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What to Bring ~ Clothing & Equipment list
The following is a list of the clothing and equipment you will need on your expedition. It is of utmost importance that you follow this list accurately for your own comfort and well-being. Proper preparation is a vital ingredient in your enjoyment of the program and in an expedition’s success.
When selecting your clothing, keep in mind the following principles about staying warm and dry:
LayeringIt is very effective to wear layers of clothing to stay warm, as the air trapped between the layers acts as an insulator. Layering also allows you to regulate your body heat by adjusting the number of layers, depending on the temperature and your activity level. There are 3 main layers: ‘Transfer’ which is the layer next to your skin; ‘Insulating’ which is the main warmth layer(s); and, ‘Protective’ which is the outer layer to protect you from wind, rain, and other elements.
Keeping DryWetness increases the loss of body heat and is uncomfortable, so it’s important to stay as dry as possible. Some clothing is hydrophobic, and therefore, stays dry (i.e., synthetics such as polypropylene, polyester, capilene, and natural fibres such as wool and silk). Clothes made of these materials make great expedition clothing. Be careful of other materials (e.g., cotton and down), because they are absorbent and stay wet. Also, avoid overdressing as it can cause excess perspiration and therefore wetness. (Please avoid Cotton clothing, including jeans, if possible. Once it is wet, cotton takes a very long time to dry in this coastal environment).
- 1 pair shoes to be worn during the day while kayaking – e.g. pair of quick drying running shoes, or neoprene wet suit boots; some guests wear sturdy water sandals with or without a pair of neoprene socks. Whichever you choose, we recommend to watch out for a strong, thick sole as well as ankle support.
- 1 pair sturdy hiking or walking shoes for wearing around camp and on short walks
- 1 pair rubber boots (optional)
- 3-4 pairs of wool or thermal socks
- 1 wool/fleece hat
- 1 sun hat or visor (ballcap)
- 1 rain hat (sou’wester), not needed if you have a hood on your raincoat
- 1 pair of wool or polypropylene mitts with waterproof shell that closes tightly around your wrists, or kayaking pogies. These are to be worn on bad weather days while paddling or to cover hands that need protection from the salt water and sun.
- 2 long sleeved synthetic fabric shirts (1 lightweight, 1 medium-weight)
- 2 synthetic fabric t - shirts
- 1 long-sleeved shirts with collar for wearing around the campfire
- 1 fleece zip-front jacket or pullover (for cool evenings and mornings)
- 1 coated nylon or rubber waterproof raincoat with sleeves that close tightly (make sure that it’s durable)
- lightweight windbreaker or paddling jacket (optional)
- 1-2 pairs shorts (light/fast drying nylon is best)
- 1 pairs synthetic long underwear
- 1 pair of heavier pants (for cool evenings around the campfire)
- 1 pair quick drying light nylon (or nylon blend) pants for paddling or warmer evenings
- 1 pair waterproof rain pants (Note: A full length coated nylon cagoule can be substituted for rain coat/pants)
Duffel Bag / Pack
- 1 duffel bag for carrying gear to trip departure point (e.g. from your home to Sandspit, from B&B to floatplane/boat, from kayak to tent etc.) – make sure that it packs small as it will be carried along in the kayak (see “Packing for a Kayak Trip”)
- 1 small sturdy nylon daypack or fanny pack
Sleeping bag, sleeping pad etc.:
- 1 COMPACT 3-season sleeping bag – synthetic bags (e.g. polarguard, hollofil, or quallofil) are preferable
- 1 sleeping pad – CLOSED cell (e.g. ensolite pad, Therm-a-Rest or Ridge-rest mattress). Do not bring sponge or air mattresses because they do not adequately prevent the loss of body heat to the ground, and puncture easily.
- 1 sleeping bag liner (optional – silk, fleece or cotton)
- 1 pair sturdy, dark sunglasses with neck cord
- 1 pair extra prescription glasses/ contact lenses
- 1 neck cord for prescription glasses while in kayak
- 1 water bottle w/strap to fasten to kayak – min. 1 litre size, with widemouth
- 1 cup, 1 bowl, 1 spoon, 1 fork – heavy plastic recommended
- 1 Swiss Army style knife attached to a neck cord
- Some waterproof matches or a lighter
- 1 toiletry kit - biodegradable soap, (bar soap does not work well in salt water, any clear liquid soap works well, or “seasuds”), toothbrush and small tube toothpaste, toilet paper, small container moisturizing cream, etc.
- 1 tube waterproof sunscreen (SPF 15+ or higher recommended)
- 1 tube lip salve (with PABA recommended)
- 1 tube mosquito repellent
- 1 small towel & washcloth
- 1 flashlight or headlight (with extra batteries and bulb)
- Lots of extra garbage bags (for waterproofing)
- 1 bathing suit
- 1 bandanna
- Camera (insured for loss, theft, and damage recommended) with extra memory card (or film) and batteries
- Waterproof box or bag for storing camera (see ‘Packing for a Kayak Trip’)
- Small binoculars (also insured for loss, theft, and damage recommended)
- Lightweight reading material
- Journal and pencil / pen
- Sketch pad for drawing
- Small musical instrument
- A candle lantern
- Compass and chart of the area (see ‘Maps & Charts’ in Further Information package), laminate your charts or cover them with waterproof vinyl (e.g., Mactac)
- Favourite ‘goodies’ or spirits to enjoy around the campfire
- A bivouac bag (this outer shell is an expensive item, but protects and enhances the insulating quality of your sleeping bag)
First AidYour guides will carry an extensive wilderness first aid kit, however, you should bring the following items for your own personal use:
- Band-Aids (elastoplast or fabric type are best)
- 1 roll gauze
- blister kit (moleskin or ‘second skin’)
- tensor bandage
- adhesive tape, small gauze or telfa pads
- topical antibiotic ointment (e.g., Polysporin)
- mild analgesic (e.g. Aspirin, Tylenol)
- mild anti-inflammatory (e.g. Ibuprofen)
- motion sickness medication (e.g., Gravol, Transderm patches);
- any personal medication (bring extra!)
Download PDF-version of clothing & equipment list for Islands in the Mist
EquipmentGroup equipment such as tents, paddles, sprayskirts, PFDs (lifejackets) are all provided. We pride ourselves in the quality of the equipment we have selected for your use. However, if you would prefer to bring your own tent please clear its performance with the office and then confirm that you will bring it.
Do not be hasty in buying new equipment – talk to experienced kayakers to ensure that you purchase durable equipment that you will continue to use!
Packing for your sea kayaking expedition ~ waterproofing (very important information)The object of packing for a kayak trip is to have all your equipment and clothing organized in many small waterproofed bags. Stuff sacks (nylon bags with drawstring closures) in various sizes (available at any outdoor supply store or easily made yourself) lined with the garbage bags are helpful in organizing and waterproofing your gear. Use small to medium size bags as they will be easier to fit into the kayak storage areas. Your sleeping bag stuff sack, measuring no more than 18" x 10" (compression straps help squeeze the air out of your bag) should be the largest sized bag you pack. Divide the rest of your gear into the other stuff sacks in some logical order. For instance, pack one bag with things you will need for evening/camp - e.g., camp shoes, jacket, long pants, etc.). In another bag, pack your extra clothing (clothing that you will need only in an emergency or extremely bad weather). Continue dividing gear in such a manner.
To ensure that your gear is waterproofed, line each of the nylon stuff sacks with three large garbage bags, put in your gear, then twist each bag’s top individually and tightly and tuck it into the stuff sack. Alternatively, you may opt to buy stuff sacks that are guaranteed to be 100% waterproof, however, these bags are more expensive, often do not keep gear 100% dry, and can develop holes. If you do use these bags, bring along some extra plastic garbage bags. All your stuff sacks should fit inside your large duffel bag. It, too, should be lined with at least one garbage bag to keep out water. Please arrive with your gear organized and waterproofed as described above.
Your camera gear deserves special attention. First, before you leave home, make sure it is insured for any accidental damage as well as loss or theft. On the trip, it is best kept in a waterproof box such as a Pelican box, or some other commercially made waterproof and dustproof hard shell case. Check with your local diving stores and larger camera stores for the various models available.