2017-06-09 kayak-in camping at Murphys Point, Site 402

I spent Friday to Sunday at a kayak-in site on Big Rideau Lake, having put in at the provincial park boat launch. During the wet and cold months leading up to this I viewed lots of videos and read many posts about how best to do this. We already have most camping necessities, but geared to trailer camping. Over the spring I researched and acquired (as cheaply as possible) a new mini-stove, camp cookware, a warm weather sleeping bag, underpad, tarps, dry bags, water purification, and various other odds and ends (Amazon, Trailhead-Paddleshack, Canadian Tire). I test packed to make sure everything fit and was balanced – the main criteria was my hatch openings are 8″ diameter, pretty much everything had to fit in there. It sure seemed like alot of stuff to take along, I even took pictures and made diagrams so I would know where everything went. It was also going to be my first attempt at over-nighting in a hammock. I had not had much luck with that at home on the deck, as I ended up inside every time I tried it (should have paid more attention to that red flag)

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Packing layout 2017

I had taken Friday off as I had other things to attend to in the morning, but was ready to head out by 1 PM. Arrived at the park, checked in and started packing the kayak. Everything went in pretty much as planned. It was tight and I had to open up some of the dry bags to stuff them in the hatches, then rolled them closed once they were in. It was a beautiful afternoon and soon I was off! The site was not far, the lake was calm, and I was feeling great.

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Since I had already checked out the site on a previous visit, I knew where I was going to hang the hammock, and setup went as planned. The little bit of knot study I had done was a big help, especially this video I found, 4 knots to set up a tarp .

I put up a tarp over the hammock but as the forecast was good I didn’t even hang my second one. The only wildlife I was concerned about was raccoons, so I hung my food bag on a nearby branch not quite according to “protocol“, but I figured it was safe enough.

Supper was sausages over the fire and a package of Sidekicks pasta. I had brought 2 beers with me so I enjoyed a Sidelaunch with supper. Water was all lake water, filtered though my new Sawyer Mini. It seemed to work great, the water tasted great and absolutely no ill effects.

I had figured out that I had to put my Thermarest sleeping pad inside my sleeping bag so it would not move around, and hoped to have a good nights sleep. That did not happen. I was up most of the night trying to get comfortable and probably slept 2 hours – not good (it was also a huge full moon – looked like someone had left the lights on all night!). By Saturday morning I had made my mind up to head into Perth and pick up the cheapest tent I could find at Canadian Tire. On a surprising good note, the sun had me up around 5 AM and I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Once I had breakfast, I paddled into the boat launch, drove to Perth, got the tent, and headed back. I knew before hand that it was going to be a small tent – I ended up lying in it on a diagonal so that the pad and sleeping bag would fit. That said, it was easy to put up by myself, fit right under the tarp I already had up, and I had a nice test snooze. I was able to sleep on my side and my stomach very comfortably.

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That afternoon the wind picked up to the point that it would not have been fun to kayak around, so I snoozed in the now relocated hammock and just totally relaxed. Great way to spend an afternoon.

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Supper was Mountain House freeze dried beef and vegetables. Um, not so good, but a hot meal none the less. One of the things I enjoy most about camping with Denise in the trailer is how well we eat, so I definitely have to work on the food prep if I’m going to keep doing this.

Due to my lack of sleep, I was ready for bed by 9:30. I had a campfire going and had enjoyed a bit of 40 Creek and the tent was looking good. And…I had a great sleep. The wind stayed pretty strong all night but everything was secure. Sunday morning the wind was still pretty strong, and I saw all the other paddle-in sites pack up and leave by around 7 am to avoid the typical later-in-the-day wind pickup. I had a quick breakfast of oatmeal and started packing myself. Everything fit in well and by 9 am I was paddling back to the boat launch. The wind was at my back and the 2 foot waves didn’t bother me much.

When I got to the boat launch there were fishermen with outboards who said the wind was too strong for them to go out. I was glad I had left early. So, everything worked pretty well, and I was able to adapt to what did not. A fun weekend!

 

 

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