In this post Jeff and I will discuss what gear we are taking on our expedition to the Great Calusa Blueway and the reasons for what we are taking. Also to update our readers on the most recent developments in planning for the trip.
Well it looks like we will be paddling Greenlander Pro Kayaks made by Nigel Dennis Sea Kayaking UK –
Which Russell Farrow of Sweetwater Kayaks has so graciously provided for our traveling pleasure. We chose these boats because they are first and foremost very expedition proven, as well as F-A-S-T and have quite a bit of room for all our needed gear. Guess what – they are modeled after designs used in West Greenland for hundreds of years, making them the closest we could get to paddling a native style watercraft in modern materials with the exception of a skin-on-frame style kayak that would have to have been custom made.
Jeff is taking the idea of going native literally by paddling his Greenlander Pro with a Greenland paddle for most of the trip. And Sean will just be going wild as usual! Surprisingly that 2 by 4 looking paddle is very efficient on the water. Granted Jeff will also have his Lendal paddle for the days we go kayak surfing.
The weather in September down on the Cultural/Paradise Coast usually is between 74 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit with the average being about 82-84 degrees. Due to this fact it will not be necessary to have a lot of cold weather gear and therefore we can go prepared for anything with a lot less clothing and gear. That being said here is the current list of gear we are taking and some of the food ideas we have so far. Of course the list could change should conditions change or the wind blow a different direction- Ha Ha Ha!!!
|Jeff’s PADDLING GEAR
|Sean’s PADDLING GEAR
So that pretty much gives everyone the majority of the list of our gear. At first glance you may notice that it appears we are taking 3 sleep systems this is not an accident. Jeff is taking a tent and fly and there is not one in my gear list- that is because it is a 3 man tent and that is the one we will be sharing if need be. You will also notice the hammock and bug nets- these are great for quick set-up and are nice & cool to sleep in granted there are trees to hang them in. The third system would be a basic bivy bag for a quicker alternative to bedding down where there are no trees and very limited space or sand for a tent. Lets not forget a couple of nights will be spent in Bed/Breakfast Inns and at the cottages at Bokeelia hopefully- still waiting to see if they will host us.
Now as for fresh drinking & cooking water we are only going to take 4 liter bladders because we should have areas to refill with fresh water every couple of days and the two canteens should keep us sufficiently hydrated- remember we are not going to be out of reach of freshwater for any major length of time. If we needed to we could always purify/filter water if need be but we won’t have to. We ARE GOING TO TRY to de-salinate seawater by means of evaporation though while we are there on the trip as an experiment and to try something “Native”.
As far as food we will be doing instant oatmeals for the majority of our mornings because it is easy to fix, tastes pretty good if you can get enough different varieties and most of all is GOOD FUEL and good for the Heart!! Lunches are going to consist of canned tuna, peanut butter and Lance crackers and cheeses all good sources of protein and carbohydrates. Dinners will be Mountain House gourmet freeze-dried backpackers type meals- most are around 320 to 380 calories a meal. This will of course be supplemented by junk food snacking and trail mix (gorp). Jeff plans on fishing for dinner (Native skills) at least once and I am sure we will find some fresh fruits or veggies at some small store along the way, not to mention food at a Bed and Breakfast at some point. We plan on being totally self supportive though just in case – we will not starve for sure!
Clothing will be fairly light as it will probably be quite comfortable temperatures wise- shorts and paddling shirts during the day with plenty of sun protection for our skin-i.e. sunscreen, hats, and buffs/bandanna to block exposed areas. Remember exposed sunburn skin equates to chills when wet and the wind blows (hypothermia). Yes even in 80-90 degree weather you can still get chilled and shiver! Camp clothing will be camp long pants or sweatpants with dry long sleeve breathable wool shirt. Lets not forget the foul weather gear- Rain/splash hooded jacket and rain/splash pants with fleece cap.
The last things I want to mention are the tidbits- notice all the standard open water safety gear i.e.- Flares, Dye packs, glow sticks, pump, paddle float, rolling/rescue skills, Smoke flares, EPIRB, whistles, lights, signal mirrors, cellphones, et cetera, oh and last but not least training and common sense. Also wanted to mention the reason for 3 stoves. Jeff and I had a stove go down on us on our last expedition that is the need for backups and also each one cooks stuff a little differently.
While most of the gear on the list is tried and true for us and is pretty self explanatory remember to survive you need: clean fresh water for drinking, shelter & proper clothing to escape/deal with the environment, food to fuel you and the kayak and last but not least someone to share it with. Jeff and I think we have the essentials covered. Please feel free to give advice by commenting to the post- does not mean we will take the advice but we are open to hearing it!! Hope everyone enjoys reading the newest post and the 4th and final posting in the Tribal Tides series will be out on Wednesday the 14th of September just before we leave for the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail! Tribal Tides 4 : “Lost Thoughts”- to cover the last few days thoughts and arrangements before leaving!
– Jeff & Sean
PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT ABOUT CROW- CLINIC FOR WILDLIFE REHAB!!!!
THEY NEED OUR HELP AND LETS GET THOSE DONATIONS GOING- SO HEALING BEGINS FLOWING TO OUR WILDLIFE!!!!
P.S. Those travels pillows are really cool- they are made by Grand Trunk and stuff down to the size of a soft ball!