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FOR KAYAKERS

Three blogs on kayaking the inside passage:

kayak-insidepassage.blogspot.com (the blog of my trip)

bcrpaddle.blogspot.com
peacenic.blogspot.com

 

Arrow BulletCorrections, updates and additions to Miller

Arrow BulletShipping

Arrow BulletGear List

Arrow BulletFood List

 

Corrections, updates and additions to Miller

 

I highly recommend bringing along the Miller guidebook (you can cut you the sections of it and only carry what is necessary for a given leg). But of course campsites wash away, businesses close and other things happen, so I noted updates and additions that may be of use (of course these are also likely to be out of date as well).

  • It looks like No sign of harwood Pt Park, but the Shelter Bay Park is on Harwood Point and is the campground for Gillies BayDavie Bay Campground may be closed (private property signs)
  • Church House has fallen down
  • Big Bay resort was sold and is now private. The community dock and store are being rebuilt and you can radio for permission to camp there if store is open. $10 “moorage” and $5 for a shower (which gets you important toilet access).
  • Deer Island – you need permission to camp here from the Kwakiutl. The sign alerting you to this gives a phone number and hours, but I got there after hours and didn’t write down the number to share, maybe ask in Alert Bay. This is worth doing because I couldn’t find a tolerable site on Peel Island despite Miller’s raving.
  • Seequest Adventures may not be open any longer (they weren’t open “yet” for the season in June), but you can still find a place to camp near the ferry terminal.
  • Yes Rescue Bay campsite, go to gravel beach (I don’t know what I was referring to here)
  • Green Inlet camp – land at the ledge west of the camp and walk over on path. This is an extremely tough solo launch at lowtide (which you want so that you have current assist departing)
  • Butedale is awesome, it offers rooms for $20
  • The ledge camp north of Butedale had a waterfall cascading over it as I went past, plus landing or launching here solo except at high tide seems well nigh impossible
  • Gribbel Island past Pt Cumming, yes there is a sandy beach to land on, but the camping options are dismal here because it’s an overgrown former clearcut, not recommended.
  • Calling the 800 # for US Customs isn’t helpful unless you have a Nexus card, but the Ketchikan office was helpful (note: I remember that one of the numbers that’s listed both in the text and in the index is incorrect, typo)
  • Once in Ketchikan, you call Customs (I called from the harbormaster’s office) and they come to you (they made me wait on the dock in the pouring rain)
  • In Meyers Chuck, the school is now a private residence
  • No cabin (just pilings, bad place to camp) in Santa Anna Inlet
  • Glacier Bay lodge no longer has a cheaper dorm accomodation (just camp)
  • On getting back to Juneau from Glacier Bay: if you can get to Hoonah, you can take a ferry from there. With some asking around and a generous price, I hired a boat to take me to Hoonah. With lots of asking around in Hoonah, I did not find a good place to camp (you cannot camp at the ferry terminal), I camped across the street on the side of the road, next to the cemetery.

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Shipping

If you decide to ship yourself your dry foods (which worked really well for me), here are the addresses I used. International shipping was expensive, especially because somehow it had to be sent priority even when sent with a two week lead time. I marked each package with "Please hold for Inside Passage Kayaker". Which I’m not sure if that made any difference, but it made me feel better.

 

In no particular order:

 

General Delivery/Poste Restante
Port Hardy, BC
VON 2PO
CANADA

General Delivery
3609 Tongass AVE
Ketchikan, AK 99901

 

General Delivery
1201 Haugen DR
Petersburg, AK 99833-9800

 

General Delivery
Federal Station
709 W 9th ST
Juneau, AK 99801

 

*note if you don’t want to go out of your way (~3 nm) to Shearwater resort, address to Waglisla for Bella Bella

General Delivery/Poste Restante
Shearwater, B.C.
V0T 1B0
Canada

 

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Gear List

  • Current Designs Solstice GT kevlar kayak with rudder
  • Paddle
  • Spare paddle
  • PFD
  • Spray skirt
  • Pump Paddle float
  • Whistle
  • Fog horn
  • Flares
  • Signaling mirror
  • VHF radio and charger
  • Dry top (I rarely used it, but my idea was to use it in conditions where it was more likely I would capsize, I ended up ripping the wrist gasket)
  • Wet suit (wish I’d gotten one with a pee zip)
  • Booties
  • Sealskinz waterblocker socks – these were awesome, for the first weeek, then they started to stink incredibly (just ask Warren), then then after another week, they started to leak. Not designed for continuous wear. If I had oodles of money and no issues about waste, I would have resupplied a new pair of these with each resupply box.
  • Neoprene socks (had these mailed to me after sealskinz started failing)
  • Pogies
  • Paddle jacket
  • Repair kit: multitool, screw driver, rudder cable, parts, neoprene repair goo, spare drip ring, thermarest patch kit, duct tape
  • Whisperlite International stove, expedition repair kit
  • 3 fuel bottles (2 large, 1 medium which is still stuck in the bow of my boat)
  • fire paste
  • MSR Classic Alpine pot set, plus one smaller pot – could do without the larger one, but I enjoy having options for cooking.
  • Fork/spoon/knife nested set
  • Pasta strainer
  • Waterproof matches
  • Lighter (Warren made me get a 2nd one to have in my deck bag)
  • Jack knife
  • Cutting board (6” cut off a thin one)
  • Sponge (1” cut off one with a scrubby side, all you need really is the scrubby)
  • Small bottle Dr. Brauner’s soap
  • Mug
  • Skortchbuster (thanks to Byron and Maren for recommending this – it made a huge difference)
  • Water bags – 10 L MSR dromedary bag (rinse out multiple times before using, it left a horrible taste to the water), handy 3 gallon-ish clear bag with red nozzle
  • 2 1-Liter size nalgene water bottles
  • Water filter/purifier
  • Iodine tablets for backup
  • Bear hang setup: 2 lines, pulley, small stuff sack – thanks to Jim for explaining his setup to me
    2 Carabiners
  • Candle lantern – didn’t use much, sent back
  • LED headlamp
  • Thermarest sleeping pad – full size
  • Thermarest to chair maker
  • Sleeping bag
  • REI half dome – 2 person tent – for the amount of time I spent in my tent, I was very happy for the extra room
  • Green tarp 6x8, +2 lines to hang
  • Clothes: thick fleece jacket, thin fleece jacket, 2 polypro long sleeve shirts, 1 non-cotton t-shirt, 1 non-cotton tank top, 1 cotton t-shirt, fleece pants, cargo hiking pants that zip to shorts (cargo pocket was great for carry around bear spray), thick fleece long johns, thin silk long johns, rain pants, 2 pr non-cotton hiking socks, 1 pr thin wool socks, 2 pr underwear, 2 gladrags, thick hat (sent back), thin hat, OR seattle sombrero (rain/sun hat), fleece strip as an earwarmer to go with the rainhat, 2 bathing suits, fleece gloves, 1 bra, sneakers
  • Med kit: OR backpackers med kit, 3 months worth of painkillers (what was I thinking? you can resupply, bring 2 weeks worth), Hiblicans soap, prescription Cipro (someone had recommended carrying antibiotics just in case, my doctor was reluctant to prescribe generally until it occurred to her that I could get a urinary tract infection, and lo and behold, I was ever so happy to have it when I did), birth control pills (I don’t menstrate when on the pill, one less thing to deal with in the wilderness, made a huge difference), extra moleskin, bandaids, anti-itch stuff (bug-eeze or such), lotion, ear plugs, gas x, antibiotic cream
  • Personal: toothpaste, travel toothbrush, hair brush, floss,
  • Bug spray with deet
  • Sun block (if you’re picky like I am, send refills in your resupply)
  • Lip sun block
  • Trusty orange trowel
  • Bear spray – must be labeled for bears for Canadian customs
  • 1/2 size bear cannister – full size wouldn’t fit in my hatch, but my idea was that if a bear got my bear hang, I’d still have something to eat
  • Books – see book list
  • ipod and charger
  • Harmonica
  • Charts
  • GPS – ran on AA batteries, spare batteries
  • Satellite phone and charger
  • Little pruning saw (the one I got wasn’t much better than the one on my jack knife)
  • Dry bags – all the new ones I got I made sure had no PVC, 9 or 10 total
  • Deck bag – also not PVC
  • Map case
  • Deck compass
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook
  • Small write-in-the-rain pad
  • Stamps – postcard and letter, some envelopes would have been handy in the resupply boxes
  • 2 pens
  • Talisman (passed from Lisa O to me, between women Inside Passage kayakers before us)
  • Passport, wallet, drivers license, money (small bills for southern campsites), credit card, ATM card, change (for laundry)
  • Camera – I got a waterproof digital one so I wouldn’t worry about it getting wet, multiple memory cards so I could mail back along the way, spare battery and charger
  • Couple extra stuff sacks

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Food List