Some advice on packing for paddling

To explore our nature by canoe or kayak is truly a joy. It's possible to get really close to the wildlife when silently sliding along the shore by canoe. But of course if you need an adrenalin rush you can always seek more lively waters and falls. Today you can easily find a canoe for rent if you don't want to by one for yourself. Just check that all gear needed is included in the rental deal and remember that usually a glasfibre vessel is a bit more fragile than the more robust plastic version.
It's very important that you feel comfortable and safe when paddling. Besides the obvious stuff like knowing how to swim, safety jacket, and well informed buddy's on land, I can recommend you take a basic paddling course to learn what to do when your boat turns over. And remember; always hang on to your paddle! It's your ticket back home.
Pack your gear right
A bad job packing your canoe can spoil a good trip. A big advantage when paddling, compared to hiking, is that you're able to bring more stuff. Actually the watercraft often behave better in the water when it's loaded. This is of course pending on how good you pack your vessle. Its a good idea to pack your gear down by the water to avoid carrying a heavy boat down to the water.
The fact that the canoe (Canadian style) is an open boat puts a higher demand on securing your gear. The idea is that when you turn over and back again none of your gear should be lost floating around in the water. Some like using big plastic barrels with tightly sealed lids placed on the bottom of the canoe. Personally I prefer using dry bags in different sizes and strapping these tightly inside the canoe. Try placing the most weight low and in the centre of the canoe. Use synthetic tie down straps to secure the containers inside the canoe. If you use a non-synthetic material there's a risk of the straps stretching when wet. It's important to use strapping points close to the containers to prevent the "Triangle of Death"; the risk of getting a foot or an arm stuck in the straps when tumbling over in the water.
More frequently used gear you can place in a smaller dry bag at your seat. There's also some smart bottle holders on the market that you can use storing your drinking water close by. Also don't forget securing your back-up paddle.
A covered boat often comes with nice storage compartments with water resistant lids. Try pacing the most load as low and centered as possible. Your water stash is preferably stored in a bag behind your seat. Put your water bottle and laminated map under the loading net in front of you. Also see to that your safety gear, including an back-up paddle, is easy accessible when you need it to get back up into the kayak.
I use fast drying fabrics like for instance polyester. Swimming and sports wear works fine. When in colder waters you can use your diving/surfing suites or fabrics like wool, try avoiding cotton. Training shoes or diving booties for your feet, diving gloves for your hands and sun screen, a hat and a pair of Polaroid sunglasses (with safety strap) is good pals when paddling. HERE you can find more tips on clothing.

I hope these advise helps you out in the future. Have fun!