Months of preparation went into or journey: Participants were routinely assigned prep questions to broaden the knowledge in advance. Gear lists for participants and leaders. Itineraries, tides and chart information was distributed.
“I started reading about tides and currents, reading books about the area we were going to and talking to those that went before. The series of prep questions were fun and challenging. Answering these questions help to familiarize us with our charts and the area.” -Mike-
“Packing for the trip was a challenge, we were instructed to bring only enough to fill half a kayak.” -Mike
“Prep is a key for a trip like this. Here are the top three things that I started right away: Planning a fitness program, honing kayaking skills in the pool sessions and going over fit and function of the gear you have or need to replace.” – Sharell
Because we would be very isolated from outside help, we needed to be completely self sufficient. Food, shelter and medical emergencies were critical for our planning.
Our menu planning had to be accurate; 10 people for eight days. Most of the food was made and dehydrated in Minnesota, then flown as part of our luggage.
The highlighted items on the list needed to be purchased in Juneau.
Tortillas were a mainstay for most meals because of their durability for transport. Food is bulky and we couldn’t rely on our ability to buy in Juneau and still have it as small in volume as we needed it to be. So we dehydrated most of it and bought other items in Juneau. Still, there was plenty to to bring from home .
Michelle was the main force in meal planning, cooking, dehydrating and again cooking. Amazing meals satisfied everyone, both to the palate and volume. No body was in want.
Two participants were assigned to be “hosts” each day. Beside being at the ready to help Michelle, their duties would be to do dishes after breakfast and dinner and prep and serve the lunches. By working in teams and rotating turns, the tasks were distributed.
Ryan, who is well known for his cooking prowess, was off the meals detail. But this didn’t prevent him from chipping in. Here he is preparing the fresh caught salmon
Medical emergencies for a trip this size needs careful consideration and skimping on supplies in this category could prove as disastrous as a fault in the menu.
Injury prevention plays a key role, and a watchful eye was always on the lookout for issues.
A timeline of everyone’s activity leading up to our rendezvous in Juneau, gave us clear ideas of where people would be and when. Once we came together as a group, this was important to how we would move as a group.
A contact list (email, phone numbers and web addresses) became a necessary document for multiple reasons: party cohesiveness, emergency contacts, body and luggage weight. Vendor, outfitter and lodging contact info was on this document also.
Gear was another item we needed to carefully consider and space/weight was still an issue. We found we could pack 10 paddles into one piece of luggae instead of 5 and use the space we saved for other gear.
“I found that compression bags help organize categories, and make finding articles much easier. There was a lot less pawing through a jumble of mixed up gear.
“Other valuable items included were a storm cag, large garbage bags, duct tape, and I would add a deck of playing cards.” – Sharell
Now, realize we also had to get most of this in our kayaks in addition to tents, sleeping bags, cook gear, personal clothing.