At the time I was a novice paddler and figured my rain coat would be good enough to keep me protected from the rain…boy was I wrong.

My biggest piece of advice to paddlers when shopping for gear is to buy paddling jackets. Unlike rain wear paddling jackets are designed for paddling and come with features that will make your paddling experience a positive one. The Nahanni full zip canoe jacket is designed specifically for canoe tripping. It is constructed using our award-winning eXhaust 2.5-UL which is an ultra-light 2.5 ply waterproof-breathable nylon. I love features like the long torso cut to keep water off my bum and the double cuff system to keep water out of my sleeves. Check out the video below for a full breakdown of the Nahanni!

 

For full body protection from general foul weather pair the Nahanni with our Temagami paddling pants. The Temagami paddling pants are also constructed using our eXhaust 2.5-UL waterproof-breathable nylon and feature a double cuff ankle closure system to keep water out of you pants. Check out the video below for a complete overview of the Temagami paddling pants.

The Nahanni paddling jacket and the Temagami paddling pants will make rainy days on your canoe trip enjoyable.

 

Footwear:

Having reliable footwear is arguably one of the most important aspects to any canoe trip equipment lists. I always found it challenging to find footwear that kept my feet dry through marshy portages while being small enough to be tucked out of the way in my boat while not in use.

The Shoreline boots solve both of those issues. These boots are constructed using a light weight all-natural rubber that is extremely lightweight and flexible. I love my Shoreline boots because they roll up and pack down super small however when I need to do a portage over some mucky terrain they have my feet covered. The Shoreline boots are available in both men’s and women’s sizing, check out the breakdown of our Shoreline boots below:

 

Men's: https://www.levelsix.com/collections/footwear/products/mens-shoreline-boot

Women's: https://www.levelsix.com/collections/footwear/products/shoreline-boot

Packs:

The Algonquin Canoe Pack is a modern take on a traditional and timeless piece of gear. This pack features a 96L capacity and is designed for flatwater canoe travel. Constructed using a water resistant 840 D Nylon, the Algonquin pack will stand up to all the wear and tear experienced along a canoe trip. The new and improved harness makes carrying heavy loads more comfortable and the tumpline makes weight along lengthy portages more manageable.

The Barrel Harness by Level Six is a versatile harness that can carry either a 30L barrel or a 60L barrel making excellent for any length of trip. The updated harness features pre-curved air mesh foam to keep you cool while slugging your barrel along a portage and comes complete with multiple reinforced grab handles highlighted in red to make pulling your barrel out of your boat easy.

            

Pictured here is the Algonquin Canoe Pack and Barrel Harness mounted on a 60L barrel. This photo was sent to us courtesy of the Algonquin Portage Store, if you ever forget any items on your way into Algonquin Park the Portage Store has you covered!

Safety:

Safety equipment is an important part to any canoe trip packing list and Level Six has two pieces to make complete your safety list.

I always carry a Hornet throw bag on me while on whitewater trips as it’s small enough to stay out of my way when I don’t need it but quickly accessible for when I do need it. The Hornet throw bag features a 16-meter (52.4 feet) dynamic polypropylene rope that floats and is highly visible. This ¼” thick rope features a 4.4 kN (1000lbs) breaking strength. On lake-based canoe trips I keep the Hornet attached to my bow and use it as a bow line, it also doubles as an excellent method for food hangs. Take the rope out of the bag and place a couple of rocks inside the bag and give it a cinch. From there you can easily toss the bag over the branch of your choosing and hoist your food up to keep the critters out.

The second piece I carry on whitewater canoe trips is the X-traction Kit. This simple kit contains all the ingredients for making a haul system to unwrap a canoe from around a rock. This handy little kit contains four locking carabiners, two prusik minding pulleys, two 4-foot prusik loops, and one strand of 14-foot, 1” wide tubular webbing. You can also add pieces to this kit as you see fit.

Accessories:

Finally, we get to accessories. Accessories are often over looked when getting prepared for a canoe trip, however I find them to be as important as the staple items. In my experience having the right accessories available on trip can make your life much easier and more enjoyable.

The perfect example of an accessory that can make your life more enjoyable on trip is the Helium Yoke Pad. This little pad makes portages way more comfortable and easy on the shoulders thanks to its air mesh padding. For the extra $20 ($15 USD) the Helium Yoke Pad is well worth it. Shop the Helium Yoke Pad by clicking here.

Two other items that I carry with me in both my canoe and my car are 5-meter Ancra webbing straps and canoe foam blocks. I always keep four 5-meter straps in my car as they are incredibly useful in a variety of situations (great for emergency serpentine belt repairs!) and one of my paddling partners inevitably forgets to bring theirs or needs extra straps. The ease of these straps is well worth it when you find yourself tying boats onto of your vehicle at the take-out while mosquitos are feasting on your tasty blood!

We hope this guide will help you get prepared for your next canoe trip! Feel free to reach out to us on social media if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Happy paddling!

Click the link below to shop our complete Canoe Collection!

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