Inflatable Canoeing Adventures - Buy this eBook!

Most of us can relate to the fun we had canoeing at summer camp when we were young. But that was nothing compared to the experience of whitewater kayaking that came next for me. I have always loved canoeing, though it always seemed difficult to participate. It has only been in the last decade that the development of inflatable canoes has made a big difference. You can more easily access rivers, you can store a canoe in your car, you can even take them on a plane. They are very light, very cheap, with little loss of functionality. Perfect for weekends away or campervan holidays. Social networking was the other big change. You can now use Facebook, etc to join canoeing adventures in your local region or abroad.

Inflatable Canoeing Adventures - view the table of contents! Click here to download the table of contents for this eBook, available for just $US7.95.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Canoeing the Magat River, Nueva Viscaya, The Philippines

The Magat River flows north of Santa Fe town, in Nueva Viscaya, in Central Luzon. The section of river suitable for canoeing is marked on My Google Maps at,121.03157&spn=0.319682,0.63858&t=h&z=11&om=1.
This river is well suited for novice canoeing. The water is Grade 1 to 2. The river offers only a short trip as the river quickly broadens out on the valley floor, and as the river disperses, the water becomes flat. Despite this the area is very scenic. At Aritao, the river is flat. The roads in this area are very straight and not so busy, though I performed my river survey on Sunday. Trucks and a multitude of tricycles are the biggest obstacle.

Canoeing at San Jose City, Nueva Eclija, The Philippines

The San Jose River is easily accessed from Manila by bus – it takes about 6 hours. Access to the river is easily achieved along the highway heading north, whether by car, bus or jeepney. The following map will help you plan your trip – see Better still use the Canoe Trip Map 1 I have constructed at,120.976639&spn=0.320252,0.63858&t=h&z=11&om=1
The river is grade 1-2 gravel races, so its well suited to beginners, though it might be advisable to undertake the trip when there is more water in the river (ie. After rain) so you don’t spend too much time on gravel. According to my trip notes, and my limited observation of this river, the section marked is navigable and offers some water flow and the possibility of rapids. Some rapids are evidence from the Mahalika Highway, though these are mostly gravel races suitable for beginners and children. Above a marked river confluence there is too little water, and below the Cowboy Grill (exit point on the highway), the river is flat, and thus boring for all concerned.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Canoeing the Ibulao River, Banaue Area, Philippines

Every holiday I go on I am always looking for opportunities to go mountain biking or canoeing. Since canoeing is not very popular in the Philippines, I tend instead to look for rafting opportunities. Actually I heard of rafting in Ifugao Province whilst staying at the Banaue Hotel in Banaue, Ifugao Province. I had actually passed the river during the night getting to Banaue, so I was pleased to know I would see it returning to Manila. The Ibulao River rises in the mountainous regions of Ifugao Province.

There are several sections that offer whitewater:
1. Mungayang to Ibulao Bridge: This section of river is popular for rafting. The following map shows the location of Mungayang – on the Mountain Polis Highway – see, though I am not aware of the entry point. The exit point from the river is the Ibulao Bridge – viewed at:,120.5711&sspn=0.009964,0.019956&ie=UTF8&ll=16.784019,121.121049&spn=0.004961,0.009978&t=h&z=17&om=1.It&time=&date=&ttype=&q=lamut+philippines&sll=15.9761,120.5711&sspn=0.009964,0.019956&ie=UTF8&ll=16.784019,121.121049&spn=0.004961,0.009978&t=h&z=17&om=1.It might be best to ask locals how to get access to the river from the Mountain Polis Highway, or call the Adventure company below. I am guessing the rapids are grade 1-3 in difficulty.
2. Ibulao Bridge to Lamut (??): The possibility or utility of canoeing this section is unknown. I personally checked out the rapids in the gorge below Ibulao Bridge from a track running along the northern side of the gorge – follow the sign to the caves. Apart from providing a view of the river, I have seen a overloaded jeepney go along this road, so it must continue for some time. It might even provide an access point to the lower section of river. It would however be preferable to access the lower section of river from the highway around Lamut as the Caves road is mostly one-way with few turning places. There is a log in the gorge that would obstruct rafts from passing, and the conditions would make portage difficult. The obstruction should not hinder canoes however if they take the central route with care. Eventually this river joins a larger river before flowing into a reservoir (dam), so an exit around the confluence (flowing north) would be preferred, if not earlier. The rapids in the gorge are grade 1-3.

See my Ibulao Canoe Trip 3 - marked on my Google Maps at,121.224518&spn=0.638012,1.277161&t=h&z=10&om=1hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=106791913239054408744.000443a6386cb1a223c36&ll=16.680924,121.224518&spn=0.638012,1.277161&t=h&z=10&om=1.

Accommodation is available in Banaue (The Banaue Hotel for P2300-3300/night) or Youth Hostel for P250/night) or perhaps Bagabag in the Cagayan Valley. See the following websites for video-photo footage of the river from people who have rafted this river with Uerm81 Adventures (email:, Cell: 0919 694 5964) - see and, and heaps of photos at If you are concerned about leaving your vehicle around and like the idea of using inflatables, consider public transport options. Public transport necessitates travelling with an outdoors adventure company or using inflatable boats.
The options for transport include:
1. Bus from Manila – transfer in Cabanatuan City or Bagabag. Jeeyney to Banaue, and exit near river.
2. Bus from Manila – transfer in Baguio to Banaue jeepney.

Whitewater tubing the Sibulan River, Davao del Sur, Philippines

I have no paticular interest in 'tubing' but here is a blog by a guy who seems to get around more than me. See This blog posting describes his whitewater tubing adventures on the Sibulan River in Barangay Santa Cruz, in the southern (Mindanao) province of Davao del Sur, close to the boundary of Davao City.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Comparison of Inflatable Canoes

At this point in time I have only used the Sevylor 'Tahiti' inflatable canoe. Though for the sake of completeness I want to consider the other alternatives:

1. Sea Eagle Explorer: Sea Eagle manufactures 3 variations of its inflatable Explorer canoe. See There are 2 elements about the specs that I dont like. The $900-1000 price and the seat design.

2. Sevylor Tahiti: Sevylor produce a range of inflatables. There are 2 different designs - the 2-man Tahiti and the 1-man Bali. For a little extra weight I think its worth buying the Tahiti for the additional storage capacity. You can buy these canoes for under $300. I love the inflatable and adjustable seat design. The only things I dont like was the colour and the lack of a carry bag. I could not get the thing in my box, though I note that Japanese customs were able to do so when I freighted one to Japan. I like the one-way valves, just wished they were used on all compartments. If you want the vessel to paddle in a straight line - get the skeg accessory. But I like whitewater, so I prefer not to use it.
Sevylor Tahiti Inflatable Canoe - Buy Now!

3. Intek AirHead Inflatable Canoes: InTek manufactures a 1-man and 2-man designs of their Airhead inflatable canoe. I have not used this canoe, but the netting at the front could be a dangerous entanglement in whitewater canoeing. Anyway its only designed for moderate whitewater. Also I dont like the sea. The price is moderate at

4. Soar 12 Inflatable Canoe: Soar1 producers several inflatable canoes for around $1200. I dont like the design of the seats, and I think the heaviness would limit the portability of the vessel.Its also an expensive option. See

5. Gumotex Safari: This whitewater canoe an option. I like the seating style, though I have not tried this specific model. I think the netting for holding equipment presents a safety risk in whitewater because of the possibility of entanglements. Though its an open netting, so not too risky. The price is far more than the Sevylor Tahiti.

Overall I think the Sevylor Tahiti is the best design - and its sold at a very competitive price!
Sevylor Tahiti Inflatable Canoe - Buy Now!