Gear – Weighed and Measured

Everything together in the dive bag (except for those items noted as ‘not shown’) weighs approx. 28 lbs. This leaves me some room for the remainder of my gear, plus water (approx 29 lbs with all 13 liters of capacity filled), plus food (5-8lbs per week?). Depending on how much my food weighs once I put it together, I may mail a box of goodies to myself to one of the little towns around Cape Flattery.

The total weight of all supplies combined will impact which of two boat designs I eventually build: the smaller, more effecient F1, or the longer, larger capacity, faster, yet increased drag LPB. Based on the description of the F1’s benefits, I really hope to build that design. However, with a 170lb person plus 110 lbs of gear, it has very little freeboard, and could present problems if I were to capsize, fail to roll, and am then forced to pump out the boat and re-enter in rough seas. To partially answer this qualm I broke down and purchased a sea sock.


Geared Up

The following is a description of the kit that I have assembled to provide me with shelter, safety, and nourishment for a 2-4 week journey on the Pacific Coast of these United States. Because I will be traveling solo and unsupported, I must tote more in equipment/food/water than I would if this were a shorter trip, I were traveling in a group, or there were resupply points.

I already have a well-tested set of backpacking gear, so I turned to the following kayak-specific resources to round it out.

In the following two photos my gear is displayed (1) laid out on the floor, and (2) in a mesh dive-gear bag. Not included in the picture is: food, water, drysuit, hand pump, paddle float, tow rope setup (I’m making my own – more about that in a later post), hand-troll line, pogies, VHF radio, sleeping bag, tarp, and sea sock. Also, since I have to fly to Oregon and then build the kayak, I am taking tools, which are also in the picture. Any extraneous items, including tools, will be mailed home before I set out to sea.

Gear displayed
Gear displayed

Rain layer – jacket and pants
Top fleece layer – jacket and pants
Wool baselayer (heavy) – top and bottom
Poly baselayer (light) – top and bottom
Socks (4 heavy wool & 4 light poly)
Gloves – (1) rubberized work gloves, (1) warm camp gloves
Beanies – (1) poly hat, (1) large poly hat
Shoes – (1) running shoes, (1) neoprene dive boots
Drysuit (not shown)
Pogies (not shown)
Underwear (2 outdoor fabric, 2 nice)

Land Use
Shelter: Tent, groundcloth, poles, stakes, sleeping pad, tarp (not shown), sleeping bag (not shown)
Cooking: pot, pan, stove, spoon/knife/fork, can opener, containers, lighter
Water: 10 liter bladder, 2 liter bladder, 1 liter bladder, bandanna (as sediment filter), Aquamira water purification drops
1st Aid: SAM splint, bandaids, pine sap, ibuprofen, tape, ACE bandage, alcohol swabs
Sewing: (2) small needles, (1) large needles, poly thread, safety pins, buttons
Repair/General: multi-tool, super glue, GOOP, zip ties, paracord / fire starter, matches, lighter, flint, candle
Entertainment/Electronic: solar/hand crank powered weather radio, kindle, books, recorder, batteries, charger
Misc: headlamp (backup, not waterproof), food bag throw-rope, bug repellent, hand shovel, stuff sacks, 100ft of daisy-chained paracord (soon to be cut up for a tow-line and other items).

Water Use
Navigation: GPS, maps (not shown), dive chart board, waterproof paper, deck compass
Safety: PFD, EPIRB, VHF radio (not shown), whistle, strobe light, hand pump (not shown)
General: waterproof binoculars, waterproof headlamp, hand troll line (not shown), knife, dry bags

Gear packed
Gear packed



This blog is primarily about a dream – to escape my employment for a month, to build a kayak and then take that kayak on a solo multi-week journey on the Oregon and Washington coast. I moved to a small Alaskan island town for work, but quickly fell in love with the idea of kayak travel. Upon discovering a craftsman and kayaking enthusiast in northern coastal Oregon who teaches construction classes for skin-on-frame kayaks, my plan quickly became set. I have filled the months since putting the down-payment on the class with planning, reading, and preparation of my strength and endurance. Soon, the water will be warm enough and I will start on practice. Thus, what I plan to include here is the distilled cogitations I have engaged in during my attempt to fashion fruition from this dream.

Some reality will undoubtedly leak through, like radiation against the tin foil shield I wear to protect my thought processes from our gray overlords. In those cases it will likely be ramblings akin to my career in the legal field. Pass by unless you find yourself bereft of sleep.

To come (in no particular order): (1) amazing and astounding gear list for 2-4 weeks on the pacific coast!; (2) a recounting of a late summer canoe float on the yukon river from eagle to circle; (3) books, map sources, and other planning resources; (4) route & overnight destinations

The future is limitless – at