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Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Barrabundy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:50 pm

Ít's been a little too wet to do my day job today so I headed off to do some recon for a future land based trip during these school holidays. While driving around on my own my mind started to wander off to something that's been on my bucket list since before the term bucket list was even invented.

I got home and did a quick measure of the trip in my mind and it's at least 120k. Now I didn't think it was that far, and it would be very easy to halve it and make the insertion point a sunday drive with the wife and kids, so how do I go about planning it?

I would probably prefer to have someone tag along (unlikely) but would be prepared to go solo on a much shorter trip, even a really short trial run if necessary. Having never done anything like thi,s but being able to gather some intel about the likely route and even possibly doing a flyover closer to the event, what do I need to know, how would I prepare?

Obviously food, water, trip plan, emergency plan B, communication if possible, contact landowners, first aid, damaged hull/shallow water contingencies etc come to mind but what about the detail of all these things?

Someone wrote a book once about a similar trip in a sik but I can't remember the name of it and can't seem to find it anywhere on the net. I saw it in one of those specialist adventure/outdoor type stores in Towsville many years ago.

Anyone out there done a trip over a few days or week where they've been on their own for the whole time? (Murd & Co. come to mind)
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby kayakone » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:28 pm

Yes BB, plenty of people every year, in sea kayaks or other SIK's. They have the storage volume, whereas SOT's don't.

Will it be downstream (with the flow)? Time of year?


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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Ado » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:51 pm

I've done three day white water trips in slalems. I don't see why you couldn't fit what you needed in a decent size SOT too.

A small tent or bivy bag is the go. We did it under a fly and the mozzies got us pretty bad. A large tent takes too much space.
Get a non-down sleeping bag if possible as they stay warm should they get wet.
Old wine bladders are OK for storing water. Get a Dromadary (large water bag) if you can though.
A camelback would be a must so you can drink continually.
I'd forget the esky. Just take food that doesn't perish. Pasta, pasta sauce and tuna is an excellent easy meal.
Cheese, salami, capsicum, pocket bread, bananas, nuts, Tang (or similar drink powder), chocalate - all good for lunch.
Stove and fuel of your choice. Don't be short of fuel. Thermos is a nice luxury for a second coffee during the day.
Are you in wilderness by yourself? If so then I'd think a PLB would be well worth it.
Gaffa tape. Always carry gaffa tape. I repaired a huge crack in my plastic kayak with lashings of gaffa tape, then shot rapids.
Camp well above water level. That way you won't stress about rising river if it starts to rain through the night.
It would surprise me if any farmer worried about you camping without a fire anywhere overnight. Don't worry about prior approval.
You can't have enough dry bags.
Last edited by Ado on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Junglefisher » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:52 pm

As Alex said, freshwater is your big one.
You'll need a hiking tent and sleeping bag or a swag. Swags are hard to fit in kayaks, probably need to be stored on deck.
I can get my tent, bag and mat into me Revo hull no worries.
I difer from Alex in that I would say avoid the esky unless you really need it.
Get a food dehydrator and make your own dried meals or just take packet stuff. For 120km - say 6 days - you can live off just about anything. Flour, tinned fruit, ricecream, dried veggies and catch some fish or crustacea. You'll struggle to carry water for 6 days though. Especially if there's any portaging.
Tides are important if tidal.
First aid kit, sat phone or PLB if you're worried about that sort of thing.
Most importantly, give me plenty of notice.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Barrabundy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:18 pm

One important detail I forgot to mention, this would be in freshwater heading downstream and there would be flowing water the entire distance, how deep and whether any portaging required is unknown although I assume there would be very little (portaging). It would probably be worth a fly over just to be sure if it was a long haul affair over many days. Anything around 2 days worth I could get intel on through friends and is pretty familiar to me anyway.

I'm also pretty sure the landowners wouldn't be worried about being notified if I was seen to be responsible, pretty sure I could name-drop my way out of any situation anyway.....doubt there would be anyone to see along the way anyway.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Barrabundy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:58 pm

Wouldn't jump into a 120k trip as a starter, would like to do it one day (or week or two!). Thinking of an over night trip over 2 days covering about 20-30k as a warm up.

Alternatively I could just cover that distance in a series of smaller trips over a year or so. The problem with that would be getting access through private property easily. With a longer trip it's easier to launch from public space and then just get picked up from somewhere equally convenient at the end.

Hmmmm......I should,stop now otherwise you know what I'll be doing next weekend!
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby gonetroppo » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 pm

Great thread, will be following with interest as I'm hoping to do some larger trips in the near future too. I have a few questions to add regarding water, what have people done to sanitize water taken from natural sources? Tabs/boil? Is there a way of desalinating and using sea water out there?
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby labrat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:21 pm

Barrabundy wrote:Anyone out there done a trip over a few days or week where they've been on their own for the whole time? (Murd & Co. come to mind)


Not so much planning advice but a good cautionary tale from one of our own:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=55472

I'm going to start with a local overnighter then hopefully 2 or 3 nights in the Coorong.

Keep us posted.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Barrabundy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:47 pm

labrat wrote:
Barrabundy wrote:Anyone out there done a trip over a few days or week where they've been on their own for the whole time? (Murd & Co. come to mind)


Not so much planning advice but a good cautionary tale from one of our own:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=55472

I'm going to start with a local overnighter then hopefully 2 or 3 nights in the Coorong.

Keep us posted.

Sheeet! I hadn't read that one, what a timely read!
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby dru » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:21 pm

I don't think 120km is a no go. If you only average 20km a day it's less than a week. Check out things on a smaller trip first I think.

And SIKs aren't necessarily better than SOTs. It's about how much you can confidently carry on your yak. My SIK was dubbed "Collins" for the Aussie submarine class, during the GC to Brissie trip. No SOT had this problem. :shock:
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Ado » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:33 pm

If there are rapids involved, even minor ones, I'm not sure solo is a good idea. Even getting caught under a low branch can be deadly without a mate to help you out.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby millonario » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:46 pm

the water problem is not so much solved with this but it is an excellent backup.

http://www.lifestraw.com.au/page/lifest ... efault.asp
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Ado » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:31 pm

eric wrote:He finally paddled around and told me he'd decided on a different line and had smacked against the main trunk, gotten dumped and been sucked under, all in about a second.


That's a classic way of killing yourself. He was lucky there was enough room under the log. I saw one at the bottom of a race once, pulled the tabs on the skirt and bailed immediately. The kayak sailed off and eskimo rolled itelf under the log in 50cm of water. I would have been dead. So there's another piece of advice. Never EVER go anywhere near a half submerged log across the river. They are death.
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Barrabundy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:35 pm

So don't hit THOSE snags for fish? ;-)
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Re: Planning a multi-day trip, what do I need to know?

Postby Feral2 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:05 am

Being fresh water, and if your going to plan some camp spots / talk with the cockies about permission to camp, make a trip and put in some food and water dumps. Easiest way is to hang a few cans of tucker, gas and water from a tree. Maybe add something thats a nice treat, like a can of caramel, that you wouldn't otherwise bother with.

Canned flavoured fish (I prefer salmon, Tuna is cat food) makes good rich protein sources for lunches you can eat in small hits as your peckish. Easy to store handy in your tackle bag for the days trip.
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