Kayak Camping Pack List
You've decided to join a kayak camping tour into Kenai Fjords National Park with Sunny Cove and it's time to start packing. Now you're wondering, "How cold will it be?" "What if it rains?" "Can I bring my camera?" We've assembled this list to assist you in making good decisions about the type of gear to bring. Some items on this list are necessary and some are just fun to have along for the ride. This list is based on what is needed for a three-day adventure. Please be sure to make adjustments if you are participating in a four or five-day excursion. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.
Synthetic/wool Base Layers
Think about layering, light to mid-weight polypro, wool or synthetic materials, rather than utilizing bulky, heavy layers. We generally suggest bringing a layer to wear while paddling, a layer for sleeping (can act as a second paddling layer if necessary) and a third layer as a back-up should one of your first two layers gets wet. Include a synthetic t-shirt as a base layer. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic and you may appreciate the short sleeves.
- Do not pack any cotton layers (no jeans). Cotton does not dry quickly and will not keep you warm when wet. Even your socks and underwear should be synthetic or wool.
- This should be either a pull-over or full zip polypro, wool or synthetic jacket.
Waterproof Jacket and Pants
- Gore-Tex (or similar waterproofing) will work well in most cases, however, if the forecast looks wet for the duration of the trip we recommend rubberized rain gear. If you'd rather wait to see how the forecast pans out you can buy rubberized rain gear in Seward or rent it from Sunny Cove. Skip water resistant or inexpensive rain gear. It's much easier to enjoy Alaska's liquid sunshine when you're warm and dry.
- Expect to change your socks often...dry feet are happy feet. Pack one pair for each day of paddling, one pair to sleep in and one pair as back up. Remember, cotton socks will not keep you comfortable. Your socks should be synthetic or wool.
Gloves, Hat, Shoes
- We'll provide pogies to help keep your hands warm, but a pair of inexpensive, neoprene fishing gloves can provide additional warmth. We also recommend a pair of light-weight fleece gloves to wear while in camp.
- An insulated hat will help keep your head warm while paddling or in camp. A brimmed cap (ball cap or visor) is helpful on sunny days or can be combined with the insulated cap if cool and rainy.
- We're going to give you a pair of waterproof, knee-high rubber boots to wear while kayaking but you may want a pair of shoes to wear in camp. Waterproof or water resistant hiking shoes are a good choice for camp shoes.
Sunglasses, with a strap
Spare Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses (if needed)
Sunscreen, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Wet Wipes, Medications (if needed), Bug Repellent
- Odor free if possible, we'll be camping in bear country.
- We suggest you store all toiletries in a gallon zippered plastic bag with your name written on it. We'll keep this bag in the bear box at camp.
Large Water Bottle
Head Lamp and Batteries
Camera with Spare Batteries and Storage Cards
- You're going to want to take LOTS of pictures. We'll make sure you have a dry bag to store your camera and other items you may need while paddling. Also be sure you have a strap to secure your camera to yourself while kayaking so it doesn't fall off the kayak.
Journal and Pen
- We know you may want to enjoy sipping a glass of wine with dinner. While we cannot provide alcohol, you are absolutely welcome to bring your own. Please, no glass. Boxed wine, plastic bottles and aluminum cans are less likely to break and easier to pack out.
SLEEPING BAG AND SLEEPING PAD
- We'll provide you with a sleeping bag, fleece bag liner and a pillow. If you prefer your own, synthetic only...down fill and rain don't mix. We suggest 0°-20° bag.
- Sunny Cove will provide a high-quality three-season tent which includes a rain fly, tarp and foot-print. If you choose to bring your own tent, it must be a waterproof three or four-season tent with a foot-print, rain fly and an additional waterproof tarp.
20 or 30 Liter Dry Bag (1)
- This bag is for your personal belongings, clothing, etc. If you decide to bring your own sleeping bag and pad we'll provide an additional dry bag.
10 Liter Dry Bag (1)
- This bag is for small items, cameras, snacks and spare clothing while you're paddling.
Personal Flotation Device
Baggage you will not need on your kayak trip may be stored with Sunny Cove. Sunny Cove does not have a secured storage space. Valuables should be taken with you or stored elsewhere. If you're staying in a hotel in Seward they may have storage facilities too. Sunny Cove assumes no responsibility for damage or loss to personal belongings that are stored on any of our premises or taken on any Sunny Cove tours.
Client Information Form
A client-information form is required from all participants four weeks prior to our departure date. The information requested in this form will help your guides accommodate any special food or medical needs. Your guide will attempt to contact you approximately three to four weeks prior to your paddling adventure. However, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Kayaking in Remote Locations
Known Medical Conditions
Due to the remote nature of kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park, if you have a known medical condition which could result in any of the following you will be required to carry specific medications. Please bring these medications with you to your pre-trip meeting.
Allergic reactions known to result in anaphylaxis
Medications: Epi Pen, Prednisone
Medications: Epi Pen, physician prescribed inhaler, Prednisone.
Medications: As prescribed by a physician.
Medications: As prescribed by a physician.
Medications: As prescribed by a physician.
Aialik Bay is only accessible by boat and is approximately 55 miles from Seward. There is a ranger station one-half mile south of Coleman Bay. Wind, williwaws and chopping waves can occur on weather days. If available, the Park rangers may be contacted on VHF 16. There are several tour boats that run into Aialik Bay daily (based on weather/tour operated that specific day, although no commercial boats in the evening hours. The closest medical facility is Providence Hospital in Seward but you may be referred to Anchorage for critical care. Anchorage is accessible by road/helicopter or plane from mainland Seward and is 130 miles north. There are a number of days each season when weather prevents boats and air transport in and out of Aialik Bay.
Northwestern Fjord is only accessible by boat and is approximately 75 miles from Seward. Wind, williwaws and chopping waves can occur on weather days. There are two tour boats that run into Northwestern Fjord daily (based on weather/tour operated that specific day, although no commercial boats in the evening hours. The closest medical facility is Providence Hospital in Seward but you may be referred to Anchorage for critical care. Anchorage is accessible by road/helicopter or plane from mainland Seward and is 130 miles north. There are a number of days each season when weather prevents boats and air transport in and out of Northwestern Fjord.
Payment & Cancellation by Client
All multi-day tours require a 50% deposit at the time of booking with the balance due 30 days prior to tour departure. If you cancel the reservation more than 30 days prior to the departure date you will receive a refund, less a 3% credit card processing fee. If you cancel the trip within 30 days of the departure date there is no refund. If for any reason you do not arrive prior to the boat departure on the trip date there will be no refund.
Access to Aialik Bay / Northwestern Fjords in Kenai Fjords National Park requires rounding one or more capes and exposure to the Gulf of Alaska. Although trips are rarely cancelled there is the possibility of a delay or rerouted trip due to rough seas and wind conditions. Weather modifications will be left to the discretion of Sunny Cove and the water taxi operator based upon field experience.
Please plan your travels to allow a buffer day to reschedule a departure due to rough seas or in the event a water taxi pick-up is delayed due to bad weather.
There will be no refund or pro-rated fees for trip starts or pick-ups that are delayed or altered due to weather. If weather prohibits the trip from getting outside of Resurrection Bay and instead becomes a multi-day trip inside the bay, we will refund the difference of the two tours. We will paddle rain or shine so please come prepared.
Sunny Cove highly recommends the purchase of travel insurance for all your Alaskan travels. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by you in preparation for the trip including airfare, lodging, travel expenses, and other expenditures.
Sunny Cove is proud to employ some of the best guides in the industry. Our kayaking guides enjoy sharing this beautiful place with you and strive to make each kayak tour unique and fun. If you feel your guide made your time on the water more enjoyable please express your thanks with a tip – this is greatly appreciated by your guide. General rule of thumb for the adventure industry is 10-20%. We would appreciate if you would tip your guide directly.