I have a question about how to plan daily distances on a river I've never been on before. I know individual distances vary significantly, but I'd still like to get some ideas on what to consider when planning. The river is the Oconee River in south Georgia. Can you use something like the discharge cfs to help determine something like this? I'm trying to be conservative, as I'll have our toddler on her first canoe trip and I'm sure I'll be doing most of the work (in and out of the canoe) while my wife looks after the little one. Any advice is appreciated.
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2 to 3 mph|
Posted by: mississippi_dan on Jul-18-13 6:06 PM (EST)
is an average that fits many rivers and paddlers. This can be used until you find out more about the section of the river you are floating. The slower pace is suited for laid back paddling and slow moving rivers like those in the Coastal Plains. This allows time for photos, snacks, and others stops. With more effort paddling, 3 mph may be a better estimate.
If you are a novice...|
Posted by: jackl on Jul-18-13 6:12 PM (EST)
I would plan on about eight miles.
Posted by: stusic on Jul-18-13 8:36 PM (EST)
myself intermediate; I've done a lot of canoeing, but since this is my first trip with my daughter, I'm sure my wife won't be able to contribute like she would otherwise. I think conservative is better, but I don't want to launch at 8am, then be at the camp at 11am... I'm thinking 10 miles/day sounds good; that's 5 hours at 2mph or a little over 3 hours at 3mph. I really think my biggest determinate of time is going to be the stops/breaks, but I have some control of that.
Also consider wind|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jul-18-13 10:35 PM (EST)
Especially since you say your wife may not contribute as much as might be ideal, remember that a headwind will really take its toll on you. It might be wise to try to avoid a really windy day as your first outing, and if significant wind is unavoidable, consider going about two-thirds as far as you'd plan to on a normal day, or maybe even just half as far. Wind often taxes your endurance as much as distance.
10 miles down river .......|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jul-19-13 1:33 AM (EST)
...... on a slow river is an easy run . Add a couple hours for shore breaks , lunch , etc. and you can fill up 6 hrs. of the day .
Posted by: stusic on Jul-19-13 9:28 AM (EST)
don't concern me too much, aside from slowing us down. I haven't seen very much high wind in South Georgia (at least compared with my recent trip canoeing the open water of the Everglades - that was tough). There may be enough to slow us down a bit, but that, combined with distance, is what I'm trying to figure out. I think rain is probably the only weather we're going to be worried about...
well how far is it you need to go ....|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jul-19-13 11:12 AM (EST)
This Relates Closely|
Posted by: stusic on Jul-19-13 1:21 PM (EST)
to how I plan a backpacking trip. Many of the points you made are the exact same points I consider. Of course I consider terrain instead of wind/water flow, but the idea's the same :)
From past experience -|
Posted by: rpg51 on Jul-20-13 8:35 AM (EST)
young kids slow the pace - and rightly so. Best to plan on a pace about 1/2 what you would normally do. Slow down and enjoy the little one and keep her happy.
It's already been mentioned....|
Posted by: Al_A on Jul-20-13 10:52 PM (EST)
but in my opinion, just as important as how many miles you should cover is to figure out how to know where you are at any given time. Say you decided to paddle ten miles a day. If you know where you are and how far you still have to go, then you can adjust all through the day. If you realize you've covered five of that ten miles in the first hour and a half (something that's quite possible with favorable winds and easy paddling) you can slow down, stop and swim, explore an island, eat some snacks, and in general pace yourself. If you realize that you've only gone five miles and the day is more than half gone, you can pick up the pace and lessen the swim time.