Finding My Bliss: 10 Tips for Canoeing When You’re 80

For Gord Stewart, an annual canoe trip through the Saskatchewan wilderness is not only a journey through nature, but also through life. Here he outlines 10 tips if you plan on embarking on your own canoeing trip.

1.      Surround yourself with competent people

2.      Seek out opportunities to do small kindnesses
         for your companions

3.      Don’t put anyone else at risk, because
         you won’t be able to help them

4.      Leave your competitive instincts behind.
         Don’t go out of your way to carry heavy loads

5.      Don’t forget your meds, and get any health issues
         out in the open at the start

6.      The books that you bring along
         should be conversation-starters

7.      Take care selecting what to wear:
         You’re going to have to both stay cool and keep warm
         if you’re paddling the north woods in June

8.      Be generous of spirit

9.      Keep a brave face and don’t worry—
         and don’t let others worry that you worry.
         And don’t be worried that everybody is
         going to worry about you anyway

10.    Don’t be nonplussed by plain food, and remember:
         Making like a bear in the woods
         is no more undignified at age 80 than it was at age 20.
Get on with it.

— Don Irvine