Canoe Country Wilderness Canoeing
by © Lee Hegstrand


Loading the Canoe

While the canoe rests in shallow water and oriented parallel to the shore if possible, the packs are then loaded into the boat. With the stern person carefully steadying the canoe, the bow person (and passenger) enters the boat with the first step on the center line of the canoe and both hands on the gunwales and crouching your body to keep your center of gravity low.

After seating, the bow person takes his paddle and steadies the canoe before the passenger and finally the stern person enter. Trim the canoe when loading the packs (allow for the weight of the stern and bow persons): a) on calm days trim even with the heaviest pack in the middle, b) on windy days a one-inch trim slant is sufficient: going with the waves, load bow heavy and going against the waves, stern heavy (remember: weight opposite where the wind hits). Packs are laid flat to lower their center of gravity and this is true especially on windy days.

Always secure all packs to the thwarts even on calm days unless you have launched on a pond and a portage is nearby. Either rope the packs in or buckle a pack carrying strap around a thwart. Be sure the packs are centered for a good lateral trim.

Entry > Discover Wilderness > Canoeing Information > Loading the Canoe



Paddle back Paddle Up