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Feeling comfortable and confident that you can maneuver your kayak effectively and safely will add to your enjoyment on the water, and perhaps inspire you to plan your own kayaking excursions.
This open water course teaches you the key paddling strokes, self- & assisted- rescues, safety standards and regulations, as well as other elements that will make you a more effective paddler, and ensure you are having the best possible paddling experience. We currently offer our Paddle Canada certified Level 1 courses across Ontario. Choose the course location and timing option that suits you best.
Please note that we do not supply snacks or lunches on our course. When you are packing your snacks and lunches, it is important to remember that you need to keep up your energy levels high throughout the day on the water, so make sure you pack high-energy snacks and hearty meals.
In addition to these courses, a select number of our expeditions have been designed to combine wilderness camping with skills certification. If you want to take your certification course, and enjoy more time in the fresh air, check out the Guided Expeditions.
We provide the kayaks, and required safety equipment for our courses unless you prefer to bring your own. All our courses have a capacity limit so book early to ensure your spot.
The course details, what to bring and our cancellation policy can be found at the link provided below. Be sure you double check your desired dates, program and locations before purchasing.
Our Level 1 Skills courses meet Paddle Canada certification standards. We are committed to providing the highest quality instruction to ensure your success..
This course includes…
- 16 hours of training
- all necessary equipment
- professional instruction
- course manual
- online training access (SKILS)
In this course you will learn…
- boat and equipment theory
- standards and regulations
- paddling strokes and kayak control
- self & assisted rescues
- assessing weather conditions
- basic risk management
What to Bring
For you personal comfort you will want clothing that is suitable for paddling.
Be sure to include:
- Quick-dry long-sleeve and/or athletic wear (polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc)
- Fleece jacket or pullover (spring and fall)
- Quick-dry shorts or pants, bathing suits and/or athletic wear (polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc)
- Wet shoes preferably, or sandals with straps or sneakers to wear while kayaking (no shoes or boots – your feet will get wet)
- Neoprene gloves (spring and fall)
- Rain gear (jacket and pants)
- Head gear – toque (spring and fall), sun hat (summer)
- Sunglasses with strap
- Lip balm (with UV protection)
- Good quality water bottle (e.g., nalgene)
- Bug spray
- Camera (waterproof casing and strap)
- Immersion gear – wet suit or dry suit (for spring and fall courses only)
- Notepad and pen (for courses only)
Note: Please avoid cotton – no heavy hooded sweatshirts, jeans or heavy pants (including sweat pants).
Water bottles and immersion gear (dry-suits or wet-suits) are your responsibility as they are considered personal gear. Hydration is key, and you should bring a good quality water bottle (minimum 500ml). As well, if you are on a course in spring or fall please bring a dry-suit or wet-suit for your comfort. No matter what the weather, immersion gear will greatly improve your comfort level. Please contact us if you are having difficulty finding immersion gear.
If your course includes overnight camping bring clothing for the campsite in the evenings as well.
Please note: sleeping bags are not provided for hygiene reasons. Please bring your own. We also encourage participants to bring their own sleeping mattress and tent although we can provide them if required.
Cancellation and Company Policies
Paddling School Cancellation, including Camping
Please note that courses proceed rain or shine. Please be prepared for the weather for your adventure and bring the appropriate personal gear. Should you need to cancel, refunds will be issued with the appropriate cancellation fees applied. It may be possible to reschedule a course to another date based on availability. If that is possible, the administrative fee may be waived. This at the sole discretion of the company.
Should Nanook Expeditions need to cancel for any reason, clients may choose to reschedule their course to another time based on availability. Alternatively, you may request a full refund.
Guide-led Expedition Cancellation
Please note that expeditions proceed rain or shine. Please be prepared for the weather for your adventure and bring the appropriate personal gear. Should you need to cancel, refunds will be issued with the appropriate cancellation fees applied. It may be possible to reschedule an expedition to another date based on availability. If that is possible, the administrative fee may be waived. This at the sole discretion of the company.
Should Nanook Expeditions need to cancel for any reason, clients may choose to reschedule their expedition to another trip based on availability. Alternatively, you may request a full refund.
For any course or expedition cancelled for any reason with more than 30 days’ notice, the administration fee will be 10% of the total amount. A 25% administration fee will be withheld if the cancellation is within 16 – 30 days of your activity. If the trip or expedition is cancelled less than 16 days’ notice, no refund will be provided.
For your convenience we offer online booking which accepts all major credit cards. Please book as early as possible to guarantee your spot!
Any form of evacuation that ends your trip short for whatever reason, is financially your responsibility. We can assist in making quick and efficient evacuations, at any time, on your behalf.
Nanook Expeditions strongly advises that you check your current insurance coverage; and that you have adequate medical and personal injury insurance for travel in Ontario, Canada.
Nanook Expeditions will not be held responsible for lost, damaged or stolen property. Please take care to waterproof all your valuables. We can provide dry bags.
While our trips are not strenuous, the ability to swim and good health is necessary. You must determine if your own fitness is appropriate. If you have any concerns, please call us or consult your physician before your trip. We can also provide you with our boat sizes and dimensions if you have any other concerns.
Forms – Waivers, Indemnification, Medical
In our confirmation package, you will find one Medical Form and one Waiver Form, per person.
If a minor (under the age of 18) is registered, then a waiver and an indemnification form must be signed and completed by the legal guardian or parent on behalf of the minor. Please take the time to read and understand the forms that you are signing. If you have any questions or concerns about the content, please do not hesitate to call our office.
Waiver and medical forms are to be completed and submitted to our office prior to your course or expedition start date.
Each participant will receive these forms well in advance of the activity date to ensure enough time to read and understand the forms they are signing.
Code of Conduct
The guides and participants of Nanook Expeditions are expected to act and behave within a normal code of conduct when interacting with others on any trip. This includes persons, property and operations that are directly and indirectly affected by these trips.
Although the objective is to have fun and relax, we expect that the rights and treatment of others at any time on these trips will be respected. Nanook Expeditions staff reserve the right to remove a participant from a program at their discretion for substance use, disrespectful or unsafe behaviour.
Rules and Regulations
Safety first. All participants involved with these activities will adhere to the safety rules and policies set out by Nanook Expeditions, its instructors, guides and staff.
- Alcohol may only be consumed by a client at the end of a day’s paddling, and only in moderation so as not to impair their ability for the next day’s activity. No recreational drugs are allowed while on trip.
- No one will put another participant or themselves in harms’ way by ignoring the safety rules or the on water etiquette outlined by guides prior to departure.
- The guides, instructors and participants travel as a small group.
- Individuals may not stray from the group while on the water.
- Individuals may not intentionally rock or tip the boats.
- Individuals may not paddle ahead of the leading guide or fall behind the second guide.
- PFDs (lifejackets) must be worn at all times when on water.
- Footwear must be worn at all times.
- Concerns or comments of any nature should be directed to your guide.
- All participants are responsible for their own actions.
- All legal guardians take full responsibility for minor(s) in their care.
- All instructions and regulations must be followed for a safe and enjoyable trip.
- If you plan to leave the group, tell the guide your plans.
- The guides have the final say.