Outdoor Federation

Canoeing vs Rafting

Canoeing and rafting are popular water activities that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. The best thing about these activities is that they are accessible on various water surfaces like rivers, lakes, and oceans. Both activities can give you the fun and thrill on the water. Trying them or even one of them needs a keen comparison of their differences and benefits.

Canoeing Versus Rafting

Difference Between Canoeing and Rafting

Both a raft and a canoe are often seen in comparable waters, but they are very distinct boats. A canoe is a utility vessel suitable for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and river use. At the same time, a raft is more suitable for river running.

In contrast to a canoe, a raft is resilient and more damage-resistant. Both canoes and rafts can be useful in whitewater, but you must take some precautions before using a canoe.

What is Canoeing?

what is canoeing

A canoe is an open boat and uses a paddle with one blade and can hold 1 to 2 persons. Common canoes are made of wood, but more materials are being used like aluminum, plastic and fibreglass that can make canoes very stylish.

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Advantages of Canoeing

Canoeing is much more leisurely than rafting. It only requires very little technical expertise. Anyone can launch a canoe on a lake or in the ocean very quickly. A canoe makes an excellent boat for camping. A canoe is easy to maneuver. However, rivers pose a more significant challenge. Those looking for a challenge should look into renting a canoe or setting up a kayak excursion.

Disadvantages of Canoeing

Canoes are not made to withstand the condition of the water that the raft can take. They don’t have the same features; thus, canoes are only usable in peaceful to mild water condition. In whitewater and rapids, canoes are more challenging to maneuver, thus in this water condition, the use of a raft is advisable.

What is Rafting?

what is rafting

A raft is an open boat that can hold at least four people. High-quality rafts are usually made from materials like Hypalon and urethane. These materials do not wear quickly and make the vessel tough and easy to repair.

Advantages of Rafting

Rafting is much more of an adrenaline adventure activity. Significant preparation, paddling skills and experience are highly required. Like canoes, rafts are also great for camping and day trips. They can be maneuvered easily in any water condition and withstand the harsh whitewater and other river challenges. Those who want to try rafting should be ready for the possible dangers of rafting.

Disadvantages of Rafting

Rafts are more durable and can endure any challenges during the activity. Unlike canoes, they do not have stylish features. Rafts are easy to maneuver, but the paddler must be skilled because it only has one paddle. Unlike canoes, they are not easy to transfer from one place to another because of their size and weight.

Benefits of Canoeing and Rafting

Those who love the great outdoors and spend time canoeing and rafting will give them a great experience. Here are the expected benefits that you can get from them:


Canoeing and rafting can offer adventure. It can be an incredible experience to go out on a river or take a canoe on a cruise down the river. There are tons of different canoes out there for you to choose from. They come in all shapes and sizes, too. You can rent them for a day, a weekend, a week or a whole season.


Canoeing and rafting can be an excellent form of exercise as well. You can use your body’s strength along with the boat’s mobility to paddle through the rapids and get through those tricky sections where a fast-moving canoe cannot get around. You can also enjoy a good rowing session while you are out on a river or a pond.

Beautiful Places

Canoeing and rafting can offer you the chance to visit beautiful places. All you must do is decide where you want to go and then rent a canoe or a raft, and you can get there. Most places will let you sit on the water with your feet up and enjoy the view, or you can sit on the seat of the canoe and enjoy the river currents.

How to Choose Between Canoeing and Rafting

One crucial factor to consider when choosing between canoeing and rafting is the kinds of equipment you will be using. Canoes tend to be much lighter than rafts and have more portability. However, canoes also tend to be sturdier and capable of dealing with swift currents and harsh weather conditions.

Those looking for an enjoyable river trip will likely find the river trip they choose to be a combination of both canoes and rafts. However, the exact route they choose may vary, depending on the river they wish to take, its current conditions, and the current terrain.

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