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  Similar advice as others
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on May-10-13 11:28 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: May-10-13 11:30 PM EST --

It's clear that you need to become more familiar with canoeing before choosing a boat or embarking on such a trip. All I have to say has been touched on, but I'll provide a slightly different take.

1. Both of those boats are WAY too small. You'll find there's just not enough room for your gear, and if you find a way to pile it in there, you'll be too overloaded (consider the fact that your outstretched legs will take up one-quarter of the length of either of those boats, and that's within the prime gear-storage area too). Paddling from a kneeling position will open up room for another large pack, but are you experienced enough to paddle comfortably all day while kneeling? In any case, both of those boats will be s-l-o-w.

2. As far as paddling such a distance, and paddling in a variety of conditions, you need to see what you are getting into before assuming you can just do it. Canoes are not "easy" to paddle solo, and though most people who can zig-zag down a small river while bumping into rocks and tree stumps along the way think they are doing just fine and know all that they need to know, the fact is, such people quickly find out that they truly are completely out of control in strong wind or when maneuvering in current if the situation is such that the consequences of mistakes actually matter (either that, or they just blindly assume that when things go wrong, it was bad luck and no one else could have done any better - just look at the carnage on any swift river where there are a lot of rental boaters and you'll see that level of ignorance over and over (Like they say, you can't know what you don't know!)). You WILL encounter strong wind and tricky current on this trip, and the consequences of not truly being in control WILL matter. Even in nice conditions, most beginners will be sick of paddling a solo canoe after just a few miles (tandem paddling is much more forgiving of poor technique, so don't use that experience as your reference), and carrying a load of gear only makes it worse. You really do need to develop some skill in order to make all-day cruising into a reality. THEN, once you can do that, you can start to worry about paddletothesea's advice about dealing with the mental fatigue.

3. It would really help to have enough interest in canoeing that getting experience ahead of time doesn't seem like extra work that you'd rather skip. Certainly there have been others who've paddled the whole length of the Mississippi without having the mindset or skills of a paddling enthusiast, but clearly you need more exposure to this than you've gotten so far if you are going to be reasonably prepared. Get some practice, and ideally, do it for the fun of it rather than because you have to.

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