Besides our Day and Overnight Hints & Guidelines, we've been collecting tips that can help make your Peace River trip a memorable one and hopefully more enjoyable. Most of these tips are tried and true, from our experience and those of the Peace Paddlers. We'll keep adding tips as we collect and review them.
Coolers: Keepin' it cold on the River
Tip #1: The night before your trip, especially an overnight trip, load your cooler/s with your drinks and food and ice them down. The next morning, drain the coolers and ice them down again. Your food and drinks will stay colder on your paddle trip. If you ice your supplies the day of the trip, the non-cold drinks and food will melt your ice.
Tip #2: Plan on more than one cooler. One for everyday use and one for just cold storage. Only open the cold storage cooler when needed. Keep it covered with a towel and shaded as much as possible. The supplies and ice in the cold storage will keep longer if the cooler is not opened during the day. The "drink" cooler is your day cooler, stock it with your drinks and snacks for use throughout the day.
Tip #3: From Camp Ives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz5Yaz_ydPk Dry Ice hints.
Tip #4: Make sure you have a cooler with you. Similar to Keys Tip, don't let someone else put your drinks or cooler in their canoe. You might get in earlier than them or are ahead or behind them on the river and you don't have anything to drink!
Tip #5: Bring drinks in cans! You can stack food on top of cans and the food won't fall in the cooler water and get wet or at least will stay dry and cold until the last day when the can "platform" starts getting low.
Drinking (Water): You need something to keep hydrated.
Tip #1: Bring drinking water, at least a half gallon per person per day if on a day run. For an overnight of fun, figure on a gallon a day. Man cannot live on beer alone. Do not plan on drinking river water. Animals and fish poop in the river. Note: no one should go on the river without something to drink. Canoe Outpost has a vending machines and will loan you a small cooler with some ice if you show up without something to drink.
Tip #2: Freeze half gallon or gallon jugs of water. As they melt, you have cold water to drink or cook with and they help keep your food cold.
Tip #3: You will need water to cook with if on an overnight trip. We use river water to wash with, up to you.
Fire Ants: They are the enemy!
Tip #1: From Camp Siegel: "Although we hate to put pesticides into the ecosystem, red ant granules have given us several bite-free overnights. We sprinkled around the campsite and over any nests we found. It made our newbie camper companions feel much more comfortable about enjoying the 'great outdoors'."
Outpost staff all carry containers of Amdro and we sprinkle fire ant beds everytime we find one. Favorite spot for fire ants: around the fire pits and under the picnic tables because they are attracted to food left behind. After it rains, be careful, fire ants will be on the move.
Tip #2: Supposedly Ban Roll-on will take the sting out a fire ant bite. We use WD40. Carry one of the "pens" of WD40. Rub it on asap. It will stop the itch in a little while and usually you won't get the white pimples.
Food: Buy it pre-made! No sense slaving over the campstove or the campfire!
Tip #1: The Publix Deli is the best place to pick up your food supplies if you want an easy time without a lot of cooking. Pick up potato salad, coleslaw, your fav. Add some boiled shrimp or a steak on the fire and dinner is done. Easy Peezee. Buy the pourable eggs in the carton then burn the carton if on an overnight.
Keys: There are lots of keys in the bottom of the river!
Tip #1: Don't let someone else hold your keys! Happens all the time, some canoes or kayaks get in ahead of the group and have to wait because they gave their keys to someone else in the group with a drybag. Drybag canoe is usually the last one in. The office will hold your keys! Some groups put all the keys in a ziploc and the office will hold that too. That way, you're not waiting to get your car keys.
Tip #2: Again, leave the key at the office or have a spare just in case. There is not a resident locksmith in the area or you may have one of the electronic locks and the dealership may not be open.
Kids: kids of all ages can have fun!
Tip #1: Bringing the little ones? Don't forget an umbrella and some entertainment. The umbrella is for some shade when it gets to be nap time. Entertainment such as water toys, a dip net, and/or a beach bucket will help entertain them. Remember, little ones aren't interested in the beautiful landscape. Check out our kid pages for some ideas.
Mobile Devices: Electronics and water don't mix!
Tip #1: If your phone takes a swim and you get it back, do not turn it on! Repeat: Do not turn it on. Open it up, take the battery out, and set it under a fan for a least a day, turning it, switching positions. Then, put it without the back on in a jar of rice. Make sure the phone is completely covered. Seal the jar. Set jar in the sun for a least three days. Put it back together after it's sauna in the rice and sun. 9 out of 10 times, it will usually work! Next time, buy a dry box or put it in a ziploc. Bonus tip: seal the bag but blow a little air in it first so it will float. If you can't pop the battery, still follow the above steps, it might still work!
Tip #2: On a phone related note, bring extra portable batteries for phone charging or get one of the new solar charging equipment. It seems that every time someone has trouble on the river, their phone is dead or almost dead. Being late with a dead phone is not an excuse.
Tip #1: Back person steers by ruddering with the paddle, front person paddles. So cuss the back person when the canoe won't go straight.
Tip #2: If you're the person in the front, turn around and check on the "paddler" in the back, make sure they are paddling.
Trash: Bring it back or burn it (if paper).
Tip #1: Don't bring glass! It weighs you down, especially in low water, and Outpost staff won't hararass you for being a Glasshole. Without glass, your trash will be safer (no broken bottles sticking out), your canoe will be quieter (glass bottles are loud rolling around in a canoe), and cans can be smashed to lessen the volume of trash.
Tip #2: Bring paper cups, paper plates, paper towels. Burn the paper goods so you don't have to wash anything or tote it back in trash bags.
Tip #1: Saw this on FaceBook. Use Vick's Vapor Rub. A dab on each wrist and each ankle and the skeeters will leave you alone. They don't like the smell.
Tip #2: Dab a bit of toothpaste on the bite, will help the itching.
Tip #3: Backwoods Tip: Rub Dog Fennel or stand in the campfire smoke to keep the skeeters away.
Tip #1: Bring a can of cheap shaving cream. Put a dollop in your hands and rub thoroughly. Wipe hands clean with a towel. Don't have to worry about a bucket of water. Would work good for the little ones. Untried, read it in a book.
Tip #1: Bring some dryer lint in a zip bag for fire starter. Vasoline and a cotton ball works too.
Tip #2: Get a box of the big kitchen matches and put in a zip bag. Lighters work but if the wood or lint won't light right away, the lighter gets real hot.
Tip #3: Doritos make good firestarting tinder. Kinda scary that something you can eat will also light your fire.
Tip #1: Bring a pillow case to put your clean clothes in to use as pillow.
Tip #2: If camping on a sandbar, make sure to pitch your tent so you head is pointed up the sandbar and if possible, before putting the tent down, put a shallow trough under the tent where your hips where be so they have a place to sink into.
Tip #3: If going outfitted by renting Outpost gear and you bring your own sleeping bags, still take ours to use as padding underneath.
Got a tip to share? Send it to email@example.com