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Why canoing? - Well, could hardly live without it. I'll soon be 55 years old, but when I was a child I sometimes went with my parents in my uncles canoe for day-outings on the beautyful lakes north of Copenhagen. It was a huge- maybe 22' wood and canvas canoe rigged with a kind of tunnel-tent so we could sleep in it. When I was 12 years old, my uncle gave me a key to the canoe, and for some 5 years I had it nearly as my own- fine for a gang of teen-agers or a few times with a nice girlfriend.
I moved from Copenhagen, had wife and kids, and then, in '79 we rented canoes with our best friends in southern Sweden for a week- 4 grownups, 4 kids and 3 canoes. Fantastic. Two years later, we did it again, and then my wife, our youngest son and his best friend (the son of our friends) for a real backcountry-trip, again in southern Sweden for two weeks.
Now we have our own canoe, an Old Town Discovery 164, and it is fantastic. The main reason not to keep renting was, that it got more and more difficult to get a nice canoe to hire. The canoe-keepers (quite understandable) prefere those aluminum trashbins, while we prefere a silent and warm canoe.
Standard use of our canoe now is: in the springtime a 3-days trip to Sweden with kids (now 25 and 28), some of their friends and maybe one of our friends.
In the summer, 10 to 14 days in Sweden just for me and my wife- we use to call it "Our love-holyday", because that is, what it is. Lots of time, not to long distances, some 15-20 kilometers a day, small creeks (the smaller the better), islands in the lakes, a little whitewater, class 2 and a bit more with the packed canoe is what we manage. Time for sunbathing (my wife), fishing, walks in the forest finding chanterelles, watching birds, camping, cooking, loving. And we (nearly) never put up our tent in an organized place. And we try to fin waters, where other people don't go.
Then, small day or afternoon outings, sometimes in the lokal creek (that is not very exiting) or to the sea, where there are some very good and protected waters in our neighbourhood.
We have the pleasure, that our son and his friend now are very fond of backcountrytrips in the canoe- the friend calls me "his teacher in backcountrylife and canoing", and is now studying biologi and backcountryteaching- and is much more skilled, than I will ever be. Bo, Denmark