Sounds like a great trip. Keep us posted on your journey, would like to paddle that river myself someday.
I've dont some long distance solo trips myself including a 2-month solo to the Arctic Ocean and a 6-month solo across the country to give you an idea of my paddling likes. I prefer a light weight paddle since I have a high stroke rate and like to paddle 10-18 hours a day.
Imagine every morning BEFORE you started to paddle, that you shoveled 20-tons of dirt THEN went paddling for 10 hours. Well.....thats sort of what a lot of people do and they wonder why they are tired, or cannot paddle 10 hours etc. LEt me explain.
My 6-month trip my paddle of choice was a 7 oz ZRE bent shaft paddle. At 7 ounces this weighs 2-3 times less than a wooden or even a kayak paddle,,,which let say is 20 ounces.
When you consider my rate of 50 strokes a minute, I end up lifting 7.8 tons of weight in a 10 hour paddle day!!!! WOW!!! Actually that is good compared to someone using a 20 oz or kayak paddle.
20 oz paddle at 50 strokes a minute ='s 60,000 times in ONE hour they will lift their paddle.....which is = to 3750 lbs of weight in an hour!! Now multiply that by a 10 hour paddle day and you will lift equal to nearly 19-Tons of paddle weight!!!!! So if two paddles side by side paddled---one with a 7oz and the other with a 20oz paddle---the guy paddling the 20 ounce paddle will lift 11 tons more weight in a day than me with my 7 oz paddle!!!!! Who going to be more tired at the end of the day?
Not only tired but how effecient will they be in paddling if they are more tired?
I stayed with tandem sea kayakers for weeks paddling a single blade 7 oz canoe paddle and they wonder how I do it? In fact their paddles are about 24 oz so add another 4 tons of weight to their day in paddling.
As far as your trip. Can't hurt to take one of each. A lightweight bent shaft for the lakes and slower current and more straight shaft when you need to use corrective strokes more. Although with a bent shaft I can still sweep, pry, draw and j-stroke too...just a little weirder angle is all.
I prefer not to be tired from all the extra lifting which allows more time to explore, hike and walk around etc or paddle long into the evening since you will have 24-hour of daylight etc. My friends with the heavy paddles are usually already in the tent too tired to do anything.
Full Size Sail Rig
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