Friday, March 13, 2009

Why Solo?

There is no real reason why I’m doing this solo, just haven’t asked anybody or know anyone that would be interested, that may change before the actual date and I welcome the company.

First thing, which was repeated over and over in almost every article I read, don’t go out alone, comforting isn’t it? Any sport/activity caries some level of risk, instead of shying away from it, understand the dangers and prepare for them as much as you can. It’s not like I am out with sharks in remote secluded area, this is the trent severn waterway in the height of summer season and a million boaters around, which may be the real danger.

There were many articles with people who have chosen to kayak solo as well, one lady circled PEI, another circled New Zealand, guys circling Vancouver Island and if you are looking for something to read pick up the book “Paddle to the Amazon” father/son, 12,000 miles, I read that years ago and it was a great story, might have to re-read myself, I digress...

There are four main challenges I can think of with doing this by myself.


This is the big one, I’m out there alone so if anything does go wrong I have to figure it out and deal with it by myself. My only real concern is capsizing in stormy weather and not being able to “self rescue” still find it comical that they call getting back into kayak from the water a “RESCUE” oh ominous. I will be doing separate posts on how I am going to prepare for this.


I still have no idea how much stuff you can pack into a kayak, when you read different articles I get the impression you can pack a lot of stuff if done correctly. Will have to play that one by ear and wait till I get my hands on one to try it out. What I do know is that I have to pack everything I need which means I have to be more selective on what I bring. If there was another kayak you can spread things around, I carry stove and someone else doesn’t have to and can carry something else. I will be doing separate posts on what I’m bringing and how I’m going to pack it all. The good news is that there are many towns along the way so I can always stock up along the way.


I’ve read that the Trent lock system is not overly “friendly” for kayaks, picture scenario. Pull into a lock for the night and want to setup camp, first I have to get out of the kayak, difficult on a dock right beside you at waist level, a lot of the locks have cement walls three feet high, sure that will be fun, if there is space at all given middle of summer boat season. Then I have to figure out how to get everything out of the kayak onto shore from 3 feet down, then figure out how to get the kayak secured for the night, then do it all in reverse the next day and every night thereafter. When I think about the Port Severn Lock there isn’t anywhere to pull up on shore without going over rocks and I hear kayaks don’t like rock. With another person you can team up for this stuff. Don’t really want to rely on the grace of strangers so still trying to figure this one out.


Sure I will meet many nice people on my travels, however, I will be spending a significant amount of time alone paddling by myself, doesn’t really bother me but having company would help pass the time, at least I don’t have to argue with anyone about where to go and what to do, that’s a bonus, see bright side to everything.


  1. First thing first...after you capsize, it is definately a rescue you'll be in need of. I went kayaking with my students a few years back...and when you flip over - that's will live there for the rest of your life. No joke...practice Jeff!! it really is a NIGHTMARE. I don't mean to scare you but I thought it would be no big deal also...until I tried it. scared the beeeejesus outta me.

    Good luck man!

  2. Hey Man )) Good Job!!! Did almost the same lust(09)summer only by canoe )) LoL
    Started at Holland river (southern part of lake Simkoe ) on Apr.28 and finished in Kingston on June 29 )) 505 km ))

  3. A.T. sorry i missed the post... Very familiar with Holland Landing, Julie (my paddle partner on 2010 trip) lives there, we even debated leaving from the River by her house. Well done on your trip btw, the only comment I have is you missed some scenic areas towards Georgian Bay. I am heading Kingston way this year, spend some time in the thousand islands up then Rideau to Ottawa. How was the camping situation from Trenton to Kingston? was wondering whether to do that stretch this year or just start in Kingston