Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - Blog on a Log  

Wild Adventure of the Month - "Paddling Together"

Every month, Wilderness Supply features one of our customers who's had a wild adventure, and passes on some free gear to help them through their next undertaking. Whether on the road, trail, or water, the most difficult experiences always make the best stories...and the most enjoyable vicarious living!

February is the month of love, and so this installment tells us how paddling--just like a relationship--is all about working together, tackling challenges, and maintaining a healthy sense of humour about your own mistakes.  "Paddling Together" comes to us from Bryan from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


My wife and I both had some experience in canoes and like most novices, we thought we knew what we were doing. With her in the bow and me in the stern, we hopped into our rented canoe, loaded with gear for the weekend, and set off paddling up the meandering Kingsmere River in Prince Albert National Park.

This slow meandering stream proved to be the first challenge of our paddling life together. With me in the stern not knowing how to do a decent J-stroke, stern pry or a draw, and my wife in the bow thinking she knew it all, we bounced from one bank to the other through the gentle curves of the small river. A kilometer of paddling, plus one portage, and a whole lot of frustration later, we were out onto the open expanse of Kingsmere Lake.

The lake proved much more forgiving of our zig-zagging path. The rest of the trip, and our paddling skills, went uphill from there. Over the years we have taken a variety of lessons and have continued to develop both our skills and our relationship. Things went well enough that trip that despite that first couple of hours, we returned to the canoe shop after the weekend and purchased a canoe of our own, a canoe that still holds a special place in our hearts, despite the others over the years that have been added to the fleet.