FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Welcome to our frequently asked questions page. On this page you will find everything you need to know about coming canoeing with us.
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HOW MANY CHILDREN CAN I TAKE IN A CANOE?
IMPORTANT – Each child under 14 must be supervised 1 to 1 with an adult. A canoe must have at least 2 people in it, the maximum we recommend is 3 people. When there are 2 adults and 2 children, we would suggest going in 2 canoes. The canoes can be linked together side by side to create a mini catamaran. This is by far the safest option. Where there is 1 adult and 2 children there must be at least 1 child who is 14 years old or over and who can look after themselves independently. The test should be, would you be happy leaving one of the children to fend for themselves in the water, while you are looking after another?
DO I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SWIM?
You should be able to swim at least 25 metres. Where there are non-swimmers in a canoe the ratio of swimmer to non swimmer has to be at least 1:1. The river bank is never far away. Everybody is issued with a buoyancy aid and it must be worn at all times that you are in the canoe.
CAN I BRING A DOG?
Some dogs are permitted. That is to say they must be well behaved and kept under proper control at all times. You also need to consider how a dog may affect the stability of the canoe. Remember that dogs with long coats are a lot heavier when wet. Something to think about if you have to lift one out of water. Therefore only dogs weighing less than 20kgs are allowed. If you have two dogs they must not weigh more than 20kgs in total.
Every dog should have a lead (but not attached while in the boat). At no time should a dog be tied to a canoe that is either in or out of the water. Dogs should be kept away from birds on the river and should not be allowed to splash around in shallow areas where young fish are growing. In all cases you are reminded to ensure that dogs do not cause a nuisance to any farm animal, wildlife or birds. Remember that a farmer has the right to shoot a dog in some circumstances. Irrespective of what we say you are responsible for ensuring that your dog is accepted at any accommodation, campsite, pub or any other location.
Whilst you are canoeing we recommend that you remove the collar and lead, so if the dog does go into the river it cannot get hooked up on a tree branch and not be able to free itself. Our advice regarding dog buoyancy aids is that it is a managed risk. We do not supply them and actually they are not ideal for river use as the design often has large loops on the back which can easily cause entrapment. Dog buoyancy aids are really designed for lakes and the sea, where there is a long distance to land and in non moving environments. We give you this advice as dog owners and lovers ourselves, keen to ensure that you have an enjoyable time on the river without it being marred by an unforeseen incident.
IS THERE A WEIGHT OR SIZE LIMIT FOR A CANOE?
Yes there are two weight limits. The first is that nobody over 130kgs can be carried in a canoe. The point load and weight distribution of a person over 130kgs makes a canoe unstable. The maximum carrying weight in a canoe is 580kgs. In addition no person with a chest measurement over 54 inches can be carried unless they supply their own properly fitted and maintained buoyancy aid or lifejacket.
WHAT IS THE SMALLEST PERSON YOU ALLOW?
Children have two conditions that they must meet, age and size.
1. They have to be at least 4 years of age. This is because they have reached a level of development where they can understand and follow instruction. If your child is unable to do so, regardless of age and size, they will not be allowed on a canoe. It is your responsibility to ensure that people in your party are able to do so.
2. They must weigh at least 15kgs and have a chest size of at least 53cms (21 inches). This is to ensure that they are big enough to properly fit in a buoyancy aid and be supported by it in the water. The smaller a person is the quicker low water temperatures have an impact on a child’s ability to coordinate their actions in water. There may be occasions when river conditions dictate that children need to be bigger than this.
ALCOHOL – CAN WE BRING SOME?
Alcohol is probably the most contentious issue on the river. Under no circumstances can alcohol be consumed on the river while in a canoe. We ask people to consider other people and recognise that behaviour influenced by alcohol often causes distress to others and on occasion may be an offence. A person in charge of a vessel who is under the influence of alcohol on the river is committing an offence. Most people behave responsibly on the river. It is worth remembering that although you are enjoying yourself in a magnificent setting, alcohol and water do not mix. You do not want to turn your trip into something tragic.
There are pubs and shops along the river where it is possible to buy and enjoy alcohol responsibly. In addition we do not allow the consumption of Alcohol on our premises or in our vehicles. Any person under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed in a canoe or transported on our vehicles. No refunds will be given to any person to who this sanction is applied.
CAN I CAMP ON THE RIVER BANK?
The land along the river bank is private land and the same rules apply. You should seek the landowner’s permission first. There is always a concern for pollution of the water and land associated with wild camping. In addition, cooking and fires present their own risks. Litter left behind is also an obvious annoyance. In any case, there are plenty of campsites along the River Wye and with good planning you should not find yourself without a pitch.
CAN I CANOE IF I AM PREGNANT?
It is generally not a good idea to go canoeing when you are pregnant. If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant you might find fitting correctly into a buoyancy aid uncomfortable. It is also worth considering that when you are on the river there are only a few places you can find public toilets. In addition to this there are potential dangers of impact trauma that you could be subjected to. As part of the canoeing experience you may find yourself having to carry the canoe. Carrying something this heavy whilst you are pregnant is strongly advised against no matter how far along you are. If we feel there is too much risk or the buoyancy aid does not fit correctly then we reserve the right to decline participation. Any participant who this applies to must contact us prior to arrival to discuss this further.
CAN I CANOE IF I AM EPILEPTIC?
You are only able to go canoeing if you have the epilepsy under control and have not had an epileptic seizure in the last 5 years. You must be accompanied 1:1 by a competent swimmer who is over 18. Any participant who this applies to must contact us prior to the trip, so we can discuss it further.
WHAT IF WE NEED TO CANCEL?
Please read section 6 of our full terms and conditions which can be found here Canoe The Wye Ltd – full terms and conditions for canoe the wye.
WHAT SHALL I WEAR?
The best clothing to wear when doing outdoor water pursuits are synthetic layers. Synthetic clothing will wick away any moisture and will also dry quickly. Synthetic layers tend to repel water rather than absorb the water. Unlike cotton layers like denim which tend to get water logged, weigh you down and do not dry very quickly.
When the conditions require a jumper to keep warm, it is advisable to wear a fleece, which will retain your body heat and repel water. It is also sensible to bring a lightweight waterproof jacket (pack a mac) that you can easily put on if there is a rain shower.
During summer months you will need hats and sunglasses and plenty of sun cream. Do not wear flipflops or wellingtons, make sure you have some sturdy footwear as you may end up walking through shallow water on a sharp river bed. Wet boots or wet shoes are great but trainers are fine also.
WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS BAD?
Canoeing is an all weather activity, if we closed every time it rained we would never be open. However if we deem the conditions to be too dangerous we will not allow your trip to go ahead. If there is high winds, high river levels, lightning, too cold or a combination of them all, we will notify you at our earliest opportunity. Please check your mobile phone before setting out to us, if we do need to cancel you it will be done at 7am by text message.
You may be interested in reading our preparation notes before you book a trip with us? Click here for details /how-to-find-us/preparation-notes-for-canoe-the-wye/. If you have any further questions you can contact us using the email enquiry section below, or give us a call on 01600891100