I am planning to solo kayak the Missouri river starting at the headwaters at Three Forks, MT in early June. I am a little concerned about availability of water and food resupply from about Fort Benton to around Bismark, ND. I also have some concerns paddling all the lakes after Fort Benton, MT…remote areas, little re-supply and I was told the winds can get pretty bad on the lakes. Can someone give me some advice/pointers to safely get through this “wild” part of the river?
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paddling the missouri
Just my opinion, but I would want more than a 14’ kayak if doing the Missouri solo with no land based support. It is certainly possible, but a little more room for food and water and the odd luxury is nice. The Lakes are a challenge. The wind can blow and blow and the waves get steep and short. To resupply from a town, one usually has to leave ones boat and walk some distance. I contacted various Marinas and they willingly accepted resupply parcels that they hel for my arrival. You can filter water on the lakes, though the further you go the more likely to encounter Ag chemical run off. I found it harder to get water on the section below Kansas City than anywhere else. But there are a lot of good folks who will get you water if you ask. Email me if you like or you can see my postings on TrailJournals.com (2013 Missouri River), or go to Missouri River Paddlers FB page. I would strongly advise posting on the MRP page as you will be in touch with a great many people who live along the river and who will help you out.
Missouri river trip
I have been planning to do the Fort Benton to James Kipp camp ground for a while now. I’m also going in June, and also going in a 14 ft. kayak. I can carry 30 days worth of food and 6 day of water.
On this trip I’m going to leave behind some extra cloths to carry more water, because the rangers I have talked to said the water even in the upper Missouri can’t be filtered. So carrying enough water is going to be the big problem.
Maybe I will see on the river good luck.
Share and Enjoy
PS this is also a river you have to carry waste management equipment.
I paddled the Wild and Scenic portion in 1999. We filtered our water for a week. Sure there is sediment in the river, so settle it before pumping. You can use a flocculating agent to take out more of the fine sediment that tends to stay in suspension. That takes care of water.
There a few places to re-supply food but not many. I would want a large capacity boat with plenty of room for just in case rations. You can pack an awful lot of dehydrated food in an 18 foot kayak.
The lakes like CM Russell Reservoir are a problem because they get windy often and long reaches have steep sides with nowhere to go ashore. You better chose a seaworthy boat and practice with a spray skirt. Learn to roll if you can. It is possible you get caught out there in a blow even watching the weather. It is one of the reasons more people don’t run that section very often. Good luck.