Everglades paddling...

For now, just beginning to plan. Won’t be this year.

But, for those of you who have taken a sea kayak around the SW corner of Florida, how does one pack enough water for the trip?

What works, what doesn’t?



in a canoe, no problemo, just pack in a hard sided container. in a kayak, i have used platypus and nalgene bladders. they pack well in the hatches and as they are used take up little space. be sure to try and pay attention to the trim of your boat when loading. water is quite heavy at 8 pounds/gallon. an issue is RACOONS! be sure your hatches are strapped shut at night or the coons will pull the hatch cover off and get your water. they are bold, ingenious, and plentiful. turning your boat over, so that the hatches are down against the ground will also help deter them. good luck. -harry

Get some water bags.
I have some Ortlieb bags, but MSR makes good ones too. I managed to fit 6.5 Gallons in my Kajak Sport Millennium, a medium volume boat, for a Chokoloskee to Flamingo trip. I packed a single 2.5 gal bag in the aft compartment, two 2 gal bags in my day hatch, one 1 gal bag in front of the foot pegs and one in my bow compartment. Other gear fits in around these bags pretty easily. I hate having gear on my deck, but with this system, I only had one small food bag on deck for a couple of days and my spare paddle of course.

You can stretch your water by using salt water for washing and a mix of fresh and salt for boiling pasta.

Keep your water protected from raccoons. On the island sites, they will gnaw through containers, even thick plastic ones.

Here’s a suggestion…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-07 12:08 PM EST –

from an old canoeist who's been there, done that many times. Carry as much as you can comfortably and plan on camping at an inland site for one night somewhere around the halfway point of your trip (Camp Lonesome, Willy-Willy, Lostmans Five, etc.) and replentish your freshwater supply there (don't forget to sterilize it before you drink it). I usually have to paddle a few miles further inland for good freshwater but South Florida has had a good amount of rainfall this winter so you should be able to use the water close to the campsites.
Be wary of the gators in the area. Some have become dangerous due to human habituation. Don't swim or dump fish offal near camp.
For other useful tips for paddling the area email me. You'll be glad you did!