Wednesday, August 19, 2015

There is No Way We Are Fitting That Into Our Kayak

We met with the guides of ROW Adventures the night before our kayaking trip to discuss any and all questions regarding the trip and to let us know the schedule for the next morning.  At this meeting we each received three dry bags for the items we would be taking on the trip.  The small dry bag was only a Lap Bag (to carry between our legs in the kayak) with a 10 L capacity 8”x14” and the large dry-bags were our Camp Bags with a 20 L capacity 9”x16”.  The kicker here (that we found out that night) was that we could only fill each dry bag 1/2 full because they needed to be rolled 1/2 down so the contents would remain water proof while being transported in the kayaks.  Gulp!  We drove to Canada on purpose so we could over-pack (due to the extremely extensive packing list we were provided with before leaving Boise).  However this little twist really caused us to par down even further and make some difficult wardrobe decisions in a hurry.

The other item we received at the meeting were wet-suit booties provided by ROW.  These booties fit snugly and are designed to always be wet with a small amount of water encased around your feet.  Your feet naturally warm the water surrounding your feet inside the booties keeping your feet relatively warm inside.  During the trip we were stepping in and out of very cold ocean water approximately knee deep many times during the day so the booties were a great addition to our kayaking trip.  The only drawback of the booties is that they smelled really awful.  Even with bleaching between guests they retain the most foul smell ever due to never being dry.  They were also a bit of a challenge to pry from your feet at the end of the day as they were almost suctioned on.

You can imagine how hard it was to decide what to pack and what to leave behind in the truck.  What I can say is that we wore everything we had with us during the six days and many items more than once not due to being dirty but due to being wet.  We also learned that cotton kills!  You must wear synthetic materials only when sea kayaking as they dry quickly (if the sun is shining).  Our packing lists contained everything from sunglasses with a strap to nylon pants and shorts to sports bras and long sleeved tops.  And don't forget your rain jacket, hat and headlamp. 

The overabundant packing list was quite the topic of discussion at camp with everyone as we learned quickly that even only half full we had to carry our own bags in the front and back storage hulls of the kayak.  We were not allowed to place any person belongings in the center storage compartment (the largest compartment on the kayak) because each kayak was carrying camp supplies and food.  In our case we had all the heavy equipment stored in our kayak like the camp stove, cooking pans, dishes, silverware, table etc.  There were no extra boats or kayaks to shuttle our belongings to and from the three camps we stayed at so it was either in one of the 10 kayaks on the trip or it got left behind.  And once everything was unpacked as you were digging for items you needed to be sure to get everything back inside because you would be moving camps and would need to have the bags ready to roll the next morning.  Adventures in packing for sure!

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