Sea Kayaking - What's Involved
Sea kayaking trips in Alaska typically involve deep glacial fjords and towering mountains, glaciers and icebergs, wildlife, remote wilderness and solitude, and a healthy dose of peace and quiet.
An endless array of islands and channels and bays and waterways make Alaska home to an infinite sea kayaking opportunities, and definitely some of the most superb sea kayaking trips in the world.
Entire books can be (and have been – I’ll include a few links at the end of this post) written about sea kayaking, even specifically sea kayaking in Alaska.
I don’t offer this series of posts as any kind of complete guide to sea kayaking, but rather to outline a few of the important things you might want to consider in your planning.
I’ll cover just the basics for each. There’s no way to offer a complete review of all things you might need to know about Alaska sea kayaking trips on a website, but I hope this outline helps you in your decision making process. The various sections I’ll cover are
As your trip approaches, you’ll probably want a lot more detail and specific information than I can offer here but I hope this overview helps get you started.
Sea Kayaking Trips - Basic Types
As with all things outdoors, there are very few hard and fast rules to do with sea kayaking in Alaska. The wilderness is a very subjective world and when we try to place square objective guidelines in the fluid and shifting holes of subjectivity we typically fail.
The dos and don’ts are much more contextual than rigid and ironclad. What works best on a sea kayaking trip for one couple might be a complete disaster for another. How best to respond to situation A in location B might not be a wise choice in location C. It may not even be a good choice in location C.
This concept applies to all the sections listed above and I recommend bearing that in mind as you read over the various topics.
What type of sea kayaking trip will work best for you depends on a host of factors that may very well not apply to someone else, or even to you a month later. The paddling gear you consider for Alaska sea kayaking will vey likely not be the same gear you’d want sea kayaking in Baja, California; even sea kayaking in another region of Alaska . The gear you want to bring will depend on your skillset, your group, the type of trip you take, and on and on. The reverse is also true.
The type of sea kayaking trip you consider should also take into account the type of gear you have and so on. The safety gear you want will depend on the group you have, the experience level they have, the type of trip you undertake, the location of your sea kayaking trip, your level of wilderness first aid training, and on and on. You get the picture.
What you want to do is build a good solid understanding of various basics and apply that knowledge to your decision making. We break things into categories or topics when they’re often so interrelated and connected that these divisions are entirely arbitrary. In reality we can’t separate sea kayaking from sea kayaking gear. We can’t separate sea kayaking gear from locations, or skills, etc. Each are intrinsically tied to the others.
Understanding that is important.
Sea Kayaking - What It Is
Sea kayaking in Alaska is typically a quest for some solitude, a wilderness experience, seeing the natural world and its dazzling awesomeness without the clunk and thunk of mechanized motors. It’s a great way to get out and touch Alaska a little more closely than riding in an RV or a train carriage or a cruise ship. It can also be a good deal of work, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Give due consideration to the trip and to the various components of it. Don’t overestimate your abilities and don’t underestimate where you are. This is Alaska and even the peaceful tranquility of a glassy glacial fjord can quickly turn into serious business. It can also offer you an absolutely out of this world experience, offering unmatched vistas and profound beauty.
So paddle on.