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How to Find the Best Canoe Outfitter

If this is your first outfitting trip, your head may be swimming with all the decisions you need to make. Here is our guide to finding the best canoe outfitter.

Equipment

Lightweight equipment is important in a portage.

Whether you are buying a car, staying at a hotel, choosing a college, or picking an outfitter, it all ends up the same: What are you getting in return for the cost? Don’t make the mistake of assuming everything is the same. Quality comes at a price. Descriptions like “spacious tents,” “roomy packs,” “comfortable sleeping bags,” or “lightweight canoes” tells you nothing. Look for national brand names and particular models, specific sizes, temperature ratings, and exact weights. Don’t be comforted by words like “top drawer,” “best” or “newest.”

Look at equipment lists in detail. If something you are expecting isn’t specifically listed, ask about it. Don’t assume it will automatically be included.

Consider amenities. While they should never be the primary reason to choose one company over another, they are a good indication of the type of comprehensive services you can expect. Look for an outfitter that reflects an overall attitude towards excellence.

Food

Cooking tips

Menus should be viewed under the same bright lights as equipment lists. A “fresh steak” for the first night on the trail may not be the same size or cut as a “12oz USDA Prime New York Strip.” Increased quality, such as our Certified Angus Brand® steaks; and variety of other meat selections goes hand-in-glove with trip costs.

Read each menu item as if it stands alone … it will at meal time out in the woods. Is one brand of food used exclusively? If so, this could imply cost cutting thru quantity discounts from the manufacturer. There is nothing wrong with cost control. It may, however, indicate leaning away from variety and the best tasting individual items, and towards a higher profit margin.

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