Paddle Canadian

Paddle in Vättlefjäll.
It is an advantage if you have some paddling experience, but it works good for beginners. The lake system is fairly small and you have an opportunity to paddle close to land, and it is relatively protected from the wind. 

By some of the lakes there are loading places where it is easier to place and retrieve the canoe.

Paddle stroke and getting in and out of the canoe (canadian)

For the most part you are two people who paddle.
The person in the front gets in/out first, the one who sits in the back holds on. It is easiest if you have to canoe along a jetty or shore.

The paddle stroke to paddle straight ahead. Start by putting the paddle far ahead, with the entire blade under the surface. Pull back with the paddle close to the side of the canoe. Lift the blade over the surface and restart with a new stroke.

The one in the back does the same. When you need to turn it is the paddler in the back who steers. You can steer by using the paddle as a rudder. Or hold the blade still out to one side to brake at the same time as the person in front paddles. If you want to maintain speed, other paddle strokes are preferred.

Links with tips.  

To think about - when you are paddling canoe:
  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Help each other when getting in and out
  • Never stand up in a canoe - keep a low centre of gravity
  • Pack water-proof and upright canoe lies plain in water
  • The paddler in the back is the one who steers
  • The paddler in the front is "the motor" and the paddle stroke follows along the side of the canoe.
  • Paddle on one side at a time, do not switch swides

Loading and packing Canadians

It is important that you pack the canoe (canadian) with people and packing so that the canoe floats evenly in the water. If not you need to rethink. 
Think about packing spare clothes and electronic but also food water-sealed. In case you are unlucky with the canoe tipping over or getting into bad weather. Packing in the canoe should be divided so that the heaviest things are in the middle.
Attach the wheels of the canoe cart to the canoe by using one of the straps. 

Experienced paddlers have other tricks for how do divide the weight. But we will not go into such detail here. 

Be careful with the canoe. No person or heavy packing left in the canoe when it is taken from or put into the water. Nor anything heavy in the canoe when you transport it on land with the wheels on. If you have to have packing left in the canoe it should be placed where the wheels are (centered).

Good things to bring
for a day trip:
  • Drinking water
  • Food and fika
  • Clothes after weather
  • Spare clothes water-sealed
  • Rain clothes
  • Map/info folder with simplified map
  • Some stumps of rope
  • Cell phone

Bad wather or accident

During bad weather, if there is hard wind, storms or thunder you should not go out. On Surtsjön, which is a little bigger, waves can form and head-wind that makes it difficult to paddle canadians (canadians are sensitive to wind compared to kayaks, kayaks can handle wind and waves a lot better). 

If winds arrive, or thunder appears when you are already out, 
you can abort. From certain areas of the lake system it can be more appropriate to roll back the canoe on land by road. 

Thunderstorms can be waited out until they pass. 

If a canoe tips over and you are close to land it is usually most easy to swim in with it to land and from there turn and dump the water. Hopefully you brought a change of clothes, so you can continue the trip. 

It happens a few times per year that people tip a canoe. Most often when getting in or out of the canoe. It is important to never stand in a canoe and also to help eachother when getting in and out by holding the canoe still.  

Emptying a canoe on open water is difficult, you need help from people in another canoe and ideally have practiced it a few times. It is called kamraträddning. Read more

You might not think about it, but canoers are just as anyone else who travels by and on water responsible to help those in need if an accident occurs. 

If you cannot handle the situation yourself of with help of others,  
at risk of drowning or if there has been another serious injury, CALL 112.  

Think about safety, ALWAYS be aware of where you are geographically so that you can tell the alarm centre where you are.  

Important to keep the phone in a water-proof case or bag.
Cell reception varies in Vättlefjäll.

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Be able to swim 200 m
  • Paddle to land if there is a thunderstorm
  • Pack water-sealed, have a set of spare clothes
  • Cell phone fully charged in a water-proof case
  • Plan the trip, adapt to weather and wind
  • Bring a first-aid kit
  • Know where you are in the event of an accident (map or GPS) so you can notify your position
  • Good to have company. Be more who can help eachother if something unplanned happens
  • Call 112 at serious accident