Can you think of a more Canadian adventure than canoeing down the great rivers and lakes of British Columbia? The great news is it's actually way easier than you think to organize a weekend trip with relatively little experience. Here’s a weekend itinerary to take the stress out of your trip with little effort, tons of fun, and only the stars at night for company.
A Night with Nature
A night here really does connect you with the wilderness. When we camped here we sat on the cliff top until midnight or so with a beer in hand, listening to what we think were two moose in the forests below, calling intermittently to each other as they got closer and closer throughout the night. The camp site is in the middle of nowhere, although a small dirt road does pass by so there’s a chance of visitors!
Paddling Back Up The River
The paddle back up the river is likely to take you significantly longer than on day 1, since the river is now flowing against you. Add to that wind that’s often blowing down from the lake and you’re in for a decent slog. Stay close to the banks to avoid the wind as much as possible. Once you get to the lake you may find it surprisingly windy. Again stay close to the shore and take breaks at the many little beaches along the way as you make your way back to the rental shop.
Hints and Tips for this Adventure
Overnight Canoe Rental: Unless you specifically ask, most places in BC won’t advertise an overnight canoe rental. Objections or hesitations in giving you a canoe overnight will be down to experience or group size. If you've canoed a little before, and go as a minimum of two boats you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. That way they know there’s other people around should you get into trouble. Killer's Cove Rentals at Harrison Lake rental provides you with everything you need, from the boat, safety, waterproof bags for your essentials, paddles, buoyancy aids and ropes.
Arrival Time: If you can get across to Harrison on a Friday night, you’ll be able to take it easy on the Saturday morning.
Campsites: Check out the below campsite just to the eastern side of the lake.
What to Bring: It’s surprising how much kit you can fit into a canoe, You’ll be fine with two people in a canoe, each with both a big (70L) and small (30L) hiking rucksack. But again remember everything you take with you camping, you bring back. The waterproof bags they give you are great as a precaution, though you may just want to put everything in black trash bags just in case. At the very least make sure you keep your sleeping bag and a change of clothes dry. You can sleep in a wet tent, but you can’t sleep in a wet sleeping bag.
Canoeing Basics: Here’s a useful video with the basics of tandem canoeing: