Trip Report: May Georgian Bay Kayak Camping Trip

After a lovely happy birthday text last November, I received a second text: “I’d love to get back to Canada sometime and see some of these pretty places you post about. Could I convince you to take/join me on a kayak excursion in the spring?” Sure, Irene. Twist my rubber arm!

Preparations

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I started planning this trip along with an Adirondacks’ canoe trip the same week. Except because neither was coming up on me suddenly, planning was a little molasses-like. A little research here, a little research there. I knew I wanted to take Irene, who lives in Boston, to Georgian Bay. I was most familiar with it, of all the spots we could have picked in Ontario for sea kayaking, and I still had my charts from the ODAN program. By Christmastime we had our first week in May dates picked out and then planning began in earnest towards the end of February with me keeping an eye on the ice situation on Georgian Bay. I consulted with Killarney Outfitters periodically. A week before our departure date, ice finally was declared out and I put a deposit on two kayak rentals. I grocery shopped early Monday morning, picked Irene up at the airport late Monday morning, finished food prep in the afternoon, and got packed up in the evening.

Equipment

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  • MSR Whisperlight with windscreen, 1L fuel bottle with white gas, repair kit
  • Pot set with pot grip, frying pan, spatula, kitchen knife
  • Fair share mug, coffee mug, utensils
  • Camp suds, towel

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[su_plan name=”Shelter”]

  • Tent, fly, poles, stakes, and footprint
  • -10 degree Celsius sleeping bag, fleece liner, and overbag
  • Emergency tarp, siltarp and a Thermarest

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[su_plan name=”Clothes”]

  • 1 extra set of long underwear, wool socks, and fleece jacket
  • Camp pants, rain jacket, synthetic fill ‘down’ jacket, hiking boots
  • Buff, wool hat, wool mitts, waterproof overmitts
  • Plus what I was wearing when I left (silk weight long underwear, running tights, short- and long-sleeved merino wool shirts, KEENS, wool socks)

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[su_plan name=”Safety”]

  • Dry top, splash pants, Neoprene socks and gloves, vapor barriers, sunglasses
  • PFD, whistle, multi-tool, pigtail, throwbag
  • Charts, compass, DeLorme inReach personal locator, cell phone
  • Headlamp, waterproof matches, extra paracord
  • Expedition first aid kit

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  • Trail mix, CLIF bars, apples
  • Starbucks VIA instant coffee, quick oats, complete pancake mix, breakfast sausages
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Fajita makings (for Cinco de Mayo), pasta/chicken/eggplant (dinner #2)
  • 10L dromedary, 3-1L Nalgenes, Pristine

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[su_plan name=”Toiletries”]

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Deodorant, sunscreen
  • Toilet paper, trowel, hand sanitizer

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[su_plan name=”Luxuries”]

  • DSLR, Pelican Case, Gorillapod
  • Lenses, spare battery, and spare memory cards
  • Write-in-Rain notebook and pencil

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Daily Log

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The day started early and we managed to avoid much of Toronto’s notorious morning rush on the 401. But by Killarney both body and spirit had had enough of the car. I needed to be on the water, pronto. There were a few small things that needed to happen first…

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This was our day to explore the south side of Philip Edward Island: all of its granite nooks and crannies, every funky, wind-bent Eastern white pine, each ring-billed gull squawking at us.

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We took advantage of the warm morning to dry some dewy gear before hopping on the water heading towards the town of Killarney for one last paddle.

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Published by Kate Ming-Sun

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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