Lynn Canal, Alaska Summer trips

Over the past 10 years my wife and I have kayaked about 1200 miles a summer here in Southeast Alaska. This summer we decided to explore more close to home. So far we’ve taken three week-long trips leaving from and returning to a local boat ramp here in Juneau, Alaska. We finished the most recent trip yesterday with two consecutive 25 nautical mile days of paddling under sunny skies and blistering hot 75 degree weather. Brutal. The previous trips were rain mixed with drizzle. I prefer the latter.

Our gear is pretty much what we carry in our packs in the winter. We use silnylon tarps for sleeping and a kitchen space, bivies for sleeping. We do, of course, have water related gear for safety such as PFDs, flares, VHF radios and ditch bags. We also carry a larger and heavier cooking pot ( all meals cooked over a fire) and some heavier meals. And there is a Mossberg Marine finish shotgun with a pistol grip that has traveled on every kayak trip over the past 20 years from Greenland to here. (We had our first bear in camp in years this trip, but it did what all Brown Bears do when asked sternly to leave. It left, quickly. So, still the shotgun has only been used once in all these years and that to let a polar bear know we were not a good choice for his lunch.)

They are kayaks after all, they do float and move through the water a lot easier than we do moving over windfall in the forest - where I will be satisfied with my bear spray. Still, even with the few extra items our boats are light enough to carry loaded up to the grass with a weeks worth of food and gear in each.

Much of this is due to the conversations I’ve had with friends about carrying ultralight gear and reducing the amount of stuff in our kayaks and backpacks. There are no crazy creek chairs, 6lb tents, two pots, etc.

Anyone else going lighter and, as a result, faster/longer?

Images from the past week at

Outstanding Photos…
Thanks for posting.