When planning an aquatic trek, you’ll need the right vessel to carry you and your gear. That decision depends on how you want to travel and what kind of water you’ll encounter.

Typically, kayaks are ideal for solo paddling, while canoes can fit two or three people. The kayak’s smaller size often allows for better maneuverability in the water. Kayakers use a double-bladed paddle, which helps in covering long distances. So a kayak might be best for open-water travel or for handling
rushing water.

Canoeing offers a comfortable trip since canoes are open and roomy instead of confining like the cockpit in most kayaks. Enclosed storage areas can help keep your stuff dry in a kayak, and since canoes are open, you’ll want to invest in some waterproof dry bags.

Most canoeists wield a single-blade paddle, which provides control in a larger boat. Canoes generally are easier to grab and carry, so they’re great if you’ll be walking from one body of water to another, which is called “portaging.”

Of course, there are crossover boats, like whitewater canoes and sit-on-top kayaks, so do your research to find what you’ll be most comfortable in and what fits your budget.

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