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Preparation & Equipment List

We want to make your preparations as easy as possible. Here are some of the things we do to make that possible.

Pre-Trip Information: We provide each guest with the most thorough trip information in the adventure travel business. It covers every part of your preparation: what to bring, a reading list, your travel and hotel plans and every other question you might have. We also provide an extensive field guide to the area you will be traveling through. Our field guides cover the natural and cultural history of the areas, descriptions of plants and animals you may encounter, and much more.

Packing: Packing is Easy. We provide you with all the waterproof dry bags you need, and premium quality rain gear, too. With North Shore Kayaks, there is no need to spend time and money shopping for these expensive items.

Day trip packing list

  • Hat (ballcap or souwester or cowboy hat
  • sunblock (SPF 30 or more)
  • sunglasses – highly recommended
  • warm sweater or jacket – optional
  • umbrella – optional
  • light shirt – t-shirt or synthetic
  • fleece pants or sweat pants – NO DENIM please
  • shorts – optional
  • swimsuit – optional / weather dependant
  • camera (w/ extra batteries and film)
  • strapped sandles (Tevas are best) OR light trail shoes
  • small day pack / backpack
  • bottle of water (at least 1 L or more)
  • snacking material (fruit or power bar etc) – recommended
  • swiss knife – optional
  • coffee mug or thermus – recommended
  • small waterproof box (pelican box) – provided by North Shore Kayaks

Food: On our multi-day trips and catered day trips the food provided is healthy, tasty and abundant. Your guides are excellent chefs, with years of outback cooking experience. Menus are well balanced and meals are usually of a vegetarian nature, with the addition of freshly gathered seafood on multi-day trips.

Note: Guests with special dietary requirements or food allergies are required to notify the guide at least one week before trip departure.

Weather and Safety Information

Whether you are paddling for a couple of hours or for multiple days, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and happenings of the physical environment.

Weather: Always be sure to check the weather forcast in the area you are paddling before leaving on a kayak trip. You can check the DFO website for marine and weather forcasts in your area.

Wind is an important aspect to consider before embarking on a kayak trip – wind affects the turbulence of the water and the amount of progress you will make on a trip. The Canadian Coast Guard frequently updates the weather forecast throughout the day indicating wind direction. On a multi-day kayak trip, your guides carry VHF radios to check weather and plan the voyage for the day.

The BC coast is littered with coastal fjords and inlets which can create local weather phenomena and wind pattern changes that are difficult to predict. Generally, the wind flows inward or up an inlet in the summer and outward in the winter. The mountainous topography of these beautiful inlets will create what are known as Squamishes or very strong outflow winds. This is when cold arctic air holding in the high plateau interior of the province flows toward the ocean. The air then gets funneled through the mountainous fjords increasing its strength and developing strong winds and large waves which can be hazardous to kayakers.

The winter months can be a very peaceful and beautiful time for kayaking as boat traffic is less and the waters can be quite calm but it’s always good to be aware of possible hazards that can arise on any journey.

Tides and Currents: Knowing the tides is very important to anyone embarking on any journey on the water whether a motor boater or kayaker. Our guides check the tides before any day-trip and carry tide tables and marine charts on our multi-day expeditions. Tide tables give the height and time of the daily high and low tides at certain reference ports and can easily be predicted from that location to where you are. Tides create currents and are strongest according to the lunar cycle. The gravitational pull of the moon creates tides and follow a predictable pattern. During a full and new moon phase, tides and therefore currents are stronger and are called spring tides. Tides and therefore currents are weakest during the first or third quarter moon phase and are known as neap tides.

Paddling against a current can be quite tiresome and challenging so it’s important to know what the currents are doing and what direction they are flowing when out in a kayak. Ebbing tides flow out to the ocean and flooding tides flow inland. On a marine chart – a feathered arrow indicates a flood tide and a featherless arrow indicates the ebb tide. Slack tides occur when the tide has reached its highest or lowest point and the tidal current is about to reverse. This is a great time to paddle as it requires less effort to paddle.

The tides and currents of the Indian Arm are easily manageable and offer a great place for day and overnight trips any time of year.