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  • What Kit do we take on Learning and Wilderness Canoe Journeys?

    Who doesn't love Kit...? For many it's up there with the reason they love being in the outdoors, they get to play with all the shiny shiny! So we thought we'd get Grant, CAG Adventures Owner and Head Coach to take a look at what kit he takes on a CAG Adventures Learning or Wilderness Journey by canoe. Personal kit If you're joining us on a CAG Adventures Learning or Wilderness Journey this is the stuff you'll need to bring, pack and carry yourself. Clothing It's always hard to know how many pairs of socks to pack... So I like to simplify everything. The first step is to embrace the stink. On any wilderness trip where we're living out of boats, we're going to end up being a bit smelly anyway so if we embrace it early on it'll make packing our kit much easier. It allows me to use what I like to call the 3 sock system; One set in the canoe, One set out of the canoe, One set spare, This extends beyond socks to see exactly what I choose check out our blog on what to wear boating, but know that the clothing choices are the same in all three parts of the system. In the bag Of course, as a leader, I'll have my trusty leader bag with me but go and check out the "What's a Leader Bag" blog to see what it is I've got packed in there, the big question is what's in the exped bag? For my exped bag I use an NRS 60L Bill's Bag (if you're coming on one of our trips we can give you a 60L barrel for this), inside this I like to divide my kit into smaller dry bags, mainly for the organisation and to help me get camp set up faster when i get in. These smaller drybags are; Sleep system - sleeping bag, sleep matt, bivi bag, Shelter - either tent or hammock depending on where and when the exped is and a trap Clothing for being off the water, Spare Clothing, Warm Kit - either a down or synthetic down jacket and synthetic down trousers, Bowl, cutlery, mug, lunch box and water bottle, In addition to this in the big drybag I'll also have my flip-flops and depending on the route walking trainers or boots, if we have a hill day or long portage to do. Group Kit This is the stuff that on our Learning and Wilderness Journeys we'll sort out, it might need to go in your canoe during the trip but we'll pack it. Kitchen "The kitchen is the heart of the home" so we do our best to ensure it's a big heart on our trips! My needs when it comes to a stove in the outdoors are relatively simple, it needs to be simple to set up, work efficiently and be able to cook things fast! In addition to that because I'm cooking for more than one it needs to be capable of holding larger pots. Over many years of living and working outdoors, I've owned and used many stoves of many fuel types, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that the best stove for a solo mission vs the best stove for group cooking is very different beasts! So what's in the kitchen box? It's the MSR WhisperLite Universal of course! It's that good there are two of them. Why the WhiserLite? Well, it's famously one of the best expedition stoves of all time, following in reality in 1982 the WhisperLite hasn't changed much yet have been on some iconic expeditions around the world! The Universal version we use is a slight update on the original WhisperLite in that it allows you to not only burn liquid fuels but also gas. The ability to burn multiple fuel types is one of the main reasons we choose to use these stoves as we are always guaranteed to be able to get at least one type of fuel for them. They are also straightforward for us to fix in the field (not that they ever break) and have a superb cooking speed with very little fuel use, what's not too like! Fuel-wise it's hard to decide what to go with, but we use unleaded petrol. Before you start stressing about the environmental impact of this decision, it was because we want to help the environment that we made this choice. Let's remember that gas and oil are natural resources that need a lot of effort and have equal challenges to get to us with huge carbon footprints, but unlike gas, which comes in a single-use can that is often not recyclable, our fuel cans for our unleaded fuel are good for hundreds, maybe even thousands of uses. We can also safely store excess fuel and simply top up the fuel cans before heading out and know we're at 100% instead of running the gamble of the partly used gas can. Unleaded also burns so much more efficiently than gas so we use less fuel per meal than if we were singing IsoPro. On top of the stoves we use, a mix of MSR hard-anodized and nonstick pots with a 5.3L, 3.2L, 2.5L, 1.5L and a Skillit, seems like quite a lot of pots but it's amazing how quickly they get used when cooking for a group of folks. These pots share 3 lids and have the same removable handles so we always have one handy! To protect them we store our DeepDish Plates and Insulated Mugs around them, which also helps stop the rattle when moving the kitchen around. We then have everything you'd expect to see in a kitchen, sharp knives, cutting boards, utensils, cooking oil and washing up clothes with eco-friendly soup. And what do we use as the kitchen? A toolbox of course! We have a Stanley FatMax waterproof toolbox, it seals tight so in the event of a capsize everything is safe and if tradies can throw them around I'm sure it'll stand up to any abuse we can throw at it! Food I'm not going to give you a full rundown of our menus as they change every trip depending on who's on the trip, how long the trip is, and what's available, but on our trips, we cater from lunch on day one to lunch on the final day with healthy balanced meals using fresh produce where possible. To achieve this we carry a 60L barrel plus a 32L coolbox of food to keep everyone fed and happy. We also take a large water container and water treatment kit. Other canoe journey kit To finish off our group kit we have a large tarp which we'll often set up to give us a working area to eat, drink and chat under in the evenings and at breakfast. We also have wheels, poles and sails for the canoes (if people don't bring their own), depending on the venue Of course, our canoes make fantastic tables with a little bit of know-how. Finally, no wilderness or learning journey by canoe would be complete without a wee dram, Slàinte.

  • CAG Adventures Products: and How to Choose Your Adventure.

    Helping You Choose The Trip To Match Your Ability and Motivations There’s no one reason to take to the water. Whether you’re a budding canoeist, a capable kayaker, or keen to take your paddleboard to new and exciting places, we have a trip for you. We have decades of experience of pinpointing the right trip for the right person and have devised a selection of trips that we think fits the needs of every paddler out there. At CAG adventures, we tend to find that there are three main reasons that people have for getting on the water: to go on a journey or an adventure, to develop their paddling skills and knowledge, or both of those things. We’ve put together this blog post to help you to pick the right trip to match your ability and your reasons for getting on the water, but of course if you’re still not sure at the end of this, feel free to contact us and we can help you further. Journey These people want to get out there and see the world and have chosen to use paddlesports to do that. There’s no need to get too technical with all that paddle-waggling stuff, just enough to make sure that we can cover the trip we need to and see what we want to see. And wow, is there a lot to see. Our journeying trips are fully focused on making the most of our amazing surroundings. We run our half and full day trips in the amazing Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, utilising not only the fantastic Loch Lomond itself, but many of the lesser-known lochs and rivers that make up this park. We also run beaver float evenings, an opportunity for you to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures and see how they live. Paddlesports journeys are special in the world of exploration and adventure. There’s no right way to do them, and no limit to what you can see and where you can go. We can even extend these journeys to multiple days, canoeing the Great Glen Canal - the ancient transport link that crosses Scotland and includes Loch Ness - or a four day trip following the footsteps of the Vikings as they raided their way around the fjord like loch systems of Western Scotland. Our journey trips are graded to help you find a trip that suits you. Our green trips are family friendly, beginner oriented and take place in calm, or relatively calm waters. Blue trips are a step above this and take place in more exposed environments, leaving you more at one with the natural world. Red trips are our advanced trips, taking on challenges both on and off the water, and call for a higher level of canoeing, as well as a desire to physically push yourself. For more information, check out our single day and multi day trips. Learning If you care about paddle-waggling and how to do it right, then learning days can help you become the best paddler you can be. We offer coaching at all levels, with the aim to make you both a more competent and confident paddler. If you’re after certification or a qualification, we can do that, too. Our developmental programmes include all of the British Canoeing qualifications in the personal, leadership, safety, and coaching schemes. We also offer bespoke coaching on a 1:1, or group basis, as well as open coaching days for you to come along and work with other paddlers of a similar level to yourself. Not totally sure what you need to work on? Don’t panic, we’ve all been there. Our coaching will help to identify your developmental needs and build you a pathway to achieving them. In the session, we will work on the building blocks of that pathway and build a programme of development to help you keep working on your progress between sessions. Learning Journeys These are the greedy ones, but we have to admit, they’re our favourite! Not only do these paddlers want to explore the world on the water and head out on wild adventures, but they want to spend the time in the wilderness using these places to become better paddlers along the way. A combination of a wilderness journey and developmental aims lets us use real-world scenarios to give you the most real learning experience possible. There is nothing better than testing a skill in exactly the right place for it. Once you’re comfortable paddling against the wind, why not use those skills to get yourself to camp? We have three levels of Developmental Journey. Each of these levels starts with some online planning workshops, to meet the other members of the team and establish group and individual motivations. From here, we can plan the expedition, picking an appropriate venue to ensure that we meet all of your aims while also experiencing everything that Scotland has to offer. Beginner Three days paddling in the Trossachs starting on Loch Achray and paddling the gental river Blackwater to Loch Venacher staying in campsites along the way looking at expedition skills both on and off the water. Intermediate Five days paddling on the Tay network covering Loch and River Tay (Scotland's longest river) wild camping but also using a couple of campsites on the way to maintain a bit of home comfort allowing us to stay in the learning zone. Advanced Seven days paddling the famous Rannoch Crossing, this remote wilderness journey involves some hard open water and river paddling where decision making is the key factor and we spend as much time out of boats using trad skills as we do paddling, all wild camping with minimal luxuries. It’s Time to Pick Your Trip Head on over to the CAG Adventures products page to see the options under each category and book today! Still not sure what trip is right for you? Drop us an email to and we can help you decide! See you on the water.

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