Open Canoe Expedition Skills Course

Open Canoe Expedition Skills Course

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Build the skills and confidence to go and have your own canoeing adventures.  We will cover all elements of canoe journeying via a wild camping journey through lochs, moorland and forest. 

This will include planning, paddling skills, safety and rescue, navigation, camp craft, cookery, portaging, poling, lining and incident management. 

Galloway is a hidden gem, accessible and yet with a truly remote feel far away from the noise of traffic and light pollution.  

Expect to see red deer, otters, ospreys and red kites by day and the stars by night.


This is a short introduction to using the open canoe as a craft to allow you to journey. Our canoe expedition skills course has been put together to allow you to attend such a course with minimum interruption to your busy working life.

The course is two and a half days long and will cover the following elements to allow you to expedition under your own steam.

Canoe Based Skill and Safety:

Efficient paddle strokes for travelling

Efficient turning and control strokes

The ability to work as a team in a boat

Decision making on open water

Understanding weather and, in particular, wind and fetch

Improvised sailing

Rafting canoes

Dealing with a capsize

Deep water rescue techniques

Packing a canoe and adjusting its trim

The merits of different packing systems in different circumstances

The art of portaging (a true wilderness skill)• Introduction to poling



Campcraft, Cookery and Expedition Skills:

Choosing and organising your campsite

Expedition/group tarp systems and knots

Choosing cookery equipment for canoe journeys

Choosing food and devising menus for canoe trips

Campfire cookery

Everyday wilderness axe skills

Personal equipment for canoe journeys

Emergency equipment for canoe journeys (and how to use it)


Camping by the loch side – 1 night spent in a remote wildness campsite.  

Canoeing Standard 

This expedition is suitable for those with little canoeing experience as well as experiencedpaddlers who prefer a guided trip. Please note that there will be some portaging on this expedition.

Meeting Place

Galloway Forest

Trip Dates: ​

Trip DatesCourse/ActivityLocationPriceBook Now
TBACanoe Expedition SkillsGalloway£ 275MWE-CTA-ENQUIRE
TBACanoe Expedition SkillsGalloway£ 275MWE-CTA-ENQUIRE

The price of the trip includes; canoe/camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag and camping mat), coaching and guiding, camping fees, expedition type food on the second evening.​

What we include

A single point of contact at Mountain Water Expeditions to provide you with consistent support throughout your experience.

Pre information pack with lots of helpful advice, kit lists etc

Camping fees for the expedition• Use of group kit (free of charge – see below)

Supervision from experienced and helpful coaches

Waterproof Rucksack / Barrel (if needed)

Rucksack liners (if needed)

All relevant canoeing and safety equipment

Group Kit

We provide the following essential group kit free of charge:

Tents (If needed)

Stoves, pans and fuel

What we do not include

Transport to and from the starting point

Personal kit and accident insurance

Items of personal expedition kit that are not mentioned above for example sleeping bags, sleeping mats, waterproof clothing, wetsuit boots etc

Any fees payable to British Canoeing for any BC award obtained

British Canoeing Qualifications

There is a possibility that on this training course you will be able to achieve certain British Canoeing Personal Performance awards along with certain elements of the British Canoeing Guide award. 

Your coaching/instruction for the above awards is covered within you course fee you will however be required to pay the additional costs associated with the certificate and providers fees which are payable to British Canoeing.


Alan Pinnington

For further information or to book a place on this open canoe expedition
skills course please email