Two cars makes the easiest shuttle. However, if only two people are paddling, you’ll each have a lot of solo windshield time (which depending on your paddling partner could be a good thing). And, if you skip the partner and go solo, you’ll need other options.

If a river doesn’t have strong current you can paddle upstream, then turn around. Make sure you always travel upstream first, or you’re likely to have a memorable story to tell. For rivers with light to moderate current (not backwaters), it takes approximately four times as long to paddle upstream as to travel downstream.

Shuttles that can be walked are rare, especially if you’re paddling very far. Hitchhiking can work, though it can turn into a very long, boring walk. If you choose to hitch be careful, and carry a paddle to show potential rides what you’ve been doing.

More reliable than either walking or hitching is biking. If the river is gentle, bringing the bike along in the canoe allows you to stop at any bridge. The downside is few bicycles don’t float. A safer method is to drive to the take-out and lock or hide the bicycle. Next drive to the put-in, and paddle downriver to the bicycle. Finally, you’ll bike to the car, and last drive back to pick up the canoe.

For lengthy and very remote trips, there’s always a float plane or jet boat, but either one adds a considerable expense. In Canada trains are a possibility too. Last, one of the rarest, but most fun shuttles is cross country skiing!

Paddling rivers is a wonderful experience, but they require additional planning. Recalling to bring two things on every shuttle will ensure a successful trip – a map and the car keys.