Loch Ken in Galloway, Scotland is a lake suitable for people of all ages to be introduced to canoeing, canoe journeying and 'Canoeing in Comfort'. It has beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife particularly in spring. On your first day, you will be introduced to being comfortable in your canoe and shown the basic strokes for getting where you want to go so you can enjoy the scenery. As people become more skilful, longer distances can be covered in the following days. You will also be introduced to moving water if you wish because we can explore the Water of Ken (the river that feeds the Loch). Wild campsites are hard to find, so we offer a somewhat different set of options for camping but still with the emphasis on comfort. There will be varied social options when off the water, evenings when you are cooked for by your guides, evenings when you can try your hand at cooking on wood fires, and, if near enough, an evening when you can choose the pub. We have also arranged an option for you to experience sailing and other sports other than canoeing, if you so wish. We hope this will be a relaxing introduction to more adventurous expeditions.
Pictures of Loch Ken (being edited)
Your BCU qualified coaches will provide you with high quality personal instruction.
An example itinerary will depending on weather and river conditions and would include the following as an example.
An introduction to your guides, other paddlers, your safety and your equipment.
Example Itinerary may vary depending on weather and location
Day 1: Thursday 1800 - 2000 Arrive at start, have refreshments and be introduced to your guides and other paddlers. 2000 - 2100 Evening meal/Barbecue. 2100 - 2130 Safety briefing: Looking out for each other, emergency notes, personal equipment, buoyancy aids, check lists, rafting up, capsize drills, the environment, fires, whistles, etc., etc. 2130 Social round the fire
Day 2, 3 and 4 0730 Tea/coffee will be delivered to you, followed by breakfast. 0900 The day's plan - You will have the option to try sailing and other activities on one day if you wish, otherwise we will set off, and stop for lunch @1230'ish, stretch, explore, 1330 Resume activity, Tea and Cake o'clock 1630'ish . There will also be options to relax, snooze, read, draw, gain paddling skills, take photos, explore, swim, camp craft, tree hugging, try something quite different, and to indulge in Treat o'clock. 1900 Dinner 2030 Camp games; relax & chat by the fire. Discuss possible next day's plans.
Day 5: 0730 - 0900 Breakfast 0900 Check the day's plan- set off again. 1030'ish Cake o'clock. Resume journey 1300. Lunch 1600 Journey Ends.
There will be lots to learn:
how to 'Canoe in Comfort', looking out for each other and other water users, sitting and
kneeling, paddle strokes, trimming your boat, rafting up, what to do if you fall in, how
to get a canoe to go in a straight line, how to turn, how to go sideways, communicating
with your partner, when to stay and when to go, river language, blending in with the
environment, making drinks, where to find access information, and more.
A suggested list of equipment required:
Remember it's easy to cool down, much more difficult to warm up. More advice at the time of booking will be given.
|A sense of humour||A spare sense of humour in case the first one gets wet.||Check List|
|Clothing suitable for canoeing||Warm outdoor clothing which dries quickly, if it gets wet. E.g. walking gear is OK. AVOID cotton.|
|Fleece- warm top and bottoms.|
|Sun hat, or warm hat and gloves.|
|A change of warm clothing||
And a reasonably waterproof bag, if you have wet clothes. (We provide waterproof barrels).
Always play safe and have spare. Don't forget sleeping clothes.
|Footwear||Some footwear is essential. Wellies are suitable, trainers/sandals also.|
|A medical declaration||These are confidential and must be completed at booking.|
|Personal dietary needs||You must inform Jinaka of these at the time of booking|
|Treat o'clock||Something edible to share|
|Personal needs||Sun block, etc.|
|Personal Medication e.g. inhalers|
|Equipment||Sleeping mat- essential- NO sleep = a GRUMPY punter|
|Sleeping bag - essential|
|Tents optional- You can bring your own if you wish|
|A mug for tea/coffee/juice, etc.|
|Please avoid bringing||Valuables, documents or other items liable to damage by water|
Itinerary Example : 4 nights starting Thursday evening and ending Monday afternoon. - includes doubles canoes, barrels, buoyancy aids, helmets, paddles, tent, food, safety cover, instruction, camp fees, but exclusive of personal insurance, travel to starting and end location in Scotland, and any alcoholic drinks.
Please note that a condition of booking is the acceptance that Jinaka Canoe Guides liability to clients is limited to the reimbursement of any money paid directly to Jinaka Canoe Guides. If it transpires that you are unable to attend after you have paid, with our agreement you may find someone else to take your place and transfer your place to them.
Paul Lethebee and Jim Davis enjoy the pleasures that travelling and playing on water brings. Paul and Jim have many years of experience of living and working in the countryside and both live in the Yorkshire Dales. They hold coaching qualifications awarded by the British Canoe Union covering the skills required for journeying on open water in canoes and frequently work together. Individually they also have other skills in mountaineering, caving, kayaking, sea kayaking and sailing as well as a good knowledge of things like plants, birds, fish and rocks. With 2 guides, a journey will have greater flexibility and variety than with one guide. Paul and Jim will be on hand to coach you in canoeing skills, pass on country skills and respond to your questions and suggestions, without being intrusive.
Travel: You would normally use your own arrangements to travel to the activity site.
Documents/valuables: We do not think there is any reason for you to bring documents or valuables with you. Please leave anything unnecessary at home.
Health: A confidential medical questionnaire must be completed, returned and received prior to a booking being accepted. Insurance is NOT covered in the cost. Whilst there will be a first aid kit on the trip, we would recommend that you pack any personal medication that you may require.
Safety and Emergency Procedures relevant to our activities have been identified and are available prior to booking. On a journey, they will be introduced and/or practised at the relevant times.
Itinerary: Any proposed itinerary is an outline which will be followed subject to environmental factors, the most obvious of which is the weather. Your safety is paramount. Within this outline, we can be flexible and adapt each day's activities according to personal and group decisions. You will be encouraged to paddle with different partners and in different canoe positions and you may have the option to split into two groups. Scottish Lakes and Rivers provide a lovely opportunity to journey on water, explore the woods and landscape as well as indulge in bird watching, fishing, geology, botany, sketching/painting, photography, or other country interests according to people's preferences. Identifying your interests on our journey questionnaire (provided at booking) will assist us in providing background information.
Skills: Canoeing is an activity that is suitable for all ages. It provides a mode of transport that is ideal for observing and enjoying nature. Canoeing uses more coordination than strength so there will be no need for you to have anything other than a reasonable level of fitness. There are many skills that will be demonstrated and used throughout an activity/journey, some of which are canoeing skills while others are related to living with nature. A key objective for an activity/journey is to see how comfortable we can be and we shall be exploring skills that contribute to this. It is not necessary for you to have any water skills prior to an activity/journey. However, it is important that you will be able to be comfortable sitting in a canoe for from a few minutes up to an hour and a half at a time, as well as be calm in the event of an involuntary swim. We avoid getting wet as it is unnecessary, but unplanned swims do happen. If you have any doubts about this, you should reconsider the appropriateness of canoeing.
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