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Camping hacks for all of your camping meals

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Camping hacks for all of your camping meals

Cooking your breakfast, lunch, and dinner over a campfire is one of the many perks of taking a camping trip. Whether you’re camping in a tent or in a cabin or even a hotel room, campfires are an important part of any camping trip, and so is preparing camping meals over a fire. Here are a few camping hacks for any campfire meal or food storage to make your camping trip a little easier.

Make a long-lasting candle out of a citrus peel
Take the peel of half of an orange, lemon, or grapefruit, and ensure that the center core-like stem is still intact. Pour kitchen oil (vegetable, olive, etc.) into the orange just below the top of the stem. Light the stem. The oil will burn for hours and you’ll have the added benefit of the good smell. This is one of our favorite camping hacks for campfires.

Get creative with storage
There is a lot to pack when you go camping, especially when preparing camping meals. So get creative when packing the ingredients for your food. Store spices in old Tic Tac boxes or even pill organizers. You can take just enough with you for camping meals but they won’t take up that much room. Want to take coffee with you but don’t want to deal with packing the bulky bag and filters? Portion out some coffee into the filters and tie them with dental floss then throw them into some boiling water when you’re ready to make some. Planning on making eggs for one of your camping meals? You can either put eggs in those nifty hard shell egg holders, or pre-scramble them by putting your eggs into an empty plastic water bottle. Each bottle will hold eight eggs.

Utilize orange peels to bake favorite camping meals
Orange peels can be very useful when used for camping meals. Cut an orange in half and make sure you keep the peel intact as you scoop the insides out. Put one prepackaged cinnamon roll inside each orange peel half and set them inside a cast iron skillet, wrap it in foil, and cook them over the fire until done. You can also use them to bake muffins in a similar fashion.

Put a twist on s’mores
S’mores are camping meals staples, but they can be messy. Try a neater version with this camping hack. Pack all of your s’mores ingredients into a waffle ice cream cone, wrap the cone in foil, and put them on a grate over the fire. Let them cook for a few minutes then enjoy! You can always make them in a banana as well by stuffing the ingredients into a banana peel and wrapping it in foil. Another great twist on the classic s’mores is twist open an Oreo and put in melted chocolate and a roasted marshmallow.

Camping hacks like these will save you a lot of time in the long run when planning your camping meals. We can’t wait to see you out this summer for all of your camping and floating trips!

Camping preparation for doing some RV camping in the spring

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Camping preparation for doing some RV camping in the spring

Preparing for going camping is a spring tradition, and one that can get the excitement bubbling for summertime activities. Going RV camping requires a bit more work to get ready than just tent camping. There are numerous steps that need to be taken to ensure your RV is ready to hit the road for some spring and summer camping. Here are just a few camping preparation suggestions we’d recommend for your RV to guarantee it’s in proper working condition.

After Winter Inspection
Inspecting your RV after the winter is crucial to make sure it didn’t get damaged since you last used it, especially if you live in an area where large amounts of snow fall. Your RV can easily get damaged without you realizing it. You don’t want to go RV camping and have the roof cave in one you unexpectedly, so inspect it closely for a bending roof or water leaks. Remember to check it for any critters that may have tried to take refuge in there, such as mice.

Check the mechanics
Before you get ready to move it, make sure you reinstall the battery, check that the brakes work properly, and make sure the lights are in proper working condition. When camping in an RV, camping preparation becomes just as much mechanical as it does organizational. Be sure to check the tire condition, air pressure, and lug nut torque, as well as the water system. Check all of the fluids including the antifreeze and oil. Inspect the gas appliances such as the stove burners very closely to make sure they work perfectly.

Clean thoroughly
After sitting for a whole winter season, your RV is sure to have collected a fine layer of dust and other various debris. Be sure to clean everything thoroughly, watching out for spider webs and other nests. Nobody wants some extra critters joining them on their RV camping trip and many different creatures can find their way into your RV during the winter to seek shelter from the cold.

Test your awnings
One of the perks of RV camping is having an awning to extend and sit under when it’s sunny. That can’t happen if your camping preparation doesn’t include an inspection of your awning. Make sure it is able to extend and that it doesn’t have any holes or nests inside that weren’t there last season.
There is a lot of camping preparation that needs to take place before the season starts, and the season is upon us. Get your checklist ready and get those RVs ready to roll. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

History of camping tents

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on History of camping tents

It’s safe to say camping is one of our favorite pastimes here at Sandhills. But what is interesting is how camping came to be a favorite American pastime, rather than just a way of life. Camping tents are a popular form of camping, so here is a little bit of information on the history of camping and how camping tents came to be a popular form of camping.

Camping tents were first carbon dated to around 40,000 B.C. with very rudimentary structure designs. The first camping tent was found in Moldova and was originally constructed out of a mammoth hide and bones, which is a considerable process if you consider the process of slaying, cleaning, and sewing the hide of a 13-foot tall creature. The convenient thing about these camping tents is that they were easily portable. From these tents came the yurt and the teepee, which gave a bit more of a structure, but were still portable and easily movable from one place to another.

The history of camping continues as we head into the 20th Century. As the Industrial Revolution made materials like heavy canvas and waxed fabrics easy to come across, camping tents started to shift from animal hides to manufactured materials. Wall tents became popular among military units that followed the style of yurts but maximized indoor space. By 1911, the first Boy Scout Handbook had been published and it depicted 10 different types of tents.

Nylon, invented by the DuPont Company in 1935, was the go –to tent material until the 1970s. Soon after that reign, camping tents material started to become more lightweight and weather resistant, making a mark on the history of camping. Aluminum tent poles were created to help lighten the camping tents load when traveling. The first self-standing tent was created in 1959 by Eureka that featured nylon walls and metal poles, replacing the difficult to use wooden ones. By 1970, Eureka had introduced the backpack-storable tent that sold one million units in just 10 years.

By 1990, Napier Enterprises had taken the history of camping to a whole new level by introducing the truck tent. This created a tent that would set up and attach to the bed of a truck, adding additional protection and making sleeping access easier. These days, camping tents can be erected anywhere, from the bed of a truck, to alongside the sides of cliff walls. The history of camping continues to make its mark by way of camping tents. By 2011, over 3.2 million Americans were still making tent camping trips, which is a million more than RV excursions.

It’s Polar Bear Tank Race time, benefiting the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on It’s Polar Bear Tank Race time, benefiting the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the start of March and the upcoming spring season? Are you getting a little cabin fever and ready to get out for an adventure, no matter the temperature? It’s time, once again, for the annual Polar Bear Tank Races, benefiting the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway. Tank racing is a staple in the Sandhills and is a popular way to spend the summer, as well as the brave ones who do it in the winter. This unique event is one of the most unique events that take place in the winter months and we’d argue the most fun. This year is the 10th annual Polar Bear Tank Races, meaning it will be bigger and better than ever!

Registration for the tank racing is on a first come, first serve basis, so if you haven’t registered yet, get registered soon to ensure your team can join us on March 3-4. Need some more information? Contact the event organizers:

Mitch Glidden: 888-278-6167 or 308-546-2206
Email: pglidde@neb-sandhills.net

Registration:

REGISTRATION FEE (Must be 21 to enter)
$195 (non-refundable) PER PERSON
There must be a minimum of four people on a tank racing team

Your registration includes:

  • One Racing Tank, plus a life jacket and paddle for each participant
  • One Polar Bear Tank Race t-shirt for each participant
  • Two nights accommodations (double occupancy) on March 3-4 in Thedford or Mullen
  • Welcome Reception & Soup Cook-Off
  • Polar Bear Tank Race
  • Lunch following the race
  • Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet – Prime Rib Dinner
  • Team trophies for the top three men’s and women’s teams

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 3
(All Times – Mountain Time)

  • 4:00-5:30 p.m. – Registration of teams and welcome reception. You must attend the registration and welcome reception in order to be a qualified tank racing team.
  • 5:00 p.m. – Soup Cook-Off. Sample various soups from Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway Communities

Drawings for race departure times will be held immediately following the Soup Cook-Off.

Saturday, March 4

  • 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast included at Mullen, at the Consolidated Telephone Building. Meet in Mullen. Transportation will be provided to the launch site on the Middle Loup River from the Consolidated Telephone Building.
  • 9:00 a.m. – First bus leaves Consolidated building to launch area – other tanks launched in short intervals according to the tank racing draw order.

A hot lunch will be provided after the race.

Transportation will be provided from the finish line back to the Consolidated Telephone Building.

  • 5:00 p.m. – 10th Annual Polar Bear Tank Race Awards Banquet. Location TBD, as we’re hoping there will be a new Mullen Event’s Center.

Getting out of the house and supporting the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway is a great way to spend a weekend and a unique event to do in the winter to help cure you of cabin fever. Don’t forget your fun team names, matching costumes, and fun props to help get you down the river in a fun and unique way! We can’t wait to see you all for the 10th Annual Polar Bear Tank Races!

Fun outdoor activities and things to do in the winter

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fun outdoor activities and things to do in the winter

Winter has settled its harsh temperatures over the Sandhills. With snowcapped trees, iced over lakes, and the frost covered streets, the evenings have become frigid and the days cool. But even with the snow covering the grass, there are still plenty of outdoor activities to partake in while you are on vacation. With many different things to do in the winter, we wanted to help you out by giving you a few ideas of ways to celebrate the last few months of winter before it gives way to spring.

  • Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. This is a great way to take your hike to the next level. Rent some snowshoes or cross-country skis from the local outdoor store and go to some of the higher elevations where there is a significant amount of snow. Ask any of our Sandhills staff for their favorite hiking spots to go snowshoeing at.
  • Have a photo expedition. The snow creates a magical new world that looks completely different even to those who know the area like the back of their hands. Your outdoor activities don’t have to be super strenuous. Just take a camera (your phone will do) and go out for a walk and take some fantastic pictures of the newly painted landscape.
  • Have a winter picnic. Who says that picnics are only good for the summer? One of our favorite things to do in the winter is packing a picnic basket and going out for a winter picnic. Pack numerous blankets and soup in a thermos and head out to your favorite grassy spot for a picnic. You can even take some hot chocolate or apple cider along for something warm to drink.
  • Build a snow fort. Get in touch with your inner Eskimo and enjoy building a snow fort. Another popular winter outdoor activities include having a snow ball fight. Your snow fort is your home base and snow ball storage area. Loser buys the winners hot chocolate.
  • Go ice fishing. Its’ a tricky, but rewarding outdoor activity that can really teach your kids great life skills. Do some research before going and make sure you have the proper equipment. Ask any of our Sandhills staff which their favorite lake is to go to for ice fishing and plan accordingly. Don’t forget the blankets and warm clothing!

There are plenty of things to do in the winter that can be done outside, rather than staying inside and being a hermit. The rolling Nebraska Sandhills prove an excellent backdrop for winter outdoor activities that are an experience anyone can enjoy. Just don’t forget the hot chocolate!

Gift ideas for the camping fans

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gift ideas for the camping fans

Whether you’re buying for Christmas or for a birthday throughout the year, everyone has that hard to buy for person on their list. If you’re a city dweller and have an outdoorsy, camping fiend in your life, the wide world of camping supplies can seem a bit overwhelming. So here are a few gift ideas that are good not only for Christmas, but for any time and any event of the year. Gift giving on a Tuesday was never easier than it is now.

Coffee Mugs
A good, durable, and well insulated mug are camping fans’ best friend. Whether it’s a Yeti or another brand, a travel mug that is insulated really well and is durable enough for a hike of every caliber is a great gift idea. In addition, why not get them a fun mug for sitting around the campfire in the morning or at night; something that yells Happy Camper is perfect for relaxing by those flickering flames and basking in the beauty of the Nebraska Sandhills.

Nesting Bowls
Every good camper is always on the lookout for a good set of camping dishes, whether it’s for a tent or RV. Finding good dishes to use while camping is difficult, so a good set of plastic nesting bowls are an immense help as they are durable and compact as well, making it easier for them to fit the set into limited space.

Portable Table
People who are dedicated to camping will likely find a place that does not have a table. Even if they do find a camping spot with a table, having an extra one for activities or eating never hurts. A portable table is a perfect gift to get the camper in your life to help make their camping trip go smoother.

Hammock
Getting the outdoorsy person in your life a hammock is one of the more perfect gift ideas we can think of. Nothing screams perfect more than stringing up a hammock alongside the river and relaxing with a good book and an ice cold beverage. The camping fiend in your life with thank you for this perfect relaxation tool.

Wireless Speakers
This goes perfect with the hammock gift idea. Turn on some tunes and you’ve got the perfect mood for a relaxing afternoon at the campsite. Just be sure to not turn it up too loud so as not to disturb the peaceful sounds of nature.

Need some more great camping gift ideas? We’ve got you covered. Just give us a call and we can help you out!

Winter Camping Tips

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Winter Camping Tips

Camping is one of summer’s greatest activities for families to partake in. While summer is the best time to camp due to the warm weather, it doesn’t have to end when the weather starts to turn cold. Winter camping is possible and can be quite enjoyable, if done right. Here are a few winter camping tips to help you not only survive your first winter camping trip, but also enjoy it.

Pack the snow
It is crucial that you pack the snow as you start to set up camp. Walk around where you’d like to set your camp and as you walk hard, stomp the snow to pack it down. If you do not do this simple winter camping tip, you run the risk of stepping on a soft spot in the snow through your tent and ripping a hole in the tent.

Pack extra clothes
This winter camping tip may seem a little obvious, but having extra clothes, hats, and gloves to keep you warm will save in the long run. Pack extra socks so your feet stay dry at all times, and extra shirts and even leggings so you can layer your clothes to stay warm.

Learn to pee into a bottle
One of the best winter camping tips we can give is to learn how, and embrace the idea, of peeing into a bottle. When it’s colder out, your body tends to pee more, and undressing and getting out of your warm sleeping bag to pee in the night is not fun, so properly label a bottle that can be designated as your pee bottle so you don’t have to go outside as often. Just make sure it’s properly labeled as color can’t always be trusted to differentiate between that and your drinking bottle.

Use a sleeping pad
Your body loses a lot of heat while you’re sleeping and especially through the cold ground. Having two layers underneath you to the one on top of you will help keep you warmer at night, which is a lifesaving winter camping tip. Be sure to pack a proper sleeping pad, one that has an R value of four or more, and if you have one, throw a closed-cell foam pad underneath. You can also pack clothes underneath you for extra warmth.

Sleep by candlelight
Sleeping under the stars is great in the summer, but in the winter, sleeping by candlelight becomes crucial. Having a candle burning lantern hanging in your tent will help to not only warm up your tent, but also reduce condensation on the inside of the tent. Be sure to hang it far enough away from you and the tent walls to reduce fire risk.

Camping in the summer is always a family favorite, but camping in the winter is not for the faint-hearted, so be sure to take the proper steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter camping trip.

Camping and RV in Nebraska: Tips for Winterizing Your Motor Home

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Camping and RV in Nebraska: Tips for Winterizing Your Motor Home

camping and RV | motorhomeAs the warmer months give way to fall and winter, the camping and RV season starts to wind down.  While fall and winter camping are both fun activities, it’s essential that you take proper care of your motor home.  Properly winterizing your motor home not only prolongs its longevity, it’s a necessary part of being a motor home owner and a camping and RV enthusiast.  Winterizing your motor home will help for preparation in the spring when you’re ready for another season of camping and RV adventures.  We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you with your motor home winterization process.

A vital part of winterizing your motor home is protecting the RV water system from potential damage that can be caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are the one of the most common problems related to not winterizing your motor home.

Cut the Fuel

If your motor home is equipped with a generator, you’ll need to drain it of fuel.  If you don’t, the fuel can turn to lacquer over the months, and they will plug the jets in the carburetor. You can save yourself a sizable repair bill if you drain the fuel over the winter.  Installing a fuel shut-off valve will allow to run the generator until it quits from lack of fuel.  Make sure you push the kill switch after it stops running.  Otherwise, some generators that have an electric fuel pump will run as long as the button is in the ON position.

Kill the Power

Some RV trailers might only have one battery, while some motor homes may have more.  For a single battery, simply disconnect it and store it in a warm, protected environment.  Make sure the water level is sufficient and that the battery is fully charged, then put it in a safe place.  Don’t set the battery directly on a concrete floor because it will allow it to slowly drain.  If you’re storing it in a garage or shed, put it on a piece of plywood.

If your motor home is equipped with multiple batteries and a battery disconnect system, you can prepare your batteries as stated and turn off the disconnect.  Don’t forget to remove all of the small batteries in your motor home as well.  They can freeze, leak, and become destroyed.  Remove the batteries from TV remotes, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and don’t forget the clock on the wall.

Clear the Shelves

Remove all of the food items in your motor home including boxed dry goods and canned goods.  Cans can freeze and split, and dry goods will keep winter rodents fat and happy.  Keeping your motor home free of mice can be a real problem.  They will chew up fabric or insulation to make nests, and they can damage wiring and other non-food related items as well.  Setting a good multiple-catch mouse trap will keep your motor home secure from the little four-legged intruders.

Wash and Cover

Any dirt, grime, or road chemicals that aren’t removed from the exterior of your motor home will continue to rust, dissolve, or discolor the finish over the winter months.  This will quickly age your RV and spoil that shiny new look.  Give your motor home a nice clean wash before your begin the process and invest in a good motor home cover to protect it from harsher elements.

Draw the Shades

Prolonged sun exposure can also damage the interior of your motor home and cause fabrics to become brittle, plastic to yellow, and carpeting to fade inside of your motor home.  Prevent this by lowering the shades, covering the windshield and windows, and doing whatever you can to keep direct sunlight from entering your motor home.  Make sure all of the windows are closed and latched, and that the roof vents are closed tight.  Unlike rain, snow will blow around and even with vent covers, it will get in through any opening.

Keep it Oiled

Motor homes need a little more attention than RV trailers.  The most critical thing is to make sure your engine coolant is protected from below-zero temperatures.  Any plain water you may have added over the summer will dilute the mixture, raising the temperature at which your coolant will freeze.  It needs to be protected at least to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fall is a good time to service your motor home with oil changes and chassis lubrication.  A quick oil change will remove any impurities that might be lingering in your old oil.  Additives break down, and acids build up.  By doing your servicing in the fall, once those first warm days of spring return you’ll be ready to go.  Topping off the fuel tank will also prevent condensation from forming in the tank.  Moisture leads to rust and corrosion which can plug fuel filters and fuel systems.

Keep it Pumped

Keep your motor home tires properly inflated.  If your motor home sits for months with under-inflated tires, flat spots can develop.  Worse still, if allowed to go flat, the sidewalls will develop cracks and cause weak spots.  Constant sun exposure will also cause the tires to rot, so be sure to install tire covers for your motor home.

Flush it out

Camping and RV enthusiasts know that the plumbing system in your motor home is the most vulnerable system caused by freezing temperatures.   Camping and RV enthusiasts know that it’s also very easy to protect the motor home’s water system from the elements.  It should go without saying, but make sure you drain all of the water from your motor home.  Flush it out completely with an air compressor and then pump anti-freeze through your motor home’s plumbing system.  This will protect your motor home’s plumbing system from an expensive disaster.

Properly winterizing your motor home means that you’ll be reading to go for all your camping and RV adventures in Nebraska next year.  The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental is your Nebraska Sandhills camping and RV vacation destination.  To make your reservations your next camping and RV adventure in Nebraska, give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us online.  Don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook to stay updated on all things Sandhills Motel!

Why Fall Camping in the Nebraska Sandhills is Fantastic

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Blog, Relaxing Accommodations, Sandhills Motel | Comments Off on Why Fall Camping in the Nebraska Sandhills is Fantastic

Fall Camping in NebraskaAs the hot days of summer turn to the cooler days of fall, camping and the way we camp, changes pretty dramatically.  Mornings are chilly, the days are moderate and perfect for hiking.  Warm comfort food from a dutch oven refuels us with a renewed sense of vigor and warmth.  These things combine to make fall camping in Nebraska a must for any outdoors enthusiast.  Not only are the Nebraska Sandhills beautiful during the summer, they’re equally beautiful during the fall.  Not convinced?  We’ve got several reasons why fall camping in Nebraska to stay in camping mode well into the fall.

The Scenery

Ah, fall.  The colors start changing to create a beautiful collage of deep shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown.  In almost all areas of the country, these stunning colors take over the foliage during the fall season.  The Nebraska Sandhills are no exception, which makes it a picturesque time to go camping.  While the lush green of summer camping is always a pleasant view, there’s nothing quite like waking up to a palate of colored leaves on a chilly morning during a fall camping trip in Nebraska.

The Weather

Watch a sun rise as your warm coffee or cocoa quietly seeps steam in to the crisp morning air.  The smell of bacon and eggs teasing your stomach in anticipation for the day’s events.  Through tired eyes you watch the sun crest in the east as you clutch your warm mug, steam rising into the fresh morning air. With the right clothes and gear, these temperatures make fall camping in Nebraska more comfortable than in the summer heat.

Less Bugs

Summer brings a lot of fun.  Good weather, warm nights, great memories with friends and families, and bugs.  One of the benefits of fall camping in Nebraska is that the bugs aren’t nearly as plentiful.  However, the chilly fall temperatures chase the usual overflow of bugs to a warmer climate. This is good for wooded campsites, which are often flooded with mosquitos and nagging insects.  Cooler temperatures means less bugs, which means less bug spray and a more comfortable Nebraska Sandhills experience.  Just remember to keep bug spray packed, just in case.

Fall Camping Food

Cool weather makes comfort food a campsite staple. Cast iron skillets and dutch ovens will become your best friend during the chilly mornings and nights.  Many of these recipes are good comfort foods that are high in protein, which means you’re body will be fueled up for a full day of adventure during your fall camping trip in the Nebraska Sandhills.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Sharing a small sleeping space in a hot tent during the summer can make your camping trip unbearable. During the fall, however, sleeping is more comfortable during the cool fall nights. Snuggle up with your little ones or significant other for a long, restful sleep under the stars and breathe in the cool autumn Nebraska Sandhills air.

Different Activities

The fall season is full of an array of different camping activities.  While fall used to be a time to slow down from the summer events, many people are finding fall events that are just as fun as summer events.   When you go fall camping in Nebraska, keep an eye out for events like:

  • Apple picking
  • Pumpkin picking and carving
  • Local harvest festivals like Oktoberfest
  • Halloween events
  • Fall fishing derbies

Fewer Crowds

One of the unexpected pleasures of going camping is meeting new people.  However, busy campgrounds can be a bit overwhelming.  Additionally, one of the best parts about camping is the quiet seclusion you experience when you go.  People are less inclined to go fall camping during the school year.  This means that you can enjoy having fewer neighbors and less crowded hiking trails during your fall camping trip in Nebraska.

Fall camping in Nebraska is a fun and relaxing vacation for you and your family.  The Nebraska Sandhills are home to some of the most scenic views you’ll find, and fall camping in Nebraska is an experience you won’t forget.  The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental offers your perfect escape to go fall camping in Nebraska.  Give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us here. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and we hope to see you soon!

Camping and Canoeing in Nebraska: A Brief History of the Canoe

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Blog, Canoeing, Dismal River Trips, Middle Loup River Trips | Comments Off on Camping and Canoeing in Nebraska: A Brief History of the Canoe

This river is in Ohio. I didn't need the paddle very much. The sun was warm and the water was clean and cool.

During your camping trip in Nebraska, there are many outdoor activities you can enjoy.  Whether hiking, floating down the river in a stock tank, or canoeing in Nebraska, you’re sure to find an activity that Canoeing in Nebraska is one of the most relaxing ways to spend some time to yourself and take in the beautiful scenery.  Over the years, the canoe has evolved from a mode of transportation, trade, and even war into more of a leisure vehicle.

Wherever there’s water, there’s an indigenous watercraft. Usually, this comes in the form a canoe.  Although somewhat primitive, canoes are elegantly constructed and can range from 3 meters to 30 meters in length.  Throughout history, canoes have been made from logs, animal skins and tree bark.

Depending on its intended use and where it was built, the design of the original canoe varied.  Some canoes were open-topped bark canoes.  Others, like war canoes, were composed of a dug-out tree that reached to 130 feet!  The main difference between canoes and kayaks, in the beginning, was that kayaks were built so that the icy Arctic water did not enter the boat.  Kayaks were made by stretching animal skins over a wooden frame and could generally only carry one man at a time.  Kayaks most likely originated in Greenland where they were used by early Eskimos.  Canoes however, have been found all over the world.

Canoes were used on a much wider scale than kayaks.  From Native American tribes to the Polynesians, the canoe enjoyed a variety of scales and uses, primarily transport, trade, and warfare. Today, though, canoes have evolved into many different types.

Recreational Canoe

The typical recreational canoes are what many people use while canoeing in Nebraska.  These canoes are stable and durable. They are generally made of either plastic or aluminum and contain no frills. If you want a versatile canoe that you can paddle around the local lake or down the river, you’ll want to choose a recreational canoe. These canoes are durable and can be left outside without worry for damage.

Minnesota lake

Intermediate and Advanced Canoes

The next type of canoe is an upgrade from the standard recreational canoe. They differ in the quality and workmanship of the boats from their less expensive cousins. Canoe enthusiasts will invariably want to upgrade from a plastic or aluminum canoe and the designs that usually follow. Intermediate canoes are used for longer paddles, bird watching, and fishing. These are the canoes of canoe enthusiasts.

Whitewater Canoes

There are canoes made specifically for whitewater and river paddling.  These boats have high sides to keep water out and have a high degree of rocker. Rocker refers to the curvature from bow to stern. They also have flatter bottoms which enable them to turn quicker but adversely affects the tracking, or the ability to paddle straight.

Racing Canoes

Canoeing and Kayaking have officially been an Olympic Sport since 1924. There are two types of canoe racing, flatwater and slalom (whitewater). Racing Canoes are for an elite group of canoeists and as such are not very common at all. These canoes are made of lighter materials such as fiberglass, Kevlar, and composites involving multiple materials. Racing canoes are also narrower at the beam, track very well, and are “tippy” to novice paddlers.

Canoes have come a long way over the years.  Many visitors who come camping in Nebraska find that spending time on the river is the perfect way to relax and have some peace and quiet.  Whether kayaking, tubing, tanking, or canoeing in Nebraska, you’re sure to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Camping in Nebraska is even better with us! The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental offers your perfect escape to go canoeing in Nebraska.  Give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or contact us here. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and we hope to see you soon!

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