Is kayak camping fun, or a hassle?

When I do a wilderness kayak camping trip, I always ask myself is this worth the hassle. When I look at a picture like the one above, the answer is easily yes.

That said, having done traveling for kayak surfing, there are distinct joys that take place, like surfing glassy six foot waves with dolphins. This is followed by returning to a warm, dry, hotel for cocktails and a nice dinner.

Sea kayak trips involve packing 150 pounds of camping gear into tiny hatches, paddling miles and miles along shoreline, to unpack, set-up camp, eat dinner, and then go to bed, and start the cycle all over again. You’re out there with the snakes and bugs sweating and being eaten alive, or worse trying to cook oatmeal in the frozen rain. And for what you might ask?

Well, hard to believe but the picture above explains it all. This is why I do it.

The other part is the camaraderie, the suffering when shared is actually funny, and part of why I do it. It’s hard to explain, but most of the paddling friendships I’ve made were cemented in mutual misery. Camping in cold rain, hiding from bugs, eating freeze dried food makes friendships that last a long, long time.

With the right people I would go about anywhere in a kayak.

How about you?


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  2. Ray, looking forward to the north shore of superior.

  3. Absolutely. Without question. Camping in a campground filled with too small sites and too noisy neighbors doesn’t come close to the sound of the waves and the privacy of a nice secluded landing.

  4. I usually don’t ask myself if it’s worth the hassle; I have yet to regret a single kayak-camping trip!

    Perhaps I’ve been lucky so far and have managed to avoid really awful and dreadful weather. For me that’s usually what makes or breaks a kayak camping trip. If the weather forecast is good, we head out. If it’s not, we hold off. That’s not to say that we haven’t put up with storms or cold rainy weather on a week-long trip, simply that it’s been less frequent than days when the weather is nice.

    Planning & preparing a trip is half the fun & challenge, the other half is taking everything out & putting it back into the kayak every time we lift our camping spot to another location. Seriously though, sharing memorable sights & adventures with other kayaking partners is what it’s all about. For every kayak-camping trip I’ve made over the years, I still have clear memories of each one and even clearer pictures to share with others who weren’t fortunate enough to join us on the trip.

    There is something to be said about being able to confront ocean-like conditions in a single-person self-propelled boat while being self-sufficient in remote locations, places where even the older versions of the iPhone lose the signal 🙂