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Learn to Paddle

  • Thu, August 05, 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Whiteshell Provincial Park
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For the beginner paddler or those wishing to expand basic paddling knowledge into day tripping, this foundational full day course is for you! We help prepare you for a safe and responsible outdoor activity through an introduction to skills and benefits of paddling, and build awareness of paddling opportunities in Manitoba expansive waterways. Special focus is placed on safety, planning, environmental responsibility, comfort, and of course spending actual time paddling with certified and experienced outdoor leaders. 

We're here to support your journey! Join Backcountry Women and professional local guide Matt Peters from Wilderland Adventure Co. in a welcoming environment with other like minded individuals from the Backcountry Women community. This engaging and interactive learning experience will surely provide you with confidence and a foundational skillset to build upon a lifetime of outdoor adventure.

Please read on for full details! NOTE: This August 5 course is currently set up as waitlist-only so that we can gauge demand and plan future course offerings accordingly. Please only join the waitlist if you're available to commit to this date, and mark your calendar in the meantime - we will reach out regarding registration once we are ready to proceed with registration or provide alternative options.

Time & location: The course begins promptly at 9:00 AM - please allow extra time for arrival and settling in (at least 15 min; more if the location is unfamiliar). The timeline and a detailed itinerary is broken down below; please review it. Further instructions and important information will be emailed out to participants.

Course Format & Objectives: 

1. Self Care While Outdoors (9:00 to 10:00am) - We begin the day with understanding the importance of self care in the outdoor context. We discuss topics that build up a knowledge base to ensure students have insight into comfortable, safe and responsible outdoor activity.

  • Motivations & Personal Goals.
  • Dressing for the Conditions.
  • Maintaining Energy Levels (nutrition & hydration).
  • Environmental Responsibility.
  • Hygiene & Toileting.

2. Trip Planning (10:15 to 11:45pm) -  Students will be able to choose an appropriate destination to paddle and create a realistic trip plan. Together, we will build a well thought out plan with with an easy to follow Trip Planning worksheet.

  • Activities, Route & Scheduling.
  • Risk Management (Identifying Hazards & Creating Defences).
  • Emergency Planning & Preparedness.
  • Equipment Planning & Packing.
  • Permits, Permissions, & Etiquette.

3. Outdoor Skills (12:15 - 1:45pm) - Students will learn important outdoor skills for practical use as well as for emergency situations. The skills taught MAY include and are not limited to:

  • Fire Building & Safety.
  • Knife/Axe Safety.
  • Stove Use & Safety.
  • Water Purification.
  • Tarp/Shelter Set Up.
  • Packing a day bag & Outfitting a boat.

4. Canoe Tour (2:00 to 5:00pm) -  This canoe tour starts with an hour or more of basic paddling strokes, water safety, and getting comfortable in the canoe. After we’ve established strong balance and ability to control our boats, we head out on a canoe tour and learn practical day tripping fundamentals. Overseen with a certified guides, this beginner friendly paddle will be at a more leisure pace and include ongoing practice and discussion of safe and responsible day paddling.

  • Basic Canoe Skills (Lifting & carrying, paddling strokes, safe entry & exit, and more).

  • Pre-trip Checks.

  • Paddling, Pacing, & Breaks.

  • Basic Navigation & Landmarking.

  • No Impact Paddling (Leave No Trace).

  • Environmental Awareness.

  • Local Heritage.

Participant Expectations:  Students are expected to fully participate in this course with no exceptions. Students are responsible for transportation, personal food, hygiene, and equipment throughout the course. Students must also acquire appropriate Manitoba Parks Vehicle Permit (if applicable to course location). Students must be comfortable in water, though we wear mandatory PFD’s & may not actually get wet. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

What is Provided:  Students receive a pre-trip email with an updated packing list, and course itinerary. We provide a Student Course Manual, emergency communication device, medical kit, and certified Outdoor Council of Canada & Paddle Canada field leader. For class demonstrations and and education purposes we provide a diverse set of equipment (tarps, fire starting materials, water filters, cooking stoves, etc) for class use. We also provide boats, paddles, PFD’s Transport Canada approved safety equipment.

This course will run with a minimum of 4 participants and are restricted to any current MB Health Orders at the date of the course.

Gratuities are not included in the course fees and recognition of a good job by your instructor is greatly appreciated. 10-15% of your course fee is recommended as our instructors put diligent effort to ensure your course is all you expected and more.

We look forward to seeing you at our course! 

    Further details will be provided to registered participants. Participants are responsible for having a valid e-mail address, communicating with the event organizer regarding any changes in attendance, and for checking e-mail prior to an event.

    This event allows cancellation no less than 14 days before start of event. If you are no longer able to attend, please see our Cancellation Policy.

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