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Old 09-29-2004   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
Comments/suggstions on multi-day self-support kayak trips?

I've got an older kayak that can easily take a sleeping bag and other gear. I'm thinking it might be nice to take a multi-day self-support kayak trip. I like the idea of camping light and keeping it simple.

An advantage of a kayak only trip is that you can run in less water and go faster than a raft.

One place that might be nice to go is the Yampa after lottery season, which ends July 31. It looks like a pretty place but permits are nearly impossible to come by.

Any comments/suggestions? How come more people don't do this?

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Old 09-29-2004   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
Re: Comments/suggstions on multi-day self-support kayak trip

Originally Posted by cstork
How come more people don't do this?
Cause you gotta' fit everything in your boat.

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Old 09-29-2004   #3
Gary E's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 739
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self support

Self supports are the best way to paddle...Only problem is Colorado does not offer self support trips that the majority would want to paddle...In Cali there are a hundred great trips out of your boat...I agree,it's a great way to camp...I've done many and love em...
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Old 09-29-2004   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
On a rafting float down the White River out in Utah a few years back (beautiful country that rivals Ruby Horsethief or Dominguez Canyon for a scenic flatwater float), a German couple came upon us. They said that they come over every year and run western rivers, self supporting and camping. They were in old, very long Prijons, and had already been on the river for a few days. As we floated down the canyon, we had a beer with them and afterwards offered to take the cans back since they had such limited space. The guy replied that they were only out for about 5 days and that they had plenty of space, adding that they'd done up to 9 days self support in their kayaks.

As for the Yampa, you could probably get a permit pretty easily off-season. Folks run it in open canoes at low water but I doube there's much competition when the flow's 250 cfs.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-06-2004   #5
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
We did Gates of Lodore self-supported back in August with four days / three nights on the river. I was in a Redline and others used creekboats. I had to put my sleeping bag between my legs so it looked like I had my overthruster in place.

You just have to keep everything simple and hope for good weather. We just brought tarps to sleep on. I did regret not having a sleeping pad. My back was really sore after two nights on the ground.

Dehydrated food and a nice water filter is the key to saving weight. I brought tuna helper and the tuna in the plastic packs instead of a can.

Bacardi 151 with a Gatorade mix was the most weight effcient way to have a nice drink every evening...

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Old 10-06-2004   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 64
Dry suit is key...

I think the dry suit is key to lightweight overnighters, I will definitely be purchasing one for next season in California. I have just started exploring the Sierra multiday runs, but I know veterans of these runs who agree that a drysuit is a very efficient purchase for multiday trips. When your done for the day you wear your fuzzy union suit around which is hopefully still dry, and perhaps add a stocking cap or a compressable down jacket for extra warmth. Also if you know there will be ample dry firewood--and conditions permit a fire--then this greatly reduces the need to bring warm clothing, which is much heavier than you think since it usually requires an extra dry bag and too many dry bags can bog you down.

Try the old school, foam sleeping pads and cut them down to a size that will support only your back. Then stuff it in your boat sans dry bag. Roll up a section of lightweight drop cloth, used for painting, inside your sleeping bag. If your foam pad is still wet at bedtime use the drop cloth on top of it. Otherwise vice versa. I think it's wildwasser that makes a nice dry/float bag that is perfect for stuffing a sleeping bag into and it distributes the weight throughout your stern better. At night said dry/float bag makes a fine pillow. You will learn to ignore the chipmunks, mice and groundhogs that creep around your head at night.

I stick with meals of high calorie, dry foods: beef jerky, sausauge, cliff bars, tortillas etc. I keep a tube of compressible peanut butter in my life jacket pocket so that I can squeeze down some PB goodness for energy along the way.

For drink: the water bottle purifiers are the bomb for California or other places with good water quality. For spirits, purchase a nalgene canteen and fill it full of Jagermeister. When your done with it you can roll it up and stash it away nicely.

These are my recommendations after a season of packing way to much crap; on one such trip some Colorado and Virginia boaters took advantage of my excessive provisions and everyone gladly pillaged my food and Jagermeister, in regards to my safety, as my boat needed a wheelie bar through the class Vs.

Packing your boat for overnighters is a learning experience and the only way to figure out what works best is to go out and do a bunch of them.

Good luck.

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