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member (23)member
09/25/2020 08:58AM
I'm looking for feedback on the best approach for a 3 person canoe trip. We're planning a short 4-5 day trip. what are some good things to consider with doing a three person trip? 3 people in one canoe? 2 canoes? looking for advice and feedback from those that have done 3 person trips.
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senior member (99)senior membersenior member
09/25/2020 09:43AM
Unless one of the people has significant experience in a solo canoe, you will be far better off in a single, larger canoe.
distinguished member(2575)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/25/2020 12:12PM
If you use the search function, this has been asked/answered many times recently. Some will say do a tandem and solo, others say 3 person canoe.

It depends how far you want to go, how many portages, canoeing skills of all 3, etc.

Knowing none of that, my safe recommendation is get a 3 or 4 person canoe depending on people size/weight and gear.
distinguished member (185)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/25/2020 01:10PM
Good time for a solo trip, or you could have a solo and a tandem.
09/25/2020 10:10PM
What cyclones said. Spot on. Think about the points he made and make your decision.
09/25/2020 10:51PM
I’d say 3 person canoe. You all get to be together for camaraderie and easier to portage. Unless you are bringing an a h ole...then get a solo and stick them in the solo and the other two in a tandem :)

Seriously though, a solo would be beneficial if all three of you have different things you want to do. Such as one guy wants to chase Pike exclusively and the other two walleye. Or 2 guys want to fish all day and the other wants to check out the sites. The solo gives you some freedom to separate. Whenever I have done 3 person trips though we have been pretty like minded or the 3rd person was new so taking a 3 man canoe was the best option. If we had taken a solo one guy would have felt excluded or just paddled next to us anyway.

distinguished member(757)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/26/2020 11:26AM
when I asked this question several years ago, the advice was to do a three person canoe. This turned out to be solid advice and glad we did it that way. Unless you just have the middle person ride "garbage", you will need to get used to how three people should be paddling. We found bow and stern paddling on one side of canoe with middle person on other side and frequent switching to work best for us.
09/26/2020 02:29PM
Also I advise using a 3 person canoe. Everyone gets a seat and you can all paddle. If you like fishing the third person is up higher and easier for them to fish as well. I think it is extremely boring to just sit on the floor of the canoe and just look around. I like the Souris RIver Quetico 18.5 but I also owned one for many years. Any 3 person canoe is going to be better than a tandem and a person on the floor or on a pack.

If you fish, develop how you will cast and not hook each other. I've done many trips with three isn't a big deal but the first few times talk it through.

Paddling: What worked best for us is the middle and bow paddler paddle on the same side and the stern paddler on the other. Occasionally to turn you might have the middle paddler stop or have the stern switch. There are different variations of this depending on the strength of the paddlers but in general you don't want the middle and the stern on the same side for most 3 man canoes.

Portaging : You might be able to single portage with 3 people. Have the person carrying the canoe with the lightest pack. The others carry the heavier ones and loose items. We don't vary the packs the same people carry the same stuff over each time. THat way you don't lose anything and it is more coordinated. With three it is easy to get to the other side, "I thought you were going to grab the paddles?" and have to head back for no reason or worse forget something.

member (33)member
09/26/2020 09:15PM
I'm going up soon with my adult daughter and son. My 13th trip, son's 10th, daughters 2nd. I wanted to use my own 2 person canoe so we are renting a kayak. Not all outfitters rent them, especially after the end of Sept., but we did find one at Piragis in Ely. Both kids have some kayak experience and are excited about trading off.
distinguished member(699)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/27/2020 04:31PM
We just did a 3 person trip this summer. For the 1st time, we rented a 3-person canoe and it was a blast. We were all together in the same boat so no one felt left out, and it made for easier portages than having a 2nd boat along.
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