Got any unique touring tips?

Here are mine:

  1. To protect your cockpit from rain and dew at night, use a backpack rain cover. My Osprey pack cover fits my cockpit perfectly. It is much less bulky than a regular cockpit cover. I guess it might implode under the weight of a hard rain.

  2. To make a double duty knee support and pillow, cut a piece of 1" foam about 22" wide and a bit longer. Roll it up and secure it with straps or rubber bands. Can also be unrolled to make a camp seat.

  3. A roll-up firewood carrier takes up almost no space in the ends of your kayak and is really handy for gathering wood. It’s made of heavy cotton and has wooden dowels for carry handles. Rolls up about as big as your tent poles.

  4. For transporting food, get a small personal cooler that has a hard plastic insert. Use that container to transport water from the lake or river for washing dishes and bathing.

  5. To save space, carry a large (3-cup) insulated plastic mug insteal of a bowl. It will keep hot foods hot longer and doesn’t spill as easily as a bowl.

  6. LL Bean wind-up lantern (small size): Wind for 3 minutes, hang it in your tent, and it will stay on all night. Amazing.

just one
always go solo

Really? Why?
I always go solo but am a little tired of it. Looking for people to tour with.

Advantages, disadvantages of each?

advantages and disadvantages
Good first. You go as far as you want to go. If its a ten mile day and you feel like reading a book after ten miles, you can. Or you can paddle for thirty. No one to stop you. You can eat where and what you want. Its your schedule.

Bad. You talk to ants and amimals after a week. There is no point in whining as there is no one to whine to. If you fall down no one will pick you up…even if you are pinned in your boat. You have to haul water and make meals and pitch the tent and pack it up. You have to carry everything over the portages. If you are wet and cold you have to make a fire and get warm. No one is going to do that.

And if you die its up to you to realize this and activate your PLB.

For wilderness tripping, first find some
real wilderness.

The quiet pros and cons
Advantages, besides the logistical flexibility that kayamedic already listed:

Freedom to let the loose thoughts floating around inside form coherent streams without interruption, and then the freedom to write them down in your journal. You will not be seen as “antisocial” for merely introspecting or not wanting to participate in small talk. Better chances of observing shy wildlife and maybe, just maybe, truly connecting with one once in a great while. This last must be one of the greatest highs there is. The feeling of self-reliance itself.

Disadvantages, besides what kayamedic listed:

Lots of potential to dwell on negative history; too much self-critical talk drags you down, even though nobody’s around to hear it. Cooking an extra-nice camp meal seems almost pointless and so is less likely to happen. Nobody has your back, and vice versa–looking after each other is another wondrous feeling but I suppose this runs counter to my comment about self-reliance.

Looking at these paragraphs, I now see that the advantages of both modes don’t really have to be mutually exclusive. But your paddling partner would have to be your spiritual partner also. Good luck with that one…

thats not too hard for us up here
a little tougher for more folks centered in the mid and southern states.

Its pretty rare for me to see people on my trips. And the wind noise can just drive you crazy.

Its funny. I carry neither cooler, a seat is a luxury and a mug no. no firewood carrier either. Nor boat cover. Just turn the thing upside down.

I have two packs for two weeks. One a 30 liter barrel and the other a 120 Ostrom pack. If it doesnt fit in those it does not go. Plus my ditch kit that I wear as a fanny pack.

Total gear weight is around 55 lbs. Keeping it light is important to me

solo too
I carry a small bucket for filtering water. In silty areas you can fill it and let it settle out overnight. It really helps with filter life.

You could do the same with the cooler liner.

Other than that I don’t really do anything special. I keep everything extremely minimalistic, no chair, pillow, mattress, etc. For a pillow I use some of my clothes in a dry bag.

When traveling solo I was camped in a muddy cove…not my 1st choice but so it was that day.

Afraid that my boat might get stepped on by an unconcerned moose…I took half of my two piece paddle and reflective tape

propped the paddle upright in the boat

taped what looked like two eyes

a nose and a mouth on the paddle.

All night I heard moose shlopping around in that cove, but not a foot print near the boat.

course on the other hand I thought for sure I heard one of them laughing at it… but then again I had been out there for a spell…

A couple of thoughts…
I am forced to solo due to a lack of “fellow travelers” in my area. That actually works well, as I am sort of solo-minded.

But it can get lonely, and sometimes my imaginary friend is uncooperative. And then the talkig to insects starts…

I like the idea of eye-spots. I heard somewhere that large cats (panthers, mountain lions, African lions, tigers) would not attack if you were looking at them. AS I often rode a mountain bike solo at night I affixed two reflective dots to the rear of my helmet, and in the years I was doing this was never attacked by a large cat. Of course, it kept the elephants and bears away as well.

So a couple of spots on a Zav might come in handy!


There are river wildernesses all over
the Lower 48, and if some can be crowded at times, a bit of planning can leave one virtually alone on the river. Timing and choice of river sections left me almost alone on the Niobrara last year, and on the Buffalo about two weeks ago.

What slightly gets my goat is that this board is titled BWCA and Beyond, but the runs discussed are often almost suburban.

Probably that’s what most gets paddled
agree there isn’t too much beyond and this site is not a great resource if your “beyond” really is.

thats where the beyond is
suburban areas are everywhere. Stealth camping is something that has become common for the tripper. If you take any kind of trip more than a day long in the lower 48, you WILL run into a populated area. Knowing how to deal with that is an important a skill as any other. Just because it is a wilderness does not mean there will not be others in it, even others that own land there.

Well, it’s not that bad. I’ve run
rivers like the San Juan and Dolores where you CAN go several days without passing any kind of settlement.

#6 ?
are you afraid of the dark. it stays on all night?

For #6
you can get the solar powered LED accent lights. They are about 5 bucks, and stay on all night. I am going to take a couple on my next trip. Too much starin’ at the sun made me night blind, and I need light around camp. Just stick them in the ground and they turn on when it gets dark.

to me wilderness is where if you

– Last Updated: May-06-10 3:59 PM EST –

do something dumb and lack a communication device, the animals will be the first to find your body.

That pretty much precludes most of the US as boats dont do well in sagebrush.

Never stealth camped. Why not ask the landowner for permission? If someones asks me if they can camp on my shoreline thats fine. If I find them there I call the sheriff.

Not to start a controversy, but first,
it can be very difficult to locate an owner. Second, I have a philosophical objection to the notion that an “owner” should be able to control any use of streamside gravel bars, etc.

The real enemy of both paddlers and owners are impromptu campers who go beyond the bounds of respect and common sense.

Yeah, all night
Gets sort of dim around 3 a.m., so I just rewind it.

I was just thinking a light might keep the animals away . . . or attract their curiosity, I’m not sure which.

Naw, I ain’t scared o the dark. Well, maybe just a bit.

The LL Bean is also solar powered
It runs on 3 power sources: winding, sun, and electric charger.