Canoe vs. Kayak: Different ways to take in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Blog, Dismal River Trips, Middle Loup River Trips, Relaxing Accommodations, River Adventures, Sandhills Motel | Comments Off on Canoe vs. Kayak: Different ways to take in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska

Autumn is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean we need to pack it on in for winter just yet! The weather is still plenty nice outside and we still have plenty of weeks of comfortable temperatures. Canoeing and kayaking autumn can be a truly beautiful experience as you drift down the river and take in the scenery of the changing leaves. What’s the best way to take in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska scenery? What’s the difference when traveling in a canoe vs. kayak down the Dismal or Middle Loup Rivers? We’ll go over some of the main differences in this month’s blog!

Canoe vs. Kayak: Paddling

When it comes to your river aCanoe vs. Kayakdventure in the Sandhills of Nebraska, you might want to consider which one is easier to paddle. Generally, kayaks are easier to paddle. In fact, when it comes to canoe vs. kayak debates, most first-timers quickly adapt to the double-bladed, side-to-side paddle stroke. A quick tutorial of the forward and back sweep makes the concept of turning fairly understandable. On the other hand, canoeing isn’t quite as easy. They can be more difficult to turn. Also, tandem boats require some level of cooperation and coordination between partners to move the boat in a straight line and handle the challenges of river paddling. A solo paddler in a canoe needs to master several variations of turning and maneuvering strokes.

While paddling a canoe vs. a kayak might be a little more difficult, you also have to remember how much work you’re putting into the effort. A kayaker, with a paddle blade dipping into the water with every body rotation, has a faster cadence, which means there’s constant motion and no rest for your muscles. On the other hand, a paddler in a canoe is doing work on one side before switching, so some muscles are able to recover and you might be a little more relaxed while taking in the views of the Sandhills of Nebraska.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Comfort

The Sandhills of Nebraska are serene, but kayaks aren’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when we think about comfort. “Being one with the boat,” is pretty accurate in describing a kayaking trip. Once you’re in a kayak, your feet are immobile against the foot pedals, your knees pressed outward to the sides of the kayak and your butt is on a contoured seat almost on the floor of the craft. It takes some getting used to for sure, and those with back problems won’t want to spend much time in a kayak.

In a canoe, you don’t have such a strained relationship with their boat. It’s more comfortable and sitting in it gives you room to stretch your legs. While you might lose some stability caused by sitting higher, it’s offset by being able to better see the water. Getting in and out of a canoe is nowhere as tricky as it is in a kayak. It usually requires doing a little balancing, using the gunnels for support. But entering or exiting is often a matter of just standing and stepping in or out.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Fishing

Unless you are in a specially designed fishing model, anglers will have a tougher time working out of a kayak. Rods and landing nets must be secured under decking lines and all tackle, as well as bait, will be in the cockpit with you. If you land a good-sized bass, walleye, or blue gills these lively game fish will be in your lap flopping around as you try to unhook them and get them on a stringer or released back into the lake. Compared to that scenario, the open area of a canoe seems a much friendlier environment to deal with fresh caught fish. However, while you might have more space, fishing in a canoe vs. a kayak means that you might not be able to get in to some of the more nimble areas that you might be able to access in a kayak while fishing in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Portage

While both boat types have been designed for water travel, carrying a loaded sea kayak on land can be a daunting task. Hauling an empty kayak can even be troublesome because it doesn’t always fit easily on your shoulders and carrying it by hand straps puts some strain on the arms. If the kayak is emptied, you still have to carry all the many items that had been stuffed in the hatches. Daypacks make carrying your items easier, but then you’ve also got to pack the daypack in your already crammed kayak.

A canoe is much easier to portage. Good portage yokes attached to the gunnels and with gear consolidated into Duluth packs, canoe parties can easily balance the boats on shoulders and carry gear on their backs to the next body of water.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Gear

Because canoes have a larger open area, they have a greater carrying capacity, which means they tend to be better for longer trips. Packing for long kayak tours involves stowing all gear in the narrow confines of the boat’s interior. Fitting bulky items may be a challenge and sometimes impossible, which means you have to be willing to make some sacrifices on your trip and be inventive with your packing. If you intend on taking your kayak out for a few days, be sure to check out some recipes that fill you up while taking as little space as possible up in you vessel.

Canoe vs. Kayak: Transportation

Transporting a kayak by automobile is typically easier. Mostly because the higher profile of the canoe catches more wind than a kayak. Be sure that you also give special attention to strapping your kayak to a car tops. Thinner kayaks ride easier on the roof top. Most of the time, two kayaks can be racked on a basic rack, while there is usually only room for one tandem canoe.

When taking in the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska, there’s really no right or wrong way. Canoe vs. kayak, it’s all about personal preference. Each has their distinct advantages and disadvantages and both are a wonderful way to experience the Dismal or Middle Loup Rivers that wind through the Sandhills of Nebraska. From our river adventure tours in canoes, kayaks, or stock tanks to fun camping, clean rooms and RV hookups, The Sandhills Motel & Glidden Canoe Rental offers your perfect Sandhills of Nebraska escape. Give us a call at (308) 546-2206 or 1 (888) 278-6167 or contact us here. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and we hope to see you soon!