Touring is an activity that appeals to paddlers of every age, ability and level of fitness – whether for the morning, afternoon, day or for the whole week… The experienced can take in faster moving rivers and the more exposed coast lines looking for the excitement of speed and action. Others can savour the scenery and wildlife travelling along canals, slower flowing rivers, inland lochs and sheltered stretches of coastline. Sea kayaks, open canoes and other touring kayaks can provide excellent boats for touring (including multi-day trips depending on the water and environmental conditions you are likely to encouter.
You can start at virtually any age and it’s the perfect family activity. Even for the easiest waters all paddlers should be to swim at least 50 metres in canoeing clothing. It is not sound practice to set out on a canoeing expedition alone, or without practice or experience. On fast rivers and the sea, there should be at least three boats in a group, so that they can help each other if the need arises. Start easy rivers or canals and work up gradually to waters. Do not attempt sea or estuary canoeing until you have had more experience and have learned about winds, tides and currents.
Most canoeists learn their skills by joining a club or attending a course run by an Affiliated Club or Approved Paddlesports Provider. Many clubs run tours for members of their club and this is a great way to build your experience and meet other people with a similar passion for touring.
Paddle Scotland Tours
The SCA has put together a calendar of tours, which is a series of day and evening trips as part of the ‘Go Canoeing’ initiative. The tours are designed to offer safe and enjoyable trips that bring together like-minded paddlers. For more information and dates of the Tours, please click here.
Tour leaders have volunteered to give up their time for a day (or sometimes a whole weekend!) to lead a tour in their local waters or in an area they have lots of experience and knowledge in. Most volunteers are there to lead the trip but some are available to coach a little if there are any particular skills you’d like to brush up on. Volunteer leaders have all been reviewed by the SCA Recreation committee and deemed suitably qualified and within their 'realm of experience'. If you are interested in volunteering as a tour leader for a future tour but haven’t yet confirmed your interest, please contact Mikaela at the SCA office.