Why I Combine Kayaking With Backpacking

A few of my reasons for backpacking, adventuring these past 60 years has been just that, adventure. I enjoy the unsureness of what’s around the next turn, what’s over the next hill. I also enjoy the feeling of self sufficiency. The feeling that I am totally self dependent.

In a world where our society wants to protect us from everything and provide a program for any unforeseen event in our life, it’s a good feeling to know that all you have is yourself.

And, of course I love the loneliness of solo backpacking. I don’t carry any gadgets with me such as cell phones, iPads, GPS’s, etc. I love to be alone with “it” and me. Observing, planning and overcoming the next challenge on the trail. I was introduced to the Kindle this year and that has lightened my backpack load some. Instead of carrying a book I now carry my Kindle for reading at night or if I decide to make a stop during the day.

Most of my backpacking is done in the late fall to early spring… My kayak camping extends from spring until fall. Finding deserted beaches and sandbars is pretty easy in my coastal area.

So what has this all to do with kayak backpacking? My kayak adds a wonderful new dimension to backpacking or camping. And, if your health will not allow you to make long hikes, kayaking is another way you can get out on your own. I plan my kayaking trips just like my hiking trip. Weather, supplies and a flight plan.

Most sea kayaks have a sizable compartment space for a two night trip. Tent and a sleeping bag fit comfortably and I still have plenty of room for fresh water. Fresh water is always a problem when you have to carry it on your back all day long. And along the coastal waterways fresh water can be scarce.

Three days is plenty for me in a kayak all day. I find my destination, pack up and off I go. Paddling along to my destination I stop when I am cramped or tired. Have my lunch on some beach or sandbar and continue on until evening. I like to be at a campsite with plenty of time to set up camp.

So, when I do reach my campsite. I secure my kayak, pitch my tent and prepare for supper and a good nights rest. Most beaches have a ready supply of driftwood which makes for a quick and ready fire. Remember the bug spray if you are out in the summertime. Another reason I prefer late fall and early spring no bugs and the motor boaters haven’t taken to the water yet.