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Beginner's Guide

Trip Planning
> Choosing a Destination
> Getting Started

> Rules & Regulations
> What to Pack
> Camping Cuisine
> Setting Out



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Rules & Regulations

Most wilderness areas and parks have rules and regulations you’ll need to know to you plan your trip. Working with an outfitter who is knowledgeable about your destination will help you navigate the details. You can also find a lot of this information on

The Price of Entry
Parks may require permits and/or user fees, as well as limit the number of permits issued per season and the number of people or watercraft in a group. You can find these details for each destination in the Destination Guide under Park & Permit Info.

The Lay of the Land
Canoeing tips and tricks are learned over a lifetime of canoeing, but you don’t have to wait to learn the secrets of your canoeing destination. Get the most of your experience by asking questions and doing your research ahead of time. Why learn everything the hard way?

  • Use the maps and routes section of the Destination Guide to find out what map is best suited for the region.

  • Visit the Rendezvous and read a few Trip Logs to learn useful route planning information:
    • How far campers typically travel in one day and where the high-use areas are
    • Whether or not there are designated campsites; if you choose them as you go or select them when you get your permit; whether the number of nights you can stay in one spot is limited
    • Food storage or campsite set-up guidelines
    • Campfire and cooking regulations

It’s also a good idea to do some reading beforehand and learn trail secrets from experienced paddlers. Select a book or video from our recommended list found in the Books & Media section to get started.

Next: What to Pack

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