Are You Ready?
While winter refuses to give up here in the Northland, canoe season is right around the corner! You may be thinking, “Hey, there is still ice on the lake at my cabin. Canoe season cannot be coming up that fast.” This is a valid point, however, the ice can move out very quickly once temperatures rise and the wind picks up. After a few days of these conditions, the ice around the shores will begin to open up and will slowly creep towards the middle of the lake until POOF, it is all gone. The average ice out dates on Minnesota lakes ranges from mid-March to mid-May, with some of the northern-most lakes staying frozen for longer. The term “Ice-Out” has different definitions depending on the observers. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “For the citizen observers reporting data, ice out occurs when the lake is completely free of ice. Or, it may be when it is possible to navigate from point A to point B. Ice out may also be when a lake is 90 percent free of ice. Observers use consistent criteria from year to year when reporting lake ice out dates.” Click HERE for more details!
A picture-perfect night on the water with Frost River. Picture Credit: Woods Creek Productions
Once the ice is gone, you’ll be ready to start canoeing! There are a few things you need in order to make your canoe experience the best it can be. These items include:
- A good canoe
- A properly fitting paddle
- A personal flotation device
- Proper attire
- Water/other beverages
- A map and compass
- A fully charged cell phone
A beautifully crafted Wenonah canoe. Picture Credit: Woods Creek Productions
There are far more items that will make your canoe trip a better experience, but these are the essentials. For picking out what canoe would work best for you, you need to think about what you want to do in said canoe. If you want to do a lot of fishing, you might want a wider, more stable canoe to make sure you don’t flip when you hook a big one! If you are looking to do longer trips, a Tripping Canoe would be best. The long, narrow design can help hold all your gear while still being efficient!
When it comes to picking the right paddle, you want to find one that does everything you want it to. You want it to be light and durable, but fully functional as well. To pick the right size, grab a paddle by the grip on the end and by the throat near where the taper starts. Lift the paddle on top of your head and check the angle your elbows make. If it is 90 degrees, that is a good paddle. If your arms are too stretched, the paddle is too long and vice versa. Check out the video below for more information! Also, check out this Bending Branches article for a more technical explanation.
How to properly fit a canoe paddle. Video Credit: SwiftCanoeKayak via Youtube
Checking the weather conditions is also a very important piece of the canoeing puzzle. Make sure the weather is cooperative, especially if you are going on a large body of water like Lake Superior. The weather can change in an instant and you need to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
All of this being said, you need to have some fun while you’re out there! Bringing snacks, drinks, and other belongings is important to making sure you have a good time on the water. Frost River’s collection of Canoe Packs are ideal for hauling everything you need! From Seat Pads to Bow Bags, we have you covered. Going out for a long adventure? Frost River’s Old NO. 3 pack and Camp Cook’s Kitchen Pack are perfect for carrying the necessities for an extended excursion. As you head out on your next canoe adventure, make sure to keep Frost River in mind!
A canoe waiting to go on its next adventure. Picture Credit: Woods Creek Productions