This may be a long shot, but I’m looking for a paddling/camping partner. I’ve been wanting to get up to Isle Royale National Park for years, and it’s about time to go! I’m looking at taking a ferry there with my kayak and gear, then roughing it from there. Likely a 4-5 day trip. I’m experienced in all sorts of water, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. However, I spent many years in the US Coast Guard so I’m also no stranger to being prepared! Last summer, I discovered my newfound love of backcountry camping, and am so excited to combine that with kayaking.
I’m not looking at doing any ridiculous distances by any means. I THINK I’ve got scouted a couple areas to explore, but am always open to suggestions. This is why I’m planning so far ahead, because hardly anyone I know has been there…gotta do my research!
Here’s the deal. I am more than capable of doing this trip alone. I carry GPS, VHF, EPIRB, etc when paddling. But last summer I had a scary experience with a mountain lion in Montana and as much as I enjoy the solitude, I know my wife would be much happier if I wasn’t alone for this trip. I’m 41 years old, have about 30 years experience paddling, and absolutely love the wild. I’m really easy to get along with and try like hell not to take myself too serious. I’m not the shape I was in at 19, but I can still crank out miles in a kayak or on a trail when I have to. Most of the time, my favorite thing to do outdoors is sit and be still. I live in the middle of Illinois (please don’t laugh) near the Illinois river and am always happy to meet up for some introductory paddling any time!
Here’s my ideal paddling partner:
- he/she is nice and does NOT LITTER
- he/she must be ok with being wet, dirty, tired, cold, etc…for extended periods of time.
- he/she is self sufficient in the outdoors. Now, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls, but you do need to possess at least rudimentary wilderness skills.
- he/she knows what to do when there is no bathroom available.
- he/she can keep a cool head when things don’t work out as planned. As with any wilderness trip, things always go wrong. If you can keep your wits about you when adverse things happen, I like you already!
- he/she is able to leave politics and radical beliefs at home. I completely understand finding a paddling partner that believes in everything I do is impossible. It may come to be that the ONLY thing we have in common is our love of the outdoors. I’m fine with that. Who knows, maybe we can teach each other a thing or two.
- he/she is pretty squared away on their gear. Easy, Rambo, you really don’t need an 11" survival knife in Northern Michigan.
Ideal time frame for this trip would be July or August of 2022. While I’m looking for a partner, I’d go with a couple so long as they fit into the criteria of “ideal paddling partner”. Reach out to me and let’s set up this trip! Looking forward to making new friends.