July 28-31Register Now
FAQ About Canoe Tripping
We want everyone to get out and experience the outdoors regardless of whether you grew up playing outside or have never been hiking or sleeping in a tent. “Wilderness” events, like our backpacking and canoeing trips, provide an opportunity for you to experience what’s often called “primitive” or “backcountry” camping. This means you (as a group) find your own campsites in the woods, carry and disinfect your own water, and really get into the spirit of roughing it in the wilderness! On the backpacking and canoeing trips, you carry everything you need for 3 nights on your back or in the canoe, travel deep into the wilderness, and set up camp in new and exciting locations every night!
It is like backpacking, but you use a canoe to carry everything (including yourself). You and your partner work together to paddle the canoe downstream, using paddle strokes your instructors taught and the power of the gentle current. Many people (i.e. those who would rather not walk) love canoe tripping since the current does most of the work!
Yes, somewhat. You should be able to “swim” 25 yards (1 time across a pool) with any stroke and not touch the pool bottom. When on the river, you wear a life jacket so swimming in the river will be easier if the pool is hard but doable.
Camping on this trip is next to the river in tents and is “primitive.” No running water, no flush toilets, and no shower. The views are amazing as are the summer smells in the early morning.
Learning to canoe without proper instruction is hard and awkward. Some of our staff also hated canoeing until they started working with us. We’ll spend the first day teaching you how to canoe before we set off and then will teach and provide you individual feedback as well go along. By the time you finish the trip, you’ll be comfortable in a canoe. While we won’t promise you will love canoeing, we bet you’ll come close.
On this trip we are doing at most 10-13 miles (with a gentle current) a day. For comparison, we’ve found most students don’t get completely exhausted until they start doing about double this distance per day. If you can pick up and walk around with a 30 pounds or so, you are strong enough for this trip. 10-13 miles is a very doable distance regardless of your experience.
The area that we will be canoeing is warm during the summer and afternoon showers are common. We will paddle in the rain and often it will provide respite from the summer heat. Don’t worry though – we won’t paddle during a storm or high winds
Yes. We have made a number of accommodations to ensure all of our participants stay safe during Ignite. Food, transportation, and sleeping arrangements have all been modified to adhere to CDC guidelines, as well as our own trip guidelines at UTOP .Please email UTOP@utk.edu with questions regarding specific accommodations.