I Bought A Canoe + Thames Trip 2017

I was in the UK two weeks ago. We had planned to canoe and camp for two days on the upper reaches of the River Thames. Daily rain and low overnight temperatures meant that we decided to postpone. We'll be back in July for the Second Annual Muir Family Canoe Trip.

Last Easter, the French and English school holidays lined up for once and six of us set off for two days on the Thames. 

We put in at Wargrave on Wednesday 19th April at 13:00. We paddled all afternoon before making camp, visiting the pub and cooking in Hurley. The next day we cooked bacon sandwiches and set off for Maidenhead. We arrived at about 14:00. 

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The trip was planned and led by my brother Luke. He used to work as a canoe instructor and has done this stretch many times. We used his 16 feet Old Town boat. It was big enough for two adults, foru children and all our equipment.

Although the night was quite cold, both days were sunny and warm when we were paddling. As it was midweek there was very little other boat traffic. Perfect for negotiating locks stress-free. Thanks Mum and Dad for helping with the shuttles.

When we launch in July it will be in two boats as in August I bought my own canoe (above). I did a some research and tested a few boats. Wood, inflatable or plastic Two or three seats? Secondhand or new? I eventually bought an inflatable Gumotex Scout.

Advantages? Easily transported. Big enough for the whole family. Good for lakes, gentle rivers, and even some easier whitewater apparently. Disadvantages? It takes fifteen minutes to set up and then put away, it could puncture and it's a bit slower than a rigid boat.

Anyway, we’ve already done a few local lake trips near Munich and I’m looking forward to tackling my first river aboard.