I am new to Paddling?

9:26 p.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
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 I am curious about getting into paddling a canoe or kayak and live on Lake Powell. I guess like my legs have gotten strong from years of hiking and biking, that my arms will do the same from paddling a boat. Will they cramp up after a first days trip? 

Which is best for long distance , storing gear and lightweight? Is foldable good/bad? I want something comfortable as I have long legs being 6' 7" tall. Would a canoe be better or a kayak. I have heard of sea kayaks, are they better in oceans or as good on lakes like Powell. I won't be carrying it far except in shoreline camps and it has to be sturdy bottomed as many shorelines on Powell are sandstone rims of old Glen Canyon.

2:53 a.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
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Gary, to begin, you might check out the articles I wrote for Trailspace. I assume they are still available. A canoe will be much more versatile. I tandem 16 feet and under can easily be paddled solo or tandem. A solo kayak, with your height, is going to be a bit of an issue. A kayak will weigh more, have less capacity, but be less subject to wind. A sea kayak would work in Lake Powell, but again, your height is going to be an issue. 

Folding boats are a good option if you want something that can be easily transported. Folding kayaks and canoes are made. They will be slower. With your height, you might look at something of a compromise boat, either a Folboat, or the original, Klepper. If transport is not an issue, then look at some of Verlen Kruger's designs, or Western Canoes' Sea Clipper. I would consider both to be compromise boats.

As far as arm strength, it is a mistake to think that most of the power in paddling comes from the arms. People who paddle and complain after an hour that their arms are sore, don't have proper technique. Proper technique for either one or two blades, involves as much torso strength or more, than arm strength. The Inuit in kayaks and the voyageurs in canoes paddled for hours with little fatigue because they had proper technique.

7:36 a.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info, I will look for your articles.

Did you ever see Nanook of the North, watch this 10 minute video showing how many , the entire family including the dog ride in his homemade kayak. Leap forward to 5:09 minutes to pass the introduction and watch as everyone climbs out of the inner boat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVbQVWkdcFk

There is a whole series of video shot in 1922 along the side. Showing primative life in the arctic.

11:32 a.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
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In college, I took a course on the films of Robert Flaherty, including "Man of Aran", "Nanook of the North" and "Taboo". It was one of the things that inspired me to become a documentary filmmaker. His work is somewhat controversial in the same way that Edward Curtis used costumes and props from various tribes to try to recapture a lost time. Flaherty did the same with "Man of Aran" though not so much with "Nanook".

9:46 a.m. on August 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Aran, is that a old country? I will look that up, thanks for the info!

7:27 p.m. on August 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Aran is an island off the west coast of Ireland. Flaherty, in making the film, had the islanders take to sea to fish in curraghs, which they had not done in decades. They put out in a storm for dramatic effect, and almost died doing so.

11:52 a.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
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The Aran Islands are actually a chain of islands off Erin reachable by ferry. They have been inhabited for centuries and are famous for their Druid sites. Curraghs are still around. A wonderful sea-faring culture.

1:48 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I like the old quote- "any boat is a good boat because it gets you on the water." I still backpack but use canoes for the longer trips of around a week. It is luxurious to have a cooler and a lawn chair in wild country. Rivers have a rhythm to them that is hypnotic.

3:27 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I want to canoe Lake Powell, crazy? It has as much shoreline as the whole east coast and hundreds of inlets.


Lake Powell from Space


Lake_powell_utah-from-space.jpg


Lake_Powell_-_Arizona-and-its-now-famous

Famous Bathtub Ring on Lake Powell


Jorg-Badura-Half-Sphere-Hemisphere-Stitc

Photo credit: John Badura 

1:10 p.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Gary, it isn't crazy to want to canoe Lake Powell. People do it al the time. Things to beware of are power boats(they put up big wakes and generally don't have much regard for human powered craft), it can get windy(use a boat that has minimal wind resistance), and getting out(or back in) is a consideration because of the shoreline walls.

Some time ago, one poster here asked about a pack raft on Lake Powell. While I won't say it isn't possible, it wouldn't be pleasant. Go get a truck inner tube and put it in a local lake and paddle around. Then imagine Lake Powell. You will need a boat with some speed, and you will either need to take a buddy or diligently practice self rescue. The thing to remember about water, is that we can't walk on it and we can't breathe it. If you capsize on a large lake and your boat blows away, how far can you swim? If you make it to shore, such as in the photo above, what will you have with you to survive?

1:21 p.m. on August 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I haven't paddled a boat since a trip in Wisconsin in 1972 when I was 16. I did buy an old large rear end tractor tire once and swam it around Phelps Lake in the Grand Tetons one time, and one time was it cause it was nice but it was like paddling a spinning top and the wind blew me around. I considered  a PackRaft but they look awfully cramped especial me and my long legs. As I said I am 6 ft 7 in tall and 75% of me is legs, it seems. Which is why I never learned to drive cause I don't fit behind steering wheels and barely in the passenger side. I rarely ride in motorized machines, they or their drivers scare me. I like self propelled craft and ride mountain bike made for real trail use.

Is there a best type of paddle that is less strenuous on the arms?  Are the ones with the paddles on both ends better or the single ended?

I have thought about the thing you mentioned about being caught in the middle of the lake if I capsized. And the thing about Powell is that because its a flooded canyon with deep narrow side canyons, is the water is about 500 or more feet deep even in side channel. I have never been to comfortable with the idea of swimming in deep unwadeable water.  

I am curious about this mode of transportation being I have hiked and biked now all over the USA.  I see videos, pictures or the actual people in canoes and kayaks traveling along coastlines like the ones in the Inside passage of BC and Alaska and wow at the images of the whale and other aquatic beasties. But when I think about it I wonder if I could handle being in really deep water? My fear of it comes from watching too many Creature of the Black Lagoon movies in the 1960s growing up. I know things like that don't exist but I still have the fear of water over my head and too dark or silty to see through.

Maybe I should try paddling somewhere else for my first go?

What do you do Ppine for a living? And how often do you get outdoors? What does ppine stand for.

10:08 a.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Gary, regarding you comment about being less strenuous for the arms, look up the article on did on canoeing technique here on Trailspace. Paddling canoes and kayaks(single blade vs. double blade) is partly arm strength, to be sure. But much of it revolves around torso rotation. Most people only use their arms, and so become fatigued quickly. Proper technique ensures you will be able to paddle for hours.

As far as deep water or shallow, you can drown in either. In rivers, if you find yourself swimming, the standard is never stand up until you butt rests on the bottom in quiet water. That means about mid calf, at most. Certainly water is something to be respected. Always wear you PFD, never paddle alone, know rescue techniques.

The rewards are that you can travel where there are no trails, for hundreds of miles and see things you normally wouldn't see when on land.

10:20 a.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Gary,

Go with an experienced person to help calm your fears. Nothing calms my fears like a good life jacket.

I have been on Lk Powell in a houseboat, but have often thought about going in a canoe or a powerboat. There is no doubt that Erich is right about the afternoon winds, which can be ferocious in the canyons. It takes some planning to not get stuck out there with the vertical sandstone cliffs and no where to hide.

The river valleys in the upper reaches (Ne end) are much less exposed and have fewer powerboats. It is a wonderful place to explore but takes some caution.

Gary,

Ppine stands for ponderosa pine. I am a forester, who is retired from a career as an environmental consultant.

I try to get outdoors every week and am always planning the next trip.

 

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