If you’ve ever wondered if there’s an easier way to tie a canoe to a car roof, then this tip may be what you’re looking for.
Up to a few years ago I would always climb down on the ground and then poking my head under the car, find somewhere secure to tie off the front and rear of the canoe. It was the worst part of any canoe trip and there were times when the ground I was laying down on was soaking wet after a nights rain.
The absolute worst experience was after a spring canoe trip in Algonquin Park. Jesse, Noah and I had finished our trip and were packing everything back up into the van. The mosquitos and black flies were at their peak and viciously swarming us. With all of the packs and gear in the van Jesse and Noah took refuge in the vehicle while I had the task of tying down the canoe.
It was as though all of the bugs realized that the pack had abandoned me and I was ripe for the kill. As I climbed down to tie off the canoe to the underparts of the van all of the biting bugs within the park made their move and attacked me. I was helpless, laying on the ground getting the job done while being assaulted at every uncovered fleshy area.
After that experience I was determined to find a better way to tie a canoe to a car.
Fast forward a couple months and serendipitously I discovered this little trick while pumping gas out in the Kawartha area while filming Canoe: Icon of the North.
I wish I could tell you the name of the older gentleman that showed me this, but like Carlos Castaneda’s “Don Juan,” this old man had the answer to this important mystery.
Tie a canoe to a car
The solution is simple but will require a small amount of cargo strap. You’ll need two pieces of strapping, each about 4 to 6 inches long for the front of your vehicle and if you can this tip may work at the rear of your car if you have any bolts in your trunk.
*Disclaimer: Please check with your mechanic or vehicle manufacturer before removing any nuts or bolts and before attempting to tie a canoe to a car. I’m not responsible for the safety of your vehicle or your canoe. Although this method has worked very well for me, your vehicle and the load it carries is your responsibility.
In this short video, I demonstrate and explain how to tie a canoe to a car using this simple tip. If you have any other tips or tricks for tying a canoe to a car, please leave a comment.