Equipment descriptions

Tell us what you think about our equipment selection and give us some suggestions on how we can improve it!



We have 9 canoes: 3 Grummans, 3 Old Towns and 3 Daggers.

The Grummans are the aluminum boats. They are fairly light (at about 65 to 70lbs) and track well on windy lakes, thanks to their keeled design. Aluminum is a soft material and sticks on rocks; so these canoes must never be used for river trips!

The Old Towns are the red, plastic boats. They are much heavier (over 85lbs) and have minimalist yokes, so that they aren't as well suited to tripping and portaging as the Grummans. On the other hand, the plastic is very strong, and "slips" on rocks, so they are ideal river and whitewater boats. In fact, we have outfitted these canoes for whitewater fun: they have foam kneeling pads, Kevlar skid plates and floatation bags.

Please Note: when car-topping the Old Towns, please partially deflate the floatation bags (otherwise they might burst during transport). When re-inflating the bags, please make sure there are no pebbles or grit between the hull and the bag itself (wipe the area clean with your hand), as these particles could puncture the bag.

The Daggers are the green, plastic boats. They are constructed of ABS "light", and are approximately the same weight as the Grummans, yet nearly as strong as the Old Towns. Their length (17'4") and their design makes them particularly well suited for tripping: they can carry 2-3 people and gear, they track well in adverse conditions (wind, waves), and the molded yokes ease the pain of portaging.


The club has 3 kayaks mostly used during our pool sessions, but all members are welcome to sign them out during normal equipment hours.

We also have 2 Dagger Axis 10.5 and 3 sea kayaks for trips.

Sea Kayaks

The club has two 17' sea kayaks, which are big enough to hold gear for a 2-3 day trips. We also have one 17' sit-on sea kayak (no gear storage).

Stand Up Paddle Boards

We have two Red Paddle Co. Activ 10'8 stand up paddle boards. They pack down and can be transported as a backpack.

Related Equipment

Of course, we have paddles (Mohawk aluminum/plastic canoe paddles, an assortment of kayak paddles) and PFDs (many shapes and sizes to choose from) to go with our boats. On extended trips, it is a good idea to carry a spare paddle. And remember that by law there must be one PFD per person. PFDs must be worn at all times when in our boats and around water if the user cannot swim.

For transportation of the boats on a car, we provide foam block and tie-down lines.

For whitewater enthusiasts, we have throw-ropes, flotation bags, water pumps and helmets.



We have a variety of tents for one, two, three, and four persons. These tents all have good rain-flies, and most are suitable for 3-season use. We have a 4-season four person tent and looking into getting a two person 4-season tent. We also have a hammock shelter (hammock with a mosquito net and rain fly for one person).

Sleeping Bags

Most of our sleeping bags are designed for 3-season use. Theoretical ratings vary from –10°C to –2°C, depending on the bag. These are the ratings from the manufacturer, and they should be taken with a grain of salt — whether or not you will be warm largely depends on you (your body type, your size, your metabolism, etc.).

A few bags are summer-only; we strongly suggest that you do not overestimate the night-time lows in canoeing country, even in summer. An August night in Algonquin Park can easily drop to a few chilly degrees above freezing – plan your sleeping bag accordingly.

For winter use, we recommend double-bagging. For example, pair a –7°C bag with a –2°C bag. (In this case, we will make an exception to the one-per-member policy, and allow you to rent 2 bags). We also have winter sleeping bags rated to –12°C.

Foam Pads

The foam pads (camping mattresses) provide some amount of cushioning and insulation from the cold and damp. They aren't nearly thick enough to absorb “obstacles” such as roots or rocks, so use good judgement when choosing a site to set up your tent!

This type of foam literally evaporates when it comes in contact with any source of heat, so please be very careful with these around fires and lanterns.


We mostly carry MSR SuperFly and PocketRocket stoves. These are among the easiest stoves to use and maintain. They are also quite versatile — they boil fast and simmer well. They use propane canisters, which is widely available (hardware stores, camping stores). For car-camping, or for local events, the Club also has a barbecue and a two-burner propane stove. Neither fuel, charcoal, nor lighter fluid is supplied.

Cook Sets

We have an assortment of pots and pans:

  • Shiny (ie: clean): The shiny pots must be returned shiny. No black!!! The easiest way to ensure the pot is returned clean is to use it on a stove only. If you really must use it on a fire, be prepared to scrub hard when you get home! One tip for easier cleaning is to coat the pot with soapy water before it goes on the fire. The black will then wash off more easily (but you will still probably have to scrub in places). For scrubbing, nothing beats steal wool.
  • Black: If you know you will always be cooking on the fire, we suggest you use these pre-blackened pots. Then you won't have as much cleaning to do. But beware! the black stuff will come off on your hands, in your pack, etc.

Finally, if you're planning a trip where weight and size are not dominant issues, and if you like the idea of freshly-baked bread or pizza, you might want to sign out a reflector oven. This folding aluminum contraption (we have a large one and a small one) sets up right next to a hot fire, and reflects enough heat onto its built-in shelf to act as a baker's oven.


Hiking Packs

We mostly have medium-sized internal (soft) frame packs. They are adequate for a 3 to 4 day backcountry hike (or cross-country ski trip). As with all packs, adjustment of the straps is everything; if you aren't sure how to properly fit the pack to your body, try asking the equipment room volunteers. In particular, make sure that:

  • the weight is born by the hip-belt (not by the shoulder straps)
  • the pack is held flat against the back

Canoe Portage Packs

Typically canoeists will attempt to fit all their gear inside the pack (as opposed to hikers who strap sleeping mats and even bags on the outside). Thus canoe packs tend to be larger than hiking packs. Also, since the pack is (supposedly, at least) more often in the bottom of the boat than on someone's back, the shape (or lack thereof...) is optimized to fit in the canoe. Our canoe packs are waterproof too.

Note that external frame packs with their rigid shape fit poorly in a canoe, and can even damage it.

For equipment which needs to stay dry (food, sleeping bags, clothes...), we have two sizes of water-tight barrels:

  • 20 litres: a good size for food for a small party on a weekend trip; also a good size for personal gear. The easiest way to carry these barrels is to place them inside your pack (they fit in our large canoe packs). Check the lid and its O-ring before your leave, as the rubber might stretch and loose its seal.
  • 60 litres: these barrels come with a custom harness for portaging. Ideal for storing food for large parties.

Bike Panniers

We have Bianchi bike panniers, which attach to standard bicycle racks.


We have rock climbing shoes in different sizes, two crash pads for bouldering, and helmets for climbing or caving. We do not have any ropes or harnesses.


Cross-Country Skis

Waterloo will usually get skiable snow by the end of December, and on a typical year, it will last until mid-March. So go out there and enjoy the cold! All of our skis are wax less, so please do not apply any. We have the ski boots to go with this (of course), in a variety of sizes. A word about sizing: when you raise your arm straight up, the tip of the skis should reach the palm of your hand. If you have a heavier build, size your skis slightly longer than this. The poles should fit snugly under your armpit. If you wish to try skating (note that our equipment is not at all suitable for proper skating techniques), take longer poles and shorter skis.

Boots should fit snugly enough to give your foot and ankle some support, but loosely enough to allow your blood to circulate freely and to fit bulkier/warmer socks (otherwise you will get very cold feet).


If balancing on slats of wood (or fibreglass) isn't your thing, give snowshoeing a try. We have one-size-fits-all snowshoes; most of them have simple pull-on rubber bindings – just stick your boot in the hole, and you're set. There are also a few strap-and-buckle bindings; with these it is important to really tighten the straps, otherwise they will come off at the worst possible moment (in a 4 foot snowbank, no doubt)


First Aid Kits

It is a good idea to look through the kit before you leave, and to make sure you know how to use the contents. The Club has some books and pamphlets on First Aid which you might want to look through.

If you use items from the first aid kit, please let us know so they can be replenished for the next group. There is no cost for using stock.


Want to have some fun in the park with friends, bring a slackline! This awesome device allows you to be a tight roper for the day. Our slackline is 15m and comes with two tree protectors so as not to damage the bark on our precious trees.


We have a TomTom GPS for rent that mounts onto car dashes. It's very useful for getting to your destination quickly.

Sundry Small Items

Do you want a tarp? A lightweight tarp (aka an old tent fly)? Tarp poles (aka old tent poles)? A saw? A folding Saw? Rope?

We have all this and more … come by the equipment room and see for yourself, we have a lot of small equipment not listed on our price list.