I’ve been planning and executing remote, multi-week paddling trips in northern Canada and Alaska for 16 years. This year, I’m heading to the Yukon for a solo paddling trip on the Bonnet Plume River. The Bonnet Plume is a remote “true wilderness” river surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery that few have had the privilege of seeing—its headwaters can only be accessed via floatplane. It’s also one of the most demanding whitewater rivers in the territory. That can mean a lot of fun, but remote, advanced-level whitewater comes with a host of dangers, too.
Trips of this magnitude require proper planning, and so do shorter paddling trips closer to home. Taking the time to plan a paddling trip properly can mean the difference between a great adventure and a miserable—potentially even life-threatening—experience. Because of this, it’s important not to cut any corners in the preparation process.
Whether you’re planning a longer, more remote trip or you’re looking to get out on the water closer to home, this list of 12 key things to know when preparing for a paddling trip is sure to help you out.
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