Desolation Sound

Arty shot of kayaks on the beach

Erica and I talked for a long time about going on a paddling trip in Haida Gwaii.  Our preliminary research showed really high costs, kind of sketchy water conditions that require some chart reading skills, and guiding options that require advance booking.  So, we decided for our first kayak camping trip we should try something a bit less tricky: desolation sound on the sunshine coast.

Over 200 km from Vancouver to Lund.  Thanks for driving, Erica!

Over 200 km from Vancouver to Lund. Thanks for driving, Erica!

 

It had been such a lovely warm summer in BC that we felt assured of a week of swimming, suntans, and busy boat traffic up the inlets. We ended up getting the most precipitation of the summer, but it meant we had our own private islands for some of the time (and we still got to go swimming).

All packed up and ready to go!

All packed up and ready to go!

Even for a shorter, less-involved trip, there was quite a lot of preparation that went into it. We divided to conquer: I took care of food and Erica took care of maps and wayfinding (and driving). I was so happy to see ocean and mountains that I didn’t care specifically where we went, and Erica is so easygoing that she was willing to eat whatever I made.

It takes two ferries to get there, but what lovely scenery!

It takes two ferries to get there, but what lovely scenery!

If you want it to stay dry, it needs to be in a drybag

If you want it to stay dry, it needs to be in a drybag

I needed some new equipment (bigger drybag, compass, egg holder, condiment bottles, water treatment), but Erica had quite a lot already: a stove, pots, awesome tent, and a ton of tarps. We rented kayaks for the week from MEC (so reasonable!) and that included boats, paddles, paddle floats, lifejackets, sprayskirts, pump bailers and throw ropes. We also brought water and water treatment (and TP!) with us, since we were doing the kind of wilderness camping where there are no electrical plugins or showers or taps. Each of us carried more than 15 L since we were prepared for hot weather – freakin’ heavy! We ended up not needing it all, and fortunately we also did not need the bear spray that Erica bought (no carnivores bigger than seals on this trip). However, our first night spent on the mainland was a bit less restful than the ones on small islands, since I was listening.

Our first camp kitchen

Our first camp kitchen

Meals went pretty well, and certainly conserved on fuel since most was the home-dehydrated add-boiling-water-and-wait kind. Although vegetarian it was certainly flavourful and spicy, and I think maybe just as well we were on small bear-free islands. Here are some menu items:

  1. Falafel and Moroccan Couscous with chick peas and apricots
  2. Black bean chili
  3. Curried lentils with roti
  4. Thai coconut curry
  5. Bipimbap: Korean spicy cabbage and egg with rice
  6. Just-add-water walnut and cherry museli (it has powdered milk mixed in)

I think most of these things would work well as traveling-athlete meals too since most hotels have a kettle, but you’d want to make sure your body was used to eating them.  T&T superstore was a surprise venue for a lot of ingredients: coconut milk powder, miso soup powder, and kim chi (which doesn’t really need refrigeration in the short term like they say).

A later camp kitchen, clearly we are getting better at this

A later camp kitchen, clearly we are getting better at this

There were a few lessons learned I think we can apply to the next trip (Haida? Broken Islands?), including our updated packing list. Thing we brought that was unexpectedly useful: bailing sponge. Thing I most wish I bought: thermos (everything cools down quick in the coastal winds). For next time:

  1. Thermos
  2. Stove
  3. Pots
  4. Waterproof matches
  5. Face Cloth
  6. Fibre towel
  7. Bear Spray
  8. Water jug
  9. Sleeping pad
  10. Sleeping bag
  11. Small pillow
  12. Scrubber
  13. Hatchet
  14. Dish Soap
  15. Tarps
  16. Straps/rope
  17. Tent
  18. Sponge
  19. TP
  20. Tin Foil wind block
  21. BBQ lighter
  22. Deet
  23. Sunscreen
  24. Flashlight
  25. Map
  26. Map bag (ziplock)
  27. Chopping board
  28. Utensils/bowls
  29. Metal Whisking Fork/flipper
  30. Water bottle
  31. Garbage bag
  32. Dry bags
  33. Waterproof camera
  34. Toque
  35. Flare
  36. Radar Reflector
  37. Tide Charts
  38. Marine GPS
  39. Life Jacket
  40. Reading material

Scenery shots and wildlife report are coming soon!

The view of Erica from my boat

The view of Erica from my boat

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