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Can You Canoe?

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Hey, all you Water Fanatics!

If you simply live for time on the water, then you’re going to love today and its accompanying Blog post from yours truly. Today is National Canoe Day! If Canoeing is your thing and if you can make it happen today it sure would be nice to celebrate your love for this hobby today!

In celebration, I thought we could take a close look at the history of the Canoe and how it came to be.Enjoy your time on the water!This innovative vessel has been proven to be more than 10,000 years old in the case of the Pesse Canoe, found in the Netherlands—the world’s oldest known canoe. Way back when, people made Canoes out of materials that they had around. A natural abundance of trees offered bark and tree trunks.

Dugout Canoe
‘Canoe’ originates from the Carib word ‘kenu’ which translates to ‘dugout’. And that’s how this vessel received its name as these ancient craftsmen and craftswomen dug out trunks of trees in order to construct these hollowed-out, single units.

Birch-Bark Canoe
But Native Americans quickly developed a second design which utilized birch bark. This Canoe style was constructed right-side up. It was essentially a skeleton of wood covered in bark, lashed together with roots and then planked, ribbed, and sealed.

For thousands of years both of these Canoe styles were the kings of water transportation until very early on in the 19th Century when steam-powered engines took the reigns for bulk transit by both boat and train.

Demoted to ritual and leisure activity, transportation by means of the Canoe took a giant plunge in popularity, but has stayed *ahem* AFLOAT through fandom of the human culture that has made its imprint in the body of Canoes everywhere. The Dugout and Birch-Bark styles were replaced twice over now—first with wood and canvas for its materials and eventually (about 50 years ago), the aluminum Canoe.

No matter what materials your Canoe is made of, enjoy moving on the water in it and appreciate how long our species has used this craft as a means of transportation! Happy National Canoe Day and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

Posted in Random Thoughts


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