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Canoe camping with children can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. However, it requires careful planning and preparation to ensure everyone stays safe and has a good time.

If you’re planning a canoe camping trip with your kids, here are eight dos and don’ts to remember.

DO: Choose the Right Destination

When choosing a destination for your canoe camping trip, make sure it’s suitable for children. Look for a location with calm waters, easy portages, and family-friendly campsites. Consider the distance you’ll be paddling each day, and make sure it’s manageable for everyone in your group.

DON’T: Overpack

While it’s important to bring everything you need for your trip, don’t overpack. Remember that you’ll be paddling and portaging everything you bring, so pack only the essentials. Make a list of what you need and stick to it.

DO: Practice Paddling and Safety Skills

Before you head out on your trip, make sure everyone in your group is comfortable paddling and knows basic safety skills. Practice paddling, entering and exiting the canoe, and what to do in case of an emergency. This will help everyone stay safe and have a good time on the water.

DON’T: Forget Sun Protection

Sun protection is essential when canoe camping with children. Make sure everyone wears sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Consider bringing a sunshade or umbrella to provide shade while paddling.

DO: Bring Plenty of Snacks and Water

Kids can get hungry and thirsty quickly, especially when active. Bring plenty of snacks and water to keep everyone energised and hydrated throughout the day. Consider packing snacks that are easy to eat on the water, such as trail mix, granola bars, and fruit.

DON’T: Neglect Campsite Set-Up

Setting up camp is an important part of canoe camping with children. Make sure you choose a suitable spot, set up your tent properly, and organise your gear. If you’re cooking meals at your campsite, ensure you have everything you need and follow proper food safety guidelines.

DO: Plan Fun Activities

Canoe camping with kids is not just about paddling and camping. Plan fun activities to keep everyone entertained and engaged. Bring games, books, or a camera to capture memories. Consider going for a hike, fishing, or swimming as well.

DON’T: Ignore Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can change quickly when canoe camping, so it’s important to be prepared. Check the weather forecast before you leave, and bring appropriate clothing and gear. If you encounter bad weather while on the water, seek shelter and wait it out.

DO: Teach Leave No Trace Principles

Teach your children about Leave No Trace principles, which include packing out all trash, using established campsites, and avoiding damaging plants and wildlife. This will help preserve the natural environment and ensure that it remains beautiful for generations to come.

DON’T: Push Beyond Your Limits

While it’s fun to challenge yourself and your children, don’t push beyond your limits. Know your physical abilities and your children’s, and plan your trip accordingly. If someone is tired or unwell, take a break or end the day’s paddling early. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts

Canoe camping with children can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that everyone stays safe, has a good time, and creates lasting memories. With careful planning and preparation, your canoe camping trip with kids can succeed!

If you’re looking for a canoe hire on the Thames, Moose Canoe Hire is the best option for you and your family! Our rental centre has a base on the River Thames at Bisham Abbey near Marlow. Give us a call or drop by today to try it out!