Having just returned from a weekend away with good mates hiking and kayaking, where we chatted about upcoming events, stag dos and weddings; it got me thinking about how something along the lines of a canoeing and bushcraft stag do could have offered me something very different a few years ago.

Don’t get wrong, I remember (sort of) my stag do like it was yesterday.  A week on the White Isle of Ibiza with a bunch of my best mates at a cheap all-inclusive hotel that we barely ate at but drank dry in between all night clubbing escapades was a pretty full on week.  So full on that I had liver pains when I got back! The funny thing is that I’ve never actually been into dance music and the club scene so, while the trip was memorable, it probably wasn’t ‘up my street’ so to speak.  

Of course, back then, stag and hen companies were in their infancy, but now the field of opportunities is burgeoning.  Only last year a mate of mine had an outdoor-themed stag do with gorge walking and the like, and it really got me thinking how different mine could have been if we’d have had cool activities to do during the day to balance out the messiness.  So, for anyone out there contemplating their own stag do, or planning one for a mate, here’s a run-down of the sorts of things available to outdoor-minded gents these days…

canoeing and bushcraft stag do

A Canoeing Stag Do Adventure

We love canoeing, so the thought of an afternoon on a river with mates in a big open Canadian canoe is very appealing indeed.  Not long ago, after some time paddling flat water, my best mate and I took our first plunge into white water in a Canadian.  We had such a good time, I honestly can’t tell you how much fun it is tackling raging water with a mate.  On the one hand you’re trying to work together to get through difficult sections but, on the other hand, when you see them leaning over at the front of the canoe you can’t help but want a rush of water to knock them in (possibly with a little help from your foot!).  

canoeing and bushcraft stag do

Even the quieter, more sedate sections of the river were awesome as we spotted herons and kingfishers in flight.  At lunch we landed on a deserted spot of bank with absolutely nobody else in sight, and sat there laughing and reflecting on the day so far before paddling on to our destination (the pub).  Just before arriving at our destination, we capsized spectacularly on a particularly tricky and fast section of water and laughed ourselves hoarse trying to recover the canoe.  I can only imagine the fun and hilarity if there had been more of us!

Canoeing and Bushcraft Stag Do Weekends

Canoeing lends itself so beautifully to a modern stag do.  With so many stunning stretches of water up and down the land, and companies with well-organised fleets and instructors, you can be sure of a riotous time whatever the size of your stag group.  What’s more, once you’ve learned the basics and paddled down the river, companies such as Essential Adventure offer bushcraft activities at your destination. As such, you’ll go from learning to paddle and control your boat in the day to foraging for food, learning traditional fire lighting techniques, and building shelters in the evening. 

A stag do is all about bonding, having a laugh and making memories with your mates.  Just picture you and your mates cooking food that you foraged together on an open fire, that you lit with traditional techniques, sat in front of the riverside shelter that you built, gazing at the stars above you and at the canoe that lies just a few metres from your feet, that you’ll jump back into tomorrow for more of the same.  Trust me, you and your mates will be talking about this trip for years!  Just make sure you pack that all-important hip flask!

So, there we have it. If you want something a little bit different from a normal stag do, why not try a canoeing and bushcraft stag do experience? Activity providers, like Essential Adventure, host them all over the country, just like this one, so there’s no excuse not to try something that’s a little bit different and far more up your street as an adventurous married man to be.

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