Planning a Canoe Trip

Algonquin Outfitters can help you plan a canoe trip from start to finish. This page contains a great deal of helpful information and links to even more.

1) The Canoe Trip Planning Guide and FAQs

Just below, you’ll find our comprehensive outline of all the steps to a successful Algonquin Park trip with Algonquin Outfitters. Even those not using our services will find it useful! Another handy resource is our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have never visited Algonquin Park before, and/or are not sure what canoe tripping is all about, we highly recommend reading Algonquin Park’s “Backcountry Canoe Tripping Principles” and guidelines for “Leave No Trace” camping. Please see the full version of the planning guide below.

2) Personal Items To Bring On A Canoe Trip

Scroll down to see our handy list of necessary items for those using our complete outfitting services or going on a guided trip. In short, a list of what is NOT included in a complete outfitting package. Those planning a more “do it yourself” trip will find a list of essential tripping gear on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

3) Canoe trip outfitting overview on video

Before moving on, take a couple of minutes and watch this video, filmed at our Oxtongue Lake location. You’ll follow a typical family as they get ready for their canoe trip, after booking one of our complete outfitting packages:


The Canoe Trip Planning Guide

Algonquin Outfitters has produced a handy canoe trip planning guide that will make your vacation planning a little easier. While the guide is primarily intended as an aid for those using our outfitting services, especially first-time visitors to Algonquin Park, youth group leaders and complete outfitting customers, our hope is that all canoe trippers will find it useful to some degree.

Canoe Trip Planning Guide Topics
  • Major steps in canoe trip planning
  • Gathering information and maps
  • Getting a group together
  • Setting trip dates
  • Choosing a route
  • Basic park regulations
  • Reserving camping permits
  • Deciding which Algonquin Outfitters base to use
  • Deciding what type of outfitting you require
  • Reserving outfitting needs
  • Arranging transportation
  • Getting to the access point and back again
  • Accommodation
  • Questions?
  • Useful links for trip planning

Algonquin-Trip-Planning-Map

The planning guide is available as a PDF file for easy reading and printing. Please click the link below and you will be able to view, print and download a PDF version of the guide.

Algonquin Outfitters Trip Planning Guide

Download PDF FileDownload the Algonquin Outfitters Trip Planning Guide here.
You will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat to view the above PDF files. Most computers have Acrobat installed  but if yours doesn’t, you can get it here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/


Personal Items To Bring On A Canoe Trip

What-to-bring-on-a-canoe-tripAn Algonquin Outfitters complete outfitting package provides all the food and equipment required for a safe and comfortable Algonquin Park canoe trip, along with many extras. Our packages include all the camping and canoeing equipment you need, as well as a nourishing, delicious menu designed for wilderness travel. You only need to bring clothing and any personal items you think are necessary. Keep the list to a minimum since you must carry everything! Remember the old adage, “two changes of clothes – one on the back and one in the pack.”

The list of necessary items varies with the type, length and season of the trip. If you forget something, or aren’t sure what to get, don’t forget that Algonquin Outfitters is also one of the best-stocked outdoor clothing and equipment stores in Canada.Our helpful and knowledgeable staff will gladly help you select the items needed to complete your list.

Weather in the Algonquin Park area is extremely variable. Summer daytime temperatures can get as high as 40ºC (over 90ºF) but nights can be cool – especially in August. Thermal underwear, gloves, warm hats and extra warm clothing are advisable in the spring and fall. In May and October, snow is not out of the question! Footwear is a matter of personal choice. During the spring and fall, when portages are wet and the water cold, many canoeists prefer waterproof boots. In the summer, choices vary from sport sandals to running shoes to light hiking boots. We recommend hiking shoes or boots for portaging. Open-toed sport sandals are great for wearing around camp or wading in for a swim but wearing them on a portage is an invitation to a “sandal-related injury.”

See Algonquin Park live weather here!

These days, we can’t emphasize enough the need for sun protection. At the minimum, you should have good quality sunglasses (cheap sunglasses can actually cause eye damage), a wide brimmed hat and lots of sunscreen (SPF 20 at least). Fair-skinned folks might consider bringing light cotton gardening gloves to protect their hands while paddling.

Essential Personal Items For Complete Outfitting or Guided Trip Customers
  • t-shirt (two for longer trips)
  • quick-drying shorts and/or swim suit
  • small towel (quick dry camping type)
  • lightweight long sleeved shirt (cotton/polyester blends are good)
  • sun hat (a full wide brim is better than a ball cap)
  • quick-drying long pants (some styles convert to shorts by zipping off the legs)
  • sunglasses
  • wool sweater or fleece jacket
  • sturdy footwear for portages (preferably well broken in)
  • socks (wool or synthetic) and underwear, of course
  • campsite footwear (eg. sport sandals, running shoes)
  • toilet articles
  • extra socks for around the campsite (keep these dry!)
  • spare prescription glasses & personal medications (in waterproof container)
  • good quality rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • sunscreen
  • flashlight or headlamp (we do include flashlights in our packages but extras are handy)
  • pocket knife
Highly Recommended Items
  • notebook or journal and pencils
  • smartphone or camera with charger or extra batteries and memory cards in waterproof container
  • binoculars and field guides
  • day pack or fanny pack for frequently used items
  • fishing rod and tackle (fishing license can be purchased in the park)
  • rainy day entertainment: (book, cards, portable board game, etc.)
Spring & Fall Extras
  • lightweight synthetic or wool long underwear (top & bottom)
  • wool or fleece hat
  • wool or fleece gloves or mitts
  • extra insulating layers (eg. fleece pants and jacket)
  • waterproof footwear

Packing for a Weekend Canoe Trip

Rich Swift shares some tips