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Taking kids canoeing- how old?

Discussion in 'Other' started by kiltedpict, May 7, 2012.

  1. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Native

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    Firstly, apologies if this is in the wrong section!

    Ok, this is probably quite straight forward but I'm looking for advice on what would be the most appropriate age to take a child in a canoe for a wee paddle in the shallows?

    The family and I are heading to a lodge on the side of Loch Tay in a couple of weeks and I would love to hire a canoe for an hour and take my eldest out on the water. Problem is she's only two and a half years old. She can swim with arm bands but I can't decide if I'm being really stupid even thinking about it.. or over reacting thinking its too dangerous.

    I have not kayaked in years (although I have a K2 hanging from my fence), and never really used an open canoe, so would appreciate others thoughts on this.

    Many thanks in advance

    KP
     
  2. forestwalker

    forestwalker Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    You should probably wait a week, or even a few weeks, after the delivery. Babies love the rocking motion of the canoe, tends to go right to sleep. A thick mat underneath is suggested, since the water makes the canoe bottom ciold.
     
  3. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    Some car seats/carrycots fit nicely into the middle of a canoe for slightly older infants.
     
  4. forestwalker

    forestwalker Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    There was a good book a few years ago: "Canoeing with Children", by Kraiker & Kraiker. Really goes into the whole issue, safety tips, diapers on long trips, mosquitos, etc. Strongly recommended
     
  5. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Native

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    Thanks for the advice folks. So, it would seem that at two and a half, it's not a daft idea to put her in a canoe then! Just worried that in the event of a capsize folks would criticise that she was too young/ not a strong enough swimmer etc etc.

    Can't wait now... If she loves it, I might even be able to convince the wife we should buy one!!! :)

    ATB

    KP
     
  6. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    No it's not daft. Not in and of itself; just make sure you do all the prep neccessary to make it safe AND!!! enjoyable for the youngster. After all part of the point is to give the child a good first impression so you wouldn't want something bad (sunburn, mozzie bites, etc.) to sour them on canoeing.
     
  7. realearner

    realearner Forager

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    Biggest thing would be to insist on a correct fitting buoyancy aid for both of you and then no worries if you both go in..
    And with both of you wearing them you setting a good example. Don't think arm bands are good enough in the canoe world.. Well that's my take, just make sure it's enjoyable ;)
     
  8. Dogoak

    Dogoak Native

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    Having taken my son on placid water from a very young age I agree with the other comments. No problem at all depending on right weather, right buoyancy aid etc; and don't tie your child in! I'm sure you wouldn't but unfortunately I am being serious, I have seen it happen along with dogs being tied in.
    Have a nice time and I hope she enjoys it.
     
    #8 Dogoak, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  9. forestwalker

    forestwalker Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    2.5? Proper clothes, a well fitting life jacket, try to stay fairly near the shore (depending: I've crossed lakes with children, but not with only one boat). See it this way: kids are going to have drama, be it falling over their own feet, mosquito bites or losing their balance in the kiddie pool and getting dunked. For the kid it is no different if that happes in the backyard or in the middle of the Northwest Territories. Sort it out (dry spare clothes, etc) and act as if is was absolutely nothing to worry about, and the kid will take your lead. Look at the pictures on http://www.argaladei.nu/?sida=utfarder_paddling05 for inspiration

    Now, figuring out the number of spare sets of clothes needed for a four day trip is a different topic. My oldest tended to walk right out into the water when she felt like it at that age. These days she has the sense to take them off before plunging into +12C water (she will then stay in until I can dance flamenco to the tune she is playing, assuming I could dance flamenco....).

    The Kraiker & Kraiker book is really good if you are going on longer trips.
     
  10. kiltedpict

    kiltedpict Native

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    Cheers for all the advice guys. For the record, the arm bands was for background info- I wouldn't dream of taking her on the water without a properly fitting BA!

    She loves jumping in off the side of the pool so any unplanned dunking I would treat as fun and play it down. The area I'm thinking of is pretty shallow for quite a way out and we would be staying pretty close to the shore.

    Suitable clothing plus spares is a given, given my families' history of regular picnics including a swim in the river regardless of weather but the advice is appreciated all the same.

    Great inspiration in that link too!!

    Cheers folks, much appreciated.

    KP
     

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