Long Kayak Trip

I am relatively new to kayaking and me and a couple of my friends want to do a long kayak trip. About how many miles can we make it on flat water, there and back in about a week.

What sort of water? And you realize
the answer must be modified in light of conditions that pertain at the time.

impossible to answer precisely
it’s going to depend on your physical & mental ability and stamina, types of boats being paddled, weather/wind, tides, etc.

generally speaking, 10-15 miles a day is easily doable.

Two words
Guided trip.

Depends on who is paddling.

How far can you paddle in one day without being completly wore out at the end? Use that as a gauge for multiday paddles.

In solo boats, my wife and I can cover at LEAST 26 miles of flatwater in 5-6 hours. A little less if the wind is against us. More miles if we are in a tandem. Less miles if we are with a group.

But we do long paddles every weekend, so we’ve built a little bit of endurance.

I think the 10-15 miles previously mentioned may be right on the button for you.

For a multi day trip I would also suggest that you plan to finish 2/3 of your total trip distance in half of your aloted time. This will give you a time buffer to make up for any unexpected delays.

Do at least one long day trip first
Go out and paddle a 15-25 mile day trip in the boat you plan to take on your long trip, and see how you feel the next day. Get the boat out on the water the next day, and paddle a few more. That will give you a better idea about what you can handle, and if you are in the right boat.

Setting off on a multi-day kayak trip without spending some serious time in your boat is like deciding to run a marathon in a new pair of shoes. A potentially very bad idea.

Long Trip?
For me 25-30 is relatively easy the first couple of days. I start to get a little worn down after that. I think after a few days you might get in to your on comfort zone. I think paddling as far as you could physically go day after day would get old.

Didn’t you know
everyone on the internet can paddle 25 miles a day. Hell, on a good day on the internet, I do 50!

Thank You Islanders!

I agree with Celia
a guided trip for your first week long outing would be a better intro to long distance kayak camping. A guide will show you how to prepare for the trip, what to bring, how much water and food to provide, at least one or two sessions to develop paddling skills, wet exits and cold water survival techniques or hot weather, such as South Florida. The guide will take you to a beautiful place and tell you about the history, ecology and environment of the place. The guide will introduce you to campsites and camping techinques developed over years of training and experience.

At the very least you should develop a training program weeks in advance, including aerobic, weights and yoga. Trying to ‘toughen up on the trail’ is a bad idea.

At least a two day class in proper strokes. The difference between a good forward stroke and a bad one is about 2 miles per hour and 4 more hours per day. Arm paddling exhausts you before noon.

Choose kayaks wisely for the conditions you will be paddling. Really flat water with few turns and a need for speed is much different from rock gardens and surf landings or downriver through rapids and technical water.

As mentioned before, full day trips, especially with the paddlers in your group, are a good way to practice and get to know each other. Pick your crew with care. they should have the same energy and abilities as you have, or greater. Otherwise you’re going to get frustrated with their inabilities.

it also depends on your boat.
a 16’ sea kayak will go much farther and faster while carrying a heavier load than will my 12’ Dirago on the same water.

What I do is set my GPS on the deck adjusted for speed-of-travel and zero out my track-log. Then I load the boat and do laps across a local fishing lake (about 1/2 mile end to end).

I do a normal, casual paddle that I can keep up for hours, occasionally stopping to look at the birds or occasionally speeding up to fight the wind or get away from an irate fisherman or such.

When i am tired, I check both and find that I can easily do 3 mph in my loaded Dirago (3.5 when empty) so over four hours (my max non-stop paddle) I can do 12 miles before I need to stop to rest.

Then I can do another 10-12 miles before I have to set up camp.

Of course, there are a hundred factors that cause me to change this:

  1. i find a nice beach at 14 miles so do I stop there or keep on and hope i can find something better?
  2. will I stop and rest and relax often or keep on to reach the camp site before dark?
  3. wind and current?
  4. that cute chick going the same way in a slower or faster boat.
  5. etc.

    So I assume 10 miles a day even though I KNOW I can easily double that if I must.

what’s your point?
what’s your point?

18ft boats

good solid forward stroke

consistant stroke rate.

26.2 miles inland lake with no current 4:46:53 in a Q700. Ann at 5:32:11 in her Prijon Kodiak. That’s our benchmark. what’s yours?

better answer
Better answer than mine. :slight_smile: