It’s been a super Fall for canoe camping in the Boundary Waters this year. In addition to sunshine and warm temperatures we’ve had very few windy days. The wind is one thing I do not like to hear when I’m in the BWCA and waves are things I don’t like to see, especially if I’m on a solo trip. Experience and knowledge has made me more comfortable in waves over the years. I just read an article about how to paddle in waves and it was a good refresher.
Here’s my quick list of what to do when there are scary waves on the lake.
- Stay put. You’re always safer on shore.
- If you must travel then wait until evening when the waves will most likely die down.
- Load your canoe with all gear below the gunwales, evenly and equally distributed.
- WEAR YOUR LIFE VEST!
- Paddle close to shore in case you capsize(this is especially important when the water is cold).
- Kneel in the bottom of your canoe for more stability.
- Keep the waves at a 45 degree angle to the canoe.
- Keep paddling, dig into the wave and don’t quit.