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How to Paddle 100+ Days in a Year
(When you work a 9-5 job, live 100 miles from the closest whitewater park with the best playspots, and you reside in Iowa)

While Iowa is not known for its whitewater, it’s certainly possible to go whitewater paddling right here in the midwest. Three whitewater parks (more on the way too) offer several options all year long to get my boating needs fulfilled. Here’s a few ideas to squeeze in more river time in while keeping the wolf from the door!

1 There is no bad weather, only poor gear choices
We’ve got four distinct seasons here in the midwest., from hot, muggy summer days to frigid, bone chilling winters. Just because the weather turns from perfect to less than ideal doesn’t mean paddling has to cease. Accumulate any and all paddling gear for each season; shorty drytop, longsleeve, drytop, drysuit, whatever it takes to keep paddling outside all year long.

2 *Cough Cough* I don’t think I can make it in today
So, is that 9-5 getting in the way of all your free time? Tell me about it! Use those sick days up! When the river floods call in sick! Just make sure you won’t appear on any news channels that evening.

3 Keep your options Open

Don’t make any or very few plans at all times. You never know when it might rain or the river will be at perfect levels again! Be sure to check river levels only one or two days in advance of any other plans.

4 Night Paddling
Can’t make it to the river before dark? Utilize the full moon or street lights and go for a night paddle!

5 Carpe Diem

Seize the day! One never quite knows when or where the next rain will fall and bring the levels back up. When the water is there, seize it. It could be the last paddling day of the season!

6 PTO is for Paddling Time Ohyea!
Use all your PTO from that 9-5 for paddling trips as much as possible! Combing pto with holidays is a great way to gain some extra days for those longer trips too. It also helps to find a job you can work remotely or show your current employer just how beneficial working remotely is for efficiency and getting the work done. Office in a van down by the river?…score!

7 Great Minds Think Alike

Find those paddling mates that love to be on the river as much as you do no matter what! Devoted paddling friends makes it much easier to get out there as much as possible.

8 Spice it Up

Has your local run or playspot become the same boring thing? Change it up! Try a different boat/board, learn new tricks, try different lines. Every level has something to offer, you just have to look a bit harder.

9 There is no off-season

There is no end to paddling season, just slower times and shorter lines. While you’re waiting for the rains to return, take a paddling trip to where there is water. Otherwise get out there on the mtb/uni/cross country skis, whatever it takes to keep you sane and ready to paddle. A great time to edit all those videos and photos that have been stacking up too.

10 No Excuses (See 1-9)

Whatever the it. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

-Hannah Ray J