desolation sound packing

Desolation Sound - 5 Day Expedition
*Price does not include 5% GST (Goods and Services Tax) Non residents of Canada eligible for 50% tax refund. Foreign exchange rates are approximate. Exchange rates will be calculated at time of booking based on current rates of exchange.
2016 dates
2017 dates

Desolation Sound Packing List

The following is a list of suggested items recommended for your safety and comfort while on your kayak tour. Sea kayaks are basically watertight, although small amounts of water may leak through the rudder lines and hatches. In the event of rain or dropping gear in the water we try to keep things as watertight as possible. To prevent your gear from getting wet, all items should be packed in waterproof storage bags. The largest bag should not be larger than a sleeping bag or 20 litres - several small bags are best. We will provide 2 or 3 dry bags per person (depending on how much gear you have). The small bags are good for storing small items such as cameras, sunscreen, glasses, etc. The larger ones will be used for storing your extra clothing.

Temperatures: Note that our summer temperatures from July until mid September are generally quite comfortable with temperatures ranging from 18 - 30 degrees Celsius / 70- 85 degrees Fahrenheit with warmest temperatures from mid-July to mid-August. June and September have the cooler temperatures, occasionally as low as 10 C / 50 F at night. Note at any time of year rain and wind can occur. It is best to come prepared for any type of weather.

If you have any concerns or questions about this list, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  • Sleeping bag – A 3-season synthetic bag is recommended over a down bag in the event that they get wet. If you are uncertain about whether or not you have the appropriate bag just give us a call or check with your local outdoor store. Please be sure to have a stuff or synch sac to place your bag in and compress it as small as possible. Line your stuff sac with a plastic bag before stuffing in your sleeping bag.
  • Nylon stuff sacs – As mentioned above, for the sleeping bag or for storing clothing and other items. They can be purchased at most camping and hardware stores. Line with a plastic bag to make water resistant.
  • Small pillow (optional) – You can purchase small compactable pillows at some outdoor stores or simply putting clothing inside a t-shirt or stuff sac also works well.
  • Wetshoes – A pair that can get wet such as sturdy full strapped sandals, neoprene booties, or rubber boots. Most of our guides use rubber boots in cooler areas like Johnstone Strait or the West coast. We have a supply of boots on hand for you if you need.
  • Camp footwear – A pair of runners or other comfortable walking shoes.
  • Hat – A sun hat such as a baseball hat is a must. A brimmed rain/sun hat and a wool or fleece hat for evenings or cooler days are also a good idea.
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen – A must for protection from sun and glare off of the water. Safety cords are also a good idea.
  • Towel and bathing suit (optional) – Not too bulky of a towel please.
  • Medication – If you are bringing medication please ensure that...1) The name and expiry date of drug is on container; 2) you have the detailed instructions of your dosage and frequency; 3) it is packed in a water and sun-proof container; 4) you bring a full extra dosage of your medication in a separate container and leave with head guide, in case you misplace or lose yours.
  • Personal items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap, washcloth, feminine hygiene products (non-perfumed items are less likely to attract bugs), hairbrush, etc.
  • Wet wipes – Good for sanitizing or a quick wash when water is not available.
  • Zip Loc baggies & several large garbage bags.
  • Small flashlight or headlamp – With spare batteries.
  • Water bottle – 1 or 2 filled water bottles. Bike bottles or Nalgene bottles work best.
  • Camera & film – In waterproof bag or case. You may use our dry bags.
  • Gloves – (Optional) Wool or fleece gloves with grip are adequate. Biking gloves work well to protect your hands from blisters. If you are really concerned about cold hands, and are paddling in the spring/fall seasons or on our Nuchatlitz tour, you may want to invest in neoprene gloves, or pogies (a bit of a luxury).
  • Beverages – We supply a wide range of teas and coffee as well as juices. You are welcome to bring along soda pops or alcoholic beverages if you choose to.
  • Fishing gear (optional) – make sure you have a valid B.C. fishing license. Pick one up online or the day before your trip.
  • Book or journal
  • Binoculars (optional)


Clothing should be suitable for the time of year, bearing in mind that it could become cold and wet at anytime of year. Layering is the best way to regulate body temperature and maintain warmth. We suggest avoiding cotton (except for those hot days). Cotton has no insulation value when wet. An inner material that wicks moisture from the body and gives a comfortable dry feeling even while wet is the best first layer (Polypropylene, Lycra, Nylon, Polyester). A synthetic material such as fleece or pile makes the best second layer to provide warmth. Wool is also suitable.

  • Rain jacket & rain pants – For the unexpected nasty weather. To test your waterproofness jump in the shower and see if you stay dry!
  • Light windproof jacket – optional
  • Warm sweater – For in the cooler evenings.
  • Long pants – 1 pair of fleece or warm comfortable pants. 2 lighter pairs made of a quick drying fabric. Jeans are not recommended.
  • Lightweight long underwear – Helps to keep you warm at night or as a base layer during the day. (Optional depending on time of year).
  • Long-sleeved non-cotton shirt – 2
  • T-shirts – 2-3 depending on long your tour is.
  • Shorts – 1 quick dry nylon
  • Warm socks – 3 pairs
  • Undergarments
  • An extra set of clothes that you may want to leave behind in the vehicle.

Sanitation in the Wilderness

The kayak cuts no grooves and leaves no scars, as it travels freely through the waters. However on land, with the increasing number of kayakers venturing into new territory and seeking the untraveled path, we must respect our surroundings and be aware of our impact on these environmentally sensitive areas. Spirit of the West makes every effort to ensure we leave our area as we found it or better.

Where do we wash? Are there toilets? These are some of the most common concerns but questions not always asked. All of our camping sites are in wilderness settings and therefore are basic and rustic giving a true wilderness experience. For those wanting to wash up, you have the option of using small streams, the ocean, or one of the fresh water lakes that we may visit. For washing at the freshwater lakes we may come across we carry water away from the water source and rinse onto the soil which helps to filter our biodegradable soaps etc. We can also try to arrange a warm sponge bath if we have enough water nearby.

Toilet facilities are not common in most wilderness settings, although some areas may have pit toilets. Your guide will carry a toilet bag, and will generally designate an area or method that works best for each area. Our guides will go over these details before the tour and if you have any concerns while on tour please do not be shy to ask your guide. All paper and sanitary products are taken out - this is where Ziplocs are handy. Toilet paper can be burned or taken out. Sanitary products can be wrapped in newspaper, or wrapped in tin foil and sprinkled with kitty litter or crushed Aspirin to keep smells down and placed in Ziploc. We suggest bringing some hand soap or liquid disinfectant that can be purchased at pharmacies; this can accompany your toiletry bag.

Desolation Sound Expedition
2016 Dates
2017 Dates $1025$665$510$740 Exchange rates will be calculated at time of booking based on current rates of exchange.
Type: 5 day Sea Kayaking & Camping Adventure

Start: Quadra Island or Cortes Island

Skill level: Easy
  • Stunning mountain scenery
  • Wildlife
  • Great food
  • Island culture
  • Warm swimming in lakes and ocean
  • Protected paddling
  • Fantastic intertidal life
Wildlife: Seals, sea lions, river otters, eagles, deer, chance orca sightings, fantastic intertidal life.
Reservations Inquiries Breanne John Call Breanne or Rick if you have any questions, or would simply like to get to know us better.
Call 1 800 307 3982
Overseas 1 250 285 2121
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