The Flatwater Program
(Flatwater refers to lakes or rivers where there is no current. )
The Flatwater Program is about cooperative, environmentally sound and affordable recreational canoeing. Our trips range in length from a single evening to a day, weekend, week or even longer.
You can use your own canoe or rent one of the Club’s flatwater canoes. While we also have a limited number of paddles, it is important to have one sized for you personally. As such, most club members buy their own paddle You will need your own properly fitting PFD (personal flotation device) and a pealess whistle (e.g. a FOX-40), as well as a headlamp, if out after sunset.
Our trips are run in a co operative manner with everyone pitching in. Unlike a guided trip, you and your fellow trip members work together in the route planning, gear selection, menu planning and preparation of the meals plus setting up camp. Our flatwater enthusiasts have a wide range of experience levels, strengths, interests and abilities. If there is something you want to know about, just ask. If the others don't know the answer, they can usually point you to someone who does.
Our trips are low cost. Unlike an outfitter who has to pay staff and make a profit, we rely on volunteers and share out of pocket expenses amongst the group (e.g. gas, parking, access fees, canoe rental, etc).
There are a wide range of trips of various lengths throughout the season. Flatwater trips posted on the club calendar are graded with a “difficulty” rating so that members can select a trip to join that matches their interest, skills and abilities.
Our evening trips often go out on the Rideau River or to Meech Lake for a pleasant paddle and a swim. We leave from the boathouse around 5:30 pm and get back after dark. Make sure that you let the trip leader know that you are coming and arrive half an hour prior to departure to arrange rides and load canoes. You must bring along your own paddle, whistle and PFD, but we have lots of canoes to choose from. Don't forget to bring a snack, some fresh water, a light, appropriate clothing for the time of year, and some rain gear "just in case".
We have one day trips on the weekends and during the week. Our day trips usually leave from the boathouse at 9:00 am. Destinations are usually within a 90 minute drive from Ottawa and include Lac La Peche, Baie Black, the Rideau and Gatineau Rivers as well as others locales. Make sure that you let the trip leader know that you are coming and arrive half an hour prior to departure to arrange rides and load canoes. We are usually gone until late afternoon so bring along a lunch, adequate water, your paddle, whistle and PFD and appropriate clothing for the time of year.
Our weekend (and longer) canoe-camping trips take considerable more preparation than a day trip. Canoe camping trips are often limited by campsite size so it is a good idea to contact the trip leader early to make sure you are included in your preferred trip. We have a trip planning meeting before the trip, usually at the boathouse on the Tuesday evening before the trip. At the planning meeting we decide on the route, transportation details, the menu, shared responsibilities within the group, and who brings what gear. Everyone pitches in to the best of their ability on the trip. Click here for a useful check list of commonly used personal camping gear. While some items of camping gear may be available in the boathouse, the member must provide their own sleeping pad and bag.
Anyone can serve as a trip leader. All you need is a destination. If there is somewhere that you wish to go to, suggest it to the Flatwater Coordinator. If you need some help leading the trip, just ask a more experienced member or contact the Flatwater Coordinator. There is usually lots of help available.
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Flatwater Coordinator: email@example.com