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!