Canoeing and kayaking is a great way to spend a day touring the Texas landscape. I find it relaxing to paddle slowly or to just let the current take me somewhere. Evaporative cooling from the river or creek makes the temperature feel cooler. Wearing cotton shirts and a wide-brimmed hat also works well.
It doesn’t cost a lot of money to rent a boat, canoe or kayak. Here is a list of places that rent everything you need for a wonderful, relaxing, lazy day on the water. Don’t forget sunblock and life vests as well. Be sure to follow all the rules of the water so everyone can enjoy the countryside.
The Texas Parks And Wildlife website offers videos about boating, wildlife and more on UTube. The site also lists the different rivers and lakes in state and national parks where you can rent everything you need to make the day fun on the water. Some places allow fishing, so you can obtain a fishing license and rent the equipment when you get the boat.
By checking the site periodically you can find out if boating is allowed or suspended due to low water levels, unstable currents due to flooding or contamination such as debris.
Prices for each lake or river my vary between rental companies, the amount of equipment you rent and the length of the rental. If you are going camping and plan on taking a boat to your campsite, let the company know so you can obtain information about tides and how to best secure the boat for the night.
The site also lists state law regarding boating and the equipment each boat needs. For example, all children under the age of 13 are required to wear US Coast Guard approved life vests.
There are advantages to renting a boat instead of buying one that go beyond just the cost.
- The rental company maintains the boat, engine and all the equipment.
- You don’t have to bring anything home and clean it.
- You won’t be transporting zebra mollusks or any other wildlife home with you.
- Your driveway won’t have a boat sitting in it.
- You don’t have to pay storage fees for a boat.
- You don’t have to pay insurance costs for a boat.
Many bodies of water are within a few hours of major cities; you can shop, stay in hotels, RV parks, campgrounds or with friends/family.
I like bringing my own ice chest with me so that I don’t have to go ashore to have something to drink or munch. If I’m going to have a beer however, I do so on shore when I won’t be driving. Alcohol is responsible for most boating accidents in which people are hurt or killed.
After losing a full ice chest because a friend capsized our boat, I weighed my new chest and the contents. I purchased bouys and attached them to the chest. The next time a friend tipped the boat over, I didn’t lose the ice chest. There are floating ice chests, but I couldn’t afford them. The bouys do work well; although the chest may be under the water, it won’t sink to the bottom and the bouys tell me where it is. I use four of them. I attached floats to my fishing poles and tackle box as well, you can already figure out why.
I try to avoid scheduling my boating days on holidays, as the waterways tend to be busier. I like my camping trips to be quieter.
Have fun when you travel in and visit Texas; there’s a lot to see and experience.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.
Source: Staff Article, “Boating, Paddling,” Texas Wildlife website, no date given