As I’m planning my Scotland trip a crazy mini-plan is emerging…the idea is to some how acquire a canoe. Canoes are big and heavy and expensive…they wont fit in your checked baggage, let alone your carry on! They wont fit on the train (usually) or on a bus and fitting them on the roof of a car can be quite sketchy…but in the world of outdoor travel I’d still have to say that canoes are drastically underrated.
You wake up, pack you gear into a fifteen to twenty foot boat, then hop in yourself and casually paddle along…five miles, ten miles, twenty miles. I know folks who have managed 40 mile days in a canoe, but unlike hiking it can actually be very easy on your body.
You don’t have a pack on your shoulders for starters, but if you spend the time to really learn how to paddle then it becomes a core workout…the power comes from a twisting motion, NOT an arm/pulling motion…and when you’re using your abdomen to move a canoe paddle…well…it’s easy! Hours later you still feel amazing!
Canoes can also carry a shocking amount of weight, so canned goods are fine…fresh fruit is fine…you can carry fire wood in your boat if you like. And on top of this they can go in ridiculously shallow water while also (if you know what you’re doing) holding out pretty well on raging rivers or open ocean.
So…with any luck I will, some how, find a canoe in Scotland and take to the water. The West coast of Scotland looks like an amazing place for a canoe. Many sheltered coves and sea lochs…and an occasional crossing from one bit of land to another would get me to a whole new area that I’d never be able to reach on foot.
Still…gotta find a canoe…hmm. If you have any ideas on canoe finding in Scotland by all means let me know!