Canoe or kayak camping – is a combination of canoeing / kayaking and camping, similar to backpacking but canoe campers travel by canoes or kayaks
A person in a canoe can carry heavier and bulkier loads than a backpacker or kayaker, and can therefore travel farther and more easily under favourable conditions. Portaging by foot is sometimes necessary to pass between water bodies or around hazardous obstacles such as rapids or waterfalls, but most of the time canoe campers travel on water. Because they usually don’t have to carry their gear on their backs all day long, canoe campers can bring more food and gear and undertake longer trips. This is especially the case with food which, unlike gear where the weight is essentially fixed regardless of the trip duration, increases in weight for each additional day of provision.
Heavy weather can make canoeing difficult, especially in strong winds which create large waves and headwinds which work against that paddlers to slow the canoe. Trips may need to have extra days built into the schedule in case of weather delays. Although most experienced trippers feel comfortable paddling straight through large bodies of water, canoeists typically stay within a few hundred meters of shore. In fact, since a fully loaded canoe only draws 12 to 16 cm (six to eight inches), it can approach a rocky shore as close as arm’s-length. This proximity lets the canoeist observe aquatic and near-shore plants and wildlife from a perspective that walking on solid ground does not allow.
Canoeing provides a very different recreational experience than backpacking. It produces less noise, with no crunching boots and bouncing packs, and a lower level of exertion. Maneuverability on the water, and the easy shift to portaging over land, allow canoe campers to go places that simply cannot be accessed conveniently by other means of transportation which can include less crowded boat-in only campsites. The versatility of canoe tripping allows its campers to go places and see things that they otherwise could not.