Here are some of our most commonly asked questions. If you have questions that aren’t asked here (or if we haven’t added them yet) – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
We’re a small business and enjoy helping clients to have truly wonderful experiences.
In this section of our Frequently Asked Questions, you will find information about our general business policies and procedures.
Each course, trip or tour will also have more information that will be provided closer to the date of the event.
Please scroll down to see more course or trip-specific FAQs.
COURSES – Vernon and surrounding area is beautiful, but not very transit-friendly! Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation. We may be able to offer transportation from Vernon to the river on a first come first serve basis. Participants will require their own vehicle to get to the theory sessions.
Shuttles – For on-water days of your courses, we will organize vehicle shuttles at the end of the day.
Will my car be okay on the roads? The roads to our courses are paved and shouldn’t be a problem for your vehicle. (That said, maybe leave your lamborghini at home…) For trips – 4 Rivers in 4 Days trips often use gravel roads and logging roads to get to the best put in spots. If you have a vehicle with super low clearance, perhaps get in touch with us to arrange a carpool or catch a ride in the van.
Vernon is easily accessible along HWY 97 from anywhere else you may be staying in the Okanagan. Driving distances from a few other popular places are:
Our moving-water courses are all taught by instructors certified by Paddle Canada and/or the Recreational Canoe Association of BC. There are two types of certification with each association – Paddler-level Certification and Instructor/Guide-level Certification. For most people, Paddler-level certification is not necessary unless a participant is looking to develop a career in canoe guiding/instruction, or wants that written acknowledgement of skills gained. For example, you do not need a certificate for a level 1 course to participate in a level 2 course – as long as you can communicate that you have the prerequisite skills. It does cost an extra $10 administration fee to try for certification, and not all candidates are always successful.
Please contact us well in advance to request certification so that we can match you up with the right course that has the appropriate instructor to give you the certificate you require.
Please contact us for more details.
Most Elements Adventure Company courses are staged from either Enderby, BC with the on-river portion of the course on either the Lower Shuswap River. At times we may do one or both days on the Middle Shuswap River, meeting in Lumby, BC. Both the Lower and Middle Shuswap Rivers give us options to play in class 1-3 whitewater, and are each a 45 minute drive from Vernon BC.
Each morning you will meet your instructor at the staging point at approximately 8:00am and return by 5:30pm – allowing you to return to your home, motel, campground or BnB each evening to dry out and relax.
From time-to-time, we may also head to the Similkameen, Nicola, or Adams River for more advanced courses. This information will be provided at the time of booking.
Our 5 day Intensive course will be staged from Horsefly BC.
Theory sessions are part of all weekend courses except Level 2 (intermediate) Tandem River courses which uses the river to teach theory.
No! You do not require a paddling partner to join any of our courses or trips. During a course your instructors will switch pairings over the course of the weekend so you can better practice your communication skills and gain experience paddling in bow and stern with other people.
We encourage couples attending the course to allow themselves to be paired with other paddlers for the first half of the course so you can practice new skills and communication in bow and stern first with others.
To ensure your safety and that of the group, we ask you in our registration forms to provide information about your boat if you are planning to bring your own canoe. If your canoe is not outfitted as below, we request that you please rent one from us.
If you are bringing your own canoe, please ensure it has the following outfitting:
During a course, paddlers are often asked to switch bow and stern position, and to switch paddle partners from time to time. Please let us know if you are not comfortable with other course participants paddling in your canoe with you. Please contact us if you have any questions about bringing your own boat and/or equipment.
All paddling equipment, including river-specific canoes, paddles, bailers, PFD’s, wetsuits, and helmets are available to rent. Rental prices are found on our website here.
Level 2 Tandem Moving Water course attendees do not have a dryland theory session and will receive their rentals on Saturday morning at your meeting location. All other course participants can expect to receive their rentals on the Friday evening theory session.
What you have listed on your invoice is what we will bring for you – so please be in touch if you require anything further!
You do not need to transport your canoe. We will transport rental canoes in our trailer.
See our rental equipment page for details about what equipment you’ll need and whether or not your boat will be suitable. Some common questions folks have:
*Yes, your PFD needs to have a river knife (for river courses).
*Yes, your boat needs thigh straps and floatation.
*You can use your own wooden paddles, but sand and rocks are not kind to wooden paddles on a river, and you might prefer to use our river paddles instead.
*You can use a bike helmet if you would prefer, instead of renting a river helmet for your level 1 courses.
*A farmer john/jane wetsuit will be more comfy to paddle in than a full sleeved wetsuit
A wetsuit or drysuit is necessary if the water temperature + air temperature is less than 37 Celsius (typically April, May, June, September, October). While a wetsuit is much cheaper to rent/buy, the drysuit is the ultimate in comfort and safety for paddlers. Read more about wetsuits and drysuit rentals and care here on our equipment rentals page..
What to wear under wetsuits, choose according to weather/temperature:
Under drysuits, choose depending on weather/temperature:
What to pack in a waterproof bag or container (we can lend you one if you don’t have one)?
❏ spare long pants**
❏ light jacket**
❏ spare cotton t-shirt (warm weather)
❏ light wool sweater
❏ spare underwear
❏ rain gear (jacket + pants)
❏ ** Ideally nylon or quick-dry material
❏ sunscreen & sunglasses
❏ hand sanitizer & face mask
❏ snacks and lunch – it is better to have a number of small snacks for lunch that you can eat throughout the day than a big heavy lunch.
❏ water – 1L (2L if very hot weather is expected) with string or carabiner to attach to the canoe. You won’t have a place to fill up your water on river – make sure you are prepared for the day!
Optional Items (weather dependent):
sunhat, swim wear, sarong, towel
thermos of tea/warm beverage
toilet paper in a ziplock bag (optional)
camera in a ziplock bag or other waterproof container (optional)
Kat recommends bringing a post-canoeing sarong or dress to change into on hot days (You’ll thank yourself!)
What to pack to leave in your vehicle?
a pair of dry comfy shoes and socks to change into after paddling
extra water or a warm thermos of tea