This fall is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy some sunshine, fresh air, and hit the river! In Oklahoma, we have the Illinois River which makes for a great weekend trip! But have you explored the Buffalo River in our neighboring state, Arkansas? It was the first National River established by the United States Federal Government! 

Whatever adventure you're going on, we put together some great tips on how to pack your canoe, whether a day on the water or a weekend camping along the riverbanks!

When packing, it's important to maintain a good center of gravity in the canoe as it'll help your balance when navigating the river! Make sure to keep your lighter items towards the ends of the canoe and heaviest items in the middle at the bottom!

Be sure to keep everything in water tight bags as well - you never know what unexpected adventures the river brings. We recommend keeping extra clothing in one bag at one end and the other with your sleeping bags / hammocks.

In the middle, put fresh water and cooking gear at the bottom, and tents, food, and other gear above! Keeping the weight in the center bottom makes for more maneuverability and will ensure your canoe won't be rocking too much as you head downstream.

Also be sure to keep any items you'd need as you paddle nearby - from life vests to sunscreen, maps and emergency whistles - keep those at the top within reach! Use bungee cord to tie it down if needed, or have a bag specifically for those items!


Being in Oklahoma City - we have surprising great options in our state and neighboring states! For being a landlocked state in the South + Midwest, we have great opportunities to hit the river with your friends and family. From the Illinois River to Beaver's Bend, there are great opportunities for short excursions. In Arkansas, we have the Buffalo River which was the first National River put aside by the Federal Government and offers longer expeditions! 

In Tahlequah, Oklahoma there's plenty of great outfitters to rent kayaks and canoes from! Here are a few to look into as you plan your trip!

Arrowhead Resort
(918) 456-1140

Diamondhead Resort
(800) 722-2411

Eagle Bluff Resort
(918) 456-3031

Peyton's Place
(918) 456-3847

War Eagle Resort

In Arkansas is the Buffalo River, a great Class 1 river that makes it easy for the whole family to get out on the water and enjoy making memories in the outdoors! We highly recommend reaching out to a local outfitting service to check on water levels and make a plan on hitting the river!

Buffalo River Outfitters
 (870) 439-2244

Wild Bill's Outfitters

Buffalo River Float Service

Lost Valley Canoe

If you're in Oklahoma City and looking to invest in a canoe or kayak for your next trips, we highly recommend visiting Oklahoma Kayak! 
Oklahoma Kayak
220 N. Western Ave
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106
(405) 235-2925

And finally, before you head out on the water - be sure to check out our latest collection of goods this fall - Take Me to the River!