Jinaka Canoe Guides logo2.gif (3317 bytes)         Canoeing in Comfort

Jinaka Canoe Guides are well known for their emphasis on being comfortable. Being uncomfortable is simply unnecessary.
Here are a few things which we think are important and there's not a lot of rocket science to it.
Don't be afraid of saying what you think if you're not comfortable because you will learn a lot faster if you are.
Feel free to use the following.


Canoe Comfortable seats and kneeling positions- pad with matting
Canoe paddle Should be of a suitable length - when standing - approximately from your collarbone to the ground
Kayak Width is important for small people; There should be an adjustable back support and foot rest, and you can always use karrimat to pad the seat.
Kayak paddle Length depends on size of person and type of kayak- longer for sea kayaks
Buoyancy Aids Adequate buoyancy, good arm movement,
Helmets Not too small- adjust chin strap
Dry Bags Many small bags better than few large. Check for leaks.
Barrels Choose size carefully to fit and pack in boats. Check for leaks.


Outer layer Wind proof and/or waterproof- breathable fabrics better (gortex)
Middle layer Avoid cotton- fleece or fibre pile- good drying and wicking properties
Base layer Avoid cotton- quick drying and wicking properties
Footwear Semi rigid soles for protection- sandals, wellingtons or wet boots; make sure there's room, if in a kayak.
Gloves Nice to have- the backs of your hands lose more heat than palms
Hat One to shade you from the sun or one to keep you warm; you can lose up to 20% of your body heat through your head.

Inner comfort

Drink Don't get dehydrated. Hot drinks provide heat
Food Equals energy
Stove Provides heat for cooking, warmth and a focal point

Mental comfort

Confidence More likely if you are comfortable
Treats Something nice does you good, sharing is enjoyable

Jinaka is a word meaning a "Feeling of well-being" and it seems to us to be a goal to which everyone should aspire.

Canoeing is good for your health- your feeling of well being- as well as being exciting, enjoyable and fun. Canoeing might not immediately be seen to offer anything more than exciting sport to many people, but in reality it also offers an environment in which a host of hidden benefits affecting health and well being can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

So here is question: Do you feel young or old? Undoubtedly, there are physiological processes that cause physical ageing, but the mental approach to managing these is what makes someone see themselves as “Young or old”. In conjunction with a good mental approach, there are also strategies that can be adopted to facilitate achievements by alternative easier routes.A simple example of this is the carrying of open canoes which weigh on average 35 - 50 kg. A young paddler may carry one of these by themselves, but this does not mean that children or older paddlers should have to do the same. The alternative of sharing the load between 2, 3, 4 or more makes it possible for this to be done easily and well within the physical abilities of a group.

Another question is: What level of ability is needed for canoeing? In nearly all cases, most people can enjoy some aspects of canoeing; they can acquire the ability to paddle and steer a canoe, but are unable to do so at first. However, some people may have disabilities that prevent them from carrying out some aspects of canoeing, but can still enjoy canoeing in the company and with the help of others.

We Say: 'Why not do it the easy way'. Jinaka Canoe Guides use a myriad of simple alternative strategies to enable people to enjoy canoeing and the outdoor environment. Many people love walking and natures wonders. Just think of canoeing as another way of being in and appreciating a moving picture without having to put too much effort in. Specific health benefits are related to balance, coordination, and relaxation.

In all cases, a positive attitude will enhance enjoyment and achievement.

Bush Craft Skills = Comfort & Survival

Bush craft skills are great fun to learn.
They will equip you with the means to be comfortable whilst enjoying yourself, and increase your ability to deal with the unexpected or an emergency. Your comfort and enjoyment (and survival) depend on the weather conditions, your equipment, your food and your attitude.

The Weather Different environments will dictate different equipment, so one set of equipment is not a good idea for survival. MIX AND MATCH.
Camping Modern dome tents tend to be lighter and easier to put up on small patches of ground than traditional bell and ridge tents which are generally larger and require larger areas of flat ground. Remember that modern tents (maybe belonging to other people!) are not very spark resistant.
Bivvis A more minimalist form of surviving. Aims to be lightweight and versatile. Bivvis can be bought, but you can just as easily make your own, but plan for the environment you are going to be in.
Shelters Really important for changes in the weather and in an emergency. Quickly erected using a simple sheet or tarpaulin, some string/rope and trees. Also provide a sociable meeting place for those relaxing evenings round a fire.
Consider a firebox- a metal enclosure in which you can contain and control a fire for cooking on and sitting around.
Fires Range from self contained fuel stoves (fuel to carry) to open fires (fuel to find). Each has their advantages and disadvantages.
Cooking Get away from the idea that you have to eat dehydrated food. Get used to 3 course meals for carnivores as well as vegetarians all cooked at the same time.
Showers Hot or cold showers- solar heated

Survival Skills -  "Being prepared"

Survival is about being prepared, asking yourself and others the question "What if", and being prepared to carry equipment that you will hopefully never use.
Don't assume someone else has got it- whatever that may be!

Ask us what we can offer you before you decide canoeing isn't suitable for you. Send us a message.

More info will be added in time.
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