Remote 5-Star Glamping - west coast kayaking and whale watching
4 Days / 3 Nights
Blackfish Sound, British Columbia
Everyone, focus on whales and diverse paddling
* Kayaking trips & tours are priced and charged in Canadian dollars; prices in other currencies can be estimated by clicking here. Prices are subject to 5% GST and optional $20 sustainability fee. Please see our terms and conditions for full payment and fees information.
BC’s Best camping and whale watching
Imagine beautiful, big white tents set against the backdrop of towering fir trees and the blues and greens of the ocean lapping at your doorstep. The sounds of silence, interrupted only by the occasional blow of passing whales or the songs of the birds as they wake with the sun. Extraordinary kayaking at the edge of the Broughton Archipelago. Exclusive boat access to our private Swanson Island location. After nearly two years of work we are happy to share this new glamping whale watching experience with you.
Blackfish Sound (named for the distinctive black and white coloration of the killer whales that ply these waters) is the heart of orca and humpback territory on northern Vancouver Island and on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago. Sandwiched between the mainland mountains and Vancouver Island, tidal currents stir up the water column and create an environment rich with nutrients and oxygen. Abundant marine life of all shapes and sizes make their home here, from the smallest crustacean to the largest whales. From our camp we have the opportunity to look out into the open waters of the Sound and paddle among the small islands and narrow passages, an ideal combination for the wildlife enthusiast.
This 4-day tour is really the premier way to experience the best of what Canada’s west coast has to offer. Travel by boat to our exclusive camp, kayak each day to experience the coastal beauty up close and get out there with a motorized whale watching tour to help ensure wildlife sightings.
Each day your hosts and guides will share their love and passion for the coast and kayaking with you. After a hearty and healthy breakfast (and of course hot coffee and tea), we head off in our kayaks to explore the many nooks and crannies of the shoreline. Keep your senses alert for the tell-tale blow of some of the area’s more famous residents like orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, dolphins and porpoise. On day 3 we’ll be picked up at camp for a 3-hour trip in a covered boat to look further afield for wildlife.
Top off these perfect days in an idyllic setting with amazing food, laughter, good company and a soak in the wood-fired hot tub over-looking the ocean. Then head off to your spacious tent and comfortable bed for a good night’s rest. Of course you can always roast a few treats over the glowing campfire before you head to bed, borrow a book from our extensive coastal library, play a board game with friends or chat with our friendly, knowledgeable naturalist guides too.
Amazing Glamping Experience
Tents are large 10×12′ (3×3.6m), bright and spacious cotton canvas tents made here on Vancouver Island. They are 8′ (2.4m) high at the peak so have ample room for standing up and moving around with ease. The screened windows and front door provide sweeping views of the forest and and/or ocean. The tents are perched off the ground on cedar platforms, helping to protect the delicate ecosystem below.
Inside your tents are 2 twin beds which can be pushed together to make a king size if desired. These beds are handmade by our wonderful crew with locally milled red cedar and beach driftwood accents. The beds each have a 6-inch thick soya foam mattress, 2 pillows (one soft and one firm to ensure a good night’s sleep), crisp white linens, a warm duvet and fleece blankets for those cooler nights. Bedside tables, crafted from local wood, hold a lamp for reading and a hot water bottle to help take the chill off when you crawl into your bed to dream about what’s in store for the morning.
The Best Place for Whale Watching in British Columbia
In addition to orcas, we are lucky to share the ecosystem with humpback whales, black bears (it is not uncommon to see black bears foraging along the shores for seafood during low tide), deer, cougars, shore and sea birds, minks, river otters, dolphins and porpoise – to say nothing of the abundant, vibrant and colourful inter-tidal life one can see below the surface.
Witnessing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat is truly breathtaking. Our camp is situated in arguably one of the best areas for viewing whales on the coast. The humpback whales in all their glory are coming back to this area in truly impressive numbers after having been subject to intense hunting in years past. The population of humpback in the area now means that we are fortunate to view these gentle giants almost every tour (we never like to guarantee wildlife, as it is just that wild, but chances are good).
Your Exclusive Camping and Whale Watching Experience
What makes this camp so special? If we were to sum it up, here are some of the highlights:
- Best area for viewing orcas and humpbacks in the wild
- Exclusive boat access-only camp on a private island
- Explore the coastal environment by kayak with our wonderful guides
- Large bright spacious tents, comfortable beds, warm duvets
- Motorized whale and wildlife watching trip as part of package
- Hot tub overlooking the ocean
- Hot shower with ocean views
- Gourmet camp food prepared for you, with a focus on local and organic
- Attention given to the smallest details to make for the perfect trip
- Responsible ecotourism, sustainably run for the long term
We just have to mention it. One of the perks that come with the base camp is a well established kitchen for our fantastic guides to prepare your food. We use mostly organic fresh fruits and vegetables to prepare gourmet meals, topped off with home baking. We also provide 24-hour snacks just in case you get a hankering for something late at night. It is a Spirit of the West Adventures guarantee that you will never go hungry, even after a day’s paddle in the fresh air. On the first evening we feature a traditional wild salmon barbecue and from here the creative, tasty and hearty meals keep coming. This is not your typical camping food!
- Professional guiding service
- All kayaking equipment (including kayaks, PFDs, paddles, pumps, ropes, dry bags and sponges)
- Hydrophone for listening to the whales
- Meals (morning snack day 1 to lunch day 4)
- Everything you need for the perfect glamping experience: walk-in canvas tents on wooden platforms, real beds (2 twin or 1 king size, thick soy foam mattresses, warm blankets, 2 pillows, linens), bath towel, flashlights/headlamps, hot water bottle, water bottle, library of natural history books, camp binoculars
- Whale watching trip on covered vessel
- Return water taxi service from Quadra Island
- Park and land use permits
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
Not included in the tour cost are accommodation before or after the kayaking portion of your trip;
- Flights, airport transfers, ferries, taxis
- Travel/medical insurance
- Alcoholic or carbonated beverages
- Rain gear
- Personal items (toiletries, clothing, etc.)
Rain gear may be rented if you prefer not to travel with it (please reserve in advance; may be booked online with your trip reservation).
Our adventure begins the moment we step off the docks of Campbell River and Quadra Island onto our high speed water taxi. Relax in comfort as we whisk you up the scenic waterways of the Inside Passage to our remote wilderness camp on the edge of Blackfish Sound.
WHEN: DAY PRIOR AT 6PM, WHERE: HERIOT BAY INN ON QUADRA ISLAND
This meeting gives us a chance to answer any questions you may have and for you to meet your guides and fellow kayakers. Your guides will go over the logistics of the tour and answer any concerns you may have. If you cannot make it to the meeting just be sure to call the day before departure to confirm your arrival. This allows us to confirm the exact departure time and location, or to alert you if there are have been any last minute changes. For details on how to get here, please see our Getting Here page with travel info.
WHEN: DAY 1, WHERE: QUADRA ISLAND AT 7.15AM, or CAMPBELL RIVER Way West Coastal Ventures AT 7.30AM
You can meet either on Quadra Island or at Way West Coastal Ventures & Water taxi in Campbell River. If meeting in Campbell River, please call our office to let us know. Spirit of the West Adventures is based on Quadra Island (a 10 minute ferry ride from Campbell River) and this is where our tour starts. We highly recommend making Quadra Island a part of your vacation plans. Our beautiful island has a whole different and laid back feel to it, complete with endless opportunities for outdoor activities, beaches to relax on, amazing accommodations and great local artisans.
Rise and shine ready for fun and adventure. After meeting our water taxi and a safety briefing, our captain takes us up Discovery Passage and safely through the infamous ‘Seymour Narrows’, renowned for its treacherous tidal flows and whirlpools. En route, sightings of marine life such as porpoises, dolphins, sea lions and whales are common. After the 2 1/2 hour journey we arrive at our remote wilderness base camp on Blackfish Sound. After settling into our new surroundings and having lunch we will have a kayak orientation and discuss safety procedures before setting off on an afternoon paddle. We will return in time for a fresh wild salmon dinner (alternatives of course for those who do not eat fish). Enjoy the sunset from the hot tub before retiring to rest for more fun in the morning.
After a hearty camp breakfast we will meet to discuss our plans for each day. Our route and schedule will depend on weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities and group preferences. Generally, we set out in our kayaks after breakfast and paddle to one of the area’s many pocket beaches for a picnic lunch before paddling ‘home’ again in time for some relaxation time before dinner. On our way, we’ll take breaks for stretching and snacks, and we always take lots of time to explore the intricate shoreline. For the very brave there is always the option of a dip into the chilly waters of Blackfish Sound before a restorative soak in the hot tub!
This morning we’ll be met by our covered vessel for a 3-hour journey further into Blackfish Sound, Johnstone Strait or Queen Charlotte Strait, giving you the opportunity to explore areas beyond the reach of our kayaks. We’ll return in time for lunch, followed by an afternoon kayaking the nearby waters and islands.
This is our last day of exploration. After a final morning paddle we will pack up our things and soak up the last bit of tranquility before the water taxi arrives to transport us back to Quadra Island and the real world once again.
Our approximate return time to Quadra Island is between 3-5pm, however, due to the number of variables in wilderness travel we recommend that you plan to stay in the area for this night to avoid unnecessarily stressful complications should our return be delayed by something out of our control. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your travel plans in more detail.
What is included? What do I need to bring?
There are no additional costs once on our tour. On our guided tours we supply everything that you will need for kayaking and camping except for a few personal items such as rain gear (these can be rented if needed), your clothes and toiletries. We are happy to pick you up free of charge from your accommodation on Quadra Island on the morning the trip starts and we will drop you off there when the tour is finished. All other services, transportation, food, gear, etc. while on trip is included in the cost of the tour. Once the tour begins we provide all meals and non-alcoholic beverages (wide selection of teas, coffee, juices, hot chocolate) from morning snack on day one to lunch on the last day. You are welcome to bring your favourite wine, beer or pop, but this is not included in the tour price. There is a grocery and liquor store very close to the location of the pre-trip meeting if you would like to pick up extra beverages on the evening before the tour.
How much kayaking experience is required to join this trip?
No experience is required for this kayak tour! Our adventure is for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. The majority of people who join our tours are first time kayakers. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected.
Do I need to be in great shape for this trip?
No. Our adventures are not considered to be strenuous or physically demanding, and we do not require a high level of fitness. We just ask that you are capable of a few hours of moderate exercise each day. Keep in mind that good general health will go a long way if we happen to encounter some strong winds or time restrictions. Most important is an adventurous spirit.
Are there any age requirements?
Spirit of the West caters to all ages of adventurers. Although we do prefer a minimum of 12 years for our multi-day tours, we like to assess each case individually. Family tours are available for younger children, and those concerned with being in ‘their older years’ are welcomed to contact us to discuss their physical abilities.
How much paddling is generally done in a day?
Paddling time will vary depending on our destination and the group’s abilities and desires. We typically pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on one of the beaches and then come back to the camp in time for dinner and a soak in the hot tub. We paddle at the pace dictated by the group and take lots of stretch and bathroom breaks. We will cover between 6 and 8 miles a day in our kayaks on this tour.
How stable are the kayaks? What is the likelihood of flipping over?
The kayaks we use on our tours are stable and designed for comfort. For those a little concerned, the double kayaks are slightly more stable than the singles. The likelihood of a capsize is minimal, and generally only occurs in an uncommon situation.
If for some reason your kayak flips over, all of our guides have ample practice time on the water with rescue procedures, in order to quickly and efficiently get you back in your boat. At this point we will take you to the nearest shore to change into some warm cozy clothing and carry on with our journey. While we are out on the water, it is of the utmost importance that the group sticks together in the event of capsize or change of route plan.
What if the weather turns bad? Will I be comfortable and warm?
Our weather in the Pacific Northwest is generally pleasant from May through until the end of September. The temperature will vary slightly depending on when you visit. In the Blackfish Sound area, the weather will generally be cooler than what you may see on the forecast for Campbell River – sometimes by as much as 10 degrees. Fog is very common on summer mornings, however this nearly always clears at midday to make way for clear skies and sun. Although it is uncommon, it can rain in the summer. A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for any type of weather and you will stay comfortable. Layering is the key, and it allows you to put on or take off layers while on the water if needed to.
Our camp on Swanson Island allows us to kayak only when we feel like it and in the best locations for exploring. This being said it can be quite beautiful to paddle in the rain, often the winds are lowest during light rains and Spirit of the West offers you a good-quality paddling jacket and pants. If anyone was to get cool, we can take breaks to warm up on a beach fire, or can always return to camp for a hot shower, cozy times in the hot tub (where you can continue to watch marine wildlife) or to warm up in your spacious tent. Take a nap under warm blankets, have a hot tea while reading your favourite book.
What sort of wildlife might we see on the tour?
The diversity and abundance of wildlife in the Pacific Northwest is one of our privileges. With river run-off from the mountains, ocean currents, tide rips, eddies and upwelling, these waters are among the most productive on earth. From the rich marine life of colourful plants and invertebrates, seabirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, mink, otter, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales, to the land animals of deer, raccoons, cougars, wolves and bears, we are bound to see something. For those with an eye for eagles take note that they are most prominent in the earlier months before the salmon migration in the late summer/early fall.
What are the chances of seeing whales? What is the best time of year to see whales?
On our tours to Blackfish Sound we stand an excellent chance of seeing whales. Understandably we cannot guarantee what nature will dictate, but we can tell you that this area has one of the highest concentrations of whales in British Columbia and this is where they spend their summer holiday. It is very likely that you will see them, whether from your kayak, while traveling on our water taxi, on a whale watching boat or from a beach on the shore. Hearing the blow of a whale even in the distance will create a sensation of excitement.
Humpback whales return to the area around mid-May, while resident orcas begin to turn up in late June/early July. Populations are at their highest from about mid-July to late August, and begin to taper off to the beginning of October.
Note that in accordance with industry whale watching regulations we do not approach whales within 100 meters. This is out of respect for the whales’ space and to ensure that we do not interfere with their natural behaviour.
What is the camp set up like? Where do we wash and are there toilets?
Our new and unique glamping camp on Swanson Island in Blackfish Sound offers the best amenities to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. A true remote wilderness setting on a private island and in the heart or our magical coastal rainforest. Our large kitchen, dining and sitting area are the hub of our camp and are sheltered from rain and sun.
We have 8 beautiful, walk-in cotton canvas tents that are large (10×12′), bright and locally made here on Vancouver Island. They feature screened doors and windows and are 8′ high at the peak, so have ample room for standing up and moving around with ease. The tents are set up on wood platforms slightly elevated off the ground. Two twin beds (or one king size if pushed together) with linens, pillows and duvets are inside each tent.
Our wood-fired hot tub is perfect for soaking tired muscles after a day of paddling & exploring and the on-demand hot water shower has one of the best views in the world. Our toilet system is clean and private and easy to use.
Is there electricity at the camp?
We have a limited supply of electricity supplied by solar panels and a battery bank. When the weather is nice, we have more power; when it’s not, we have less. Each of the tents have LED lighting to see at night.
Everyone should be able to charge a camera battery or phone at least once while on the trip and possibly more, but it’s wise to be conservative with your batteries to ensure the power is there when you need it (avoid using the display unless you need it, don’t review photos in your tent at night, keep your camera off when not using it, etc.).
How many people sleep in each tent? If I'm traveling solo can I have my own tent?
The tents are designed for two adults, or two adults and up to two children. Each tent contains two twin beds that can be pushed together to make a king size bed if you prefer. We can also add two trundle-style beds for kids if required.
We have 8 tents at this camp and it usually is no problem to have your own tent. The exception would be if we have a large number of solo travelers joining your particular date. If this was the case we would do our best to pair you up with a suitable tent mate. We would also provide a privacy wall for between your beds in this case. Call us in the office if this is a concern and you would like to see what the composition of the group on particular dates is like.
I have dietary restrictions. Can these be accommodated?
Yes, we have a masterful crew in the kitchen who prepare all the food for the tours. They are happy to pack for gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and all sorts of dietary requirements. We are not a nut-free facility, but can do our best to avoid certain allergens. Please call our office if you have concerns you would like to discuss further.
Where can I leave luggage that I won’t need on trip?
If you are staying on Quadra Island, many of the B&Bs offer free luggage storage – simply check with your host. Alternatively, guests staying on either Quadra Island or in Campbell River have the option of storing excess luggage at our office. Please ensure that your luggage is clearly labelled with your name, tour and trip date, and leave it with us on the first day of your tour for return to our office.
Where can I leave my vehicle while on tour?
Free parking will be available for your vehicle while on tour with us. Many of the accommodations on Quadra Island also have free parking included with your stay. Parking details will be discussed further at the pre-trip meeting.
Where do I have to get to to start this trip and how long does the boat ride take into camp?
We are based on Quadra Island, BC, and this is the departure point for the Whales and Wilderness Glamping trip. We hold a pre-trip meeting at the Heriot Bay Inn on Quadra the evening prior to the trip, and on the morning the trip departs we will pick you up at your accommodation on Quadra Island at no charge. Please see our Getting Here page for more details on how to get to Quadra.
The boat trip to camp takes about 2.5-3 hours, depending on weather. Our water taxi is a comfortable ride with bathroom on board.
What about kayak preferences? Do you provide double and single kayaks?
We use a mix of single and double kayaks on every trip. Double kayaks offer great advantages for carrying cargo, matching paddler abilities, or sharing the load if someone is feeling a little tired one day. If there are a lot of people on one trip that prefer singles then we take turns in the double(s), so we ask that everyone have a bit of flexibility with regard to what they paddle.
If I would like to tip the guides, what is the industry standard?
If you would like to express your appreciation to the guides through a gratuity, such recognition would be enthusiastically received. The industry standard for tipping is approx. 10% per person of the trip cost. All tips received will be collected and disbursed amongst your guides & basecrew by the trip leader.
We're proud of our great reviews - but don't just take our word for it, see what people are saying over on Trip Advisor. View Reviews
"From the moment you start communicating with the SOTW team, you understand immediately why they have an excellent rating. They were informative when I was researching, helpful when I had complex travel needs, incredibly FUN and safety minded. We had all gear and full delicious meals and lots of adventures. I had such an amazing time getting to know the guides (truly incredible) and the fellow guests (a fun bunch for sure!). We had lots of hours on the water and such unbelievable sightings of wildlife. I was quite sad and emotional to end the week - saying good-bye knowing that this moment would not likely be repeated. This is truly an incredible way to take a vacation, get off the grid and reconnect in many ways."
"Beautiful scenery, expert guides, great equipment and DELICIOUS food. I can't rate Spirit of the West highly enough - and what a beautiful are of the world to explore in a kayak!
We saw lots of wildlife (including humpbacks and eagles), our guides were exceptional - thank you!
I've done broadly similar trips in Finland and Ontario in the past - as good as they were, they don't even compare to Spirit of the West. Not sure how my future vacations will ever live up to this amazing experience!"
"The water taxi ride to and from the base camp was so much fun, especially on the way home. The White-sided dolphins played in the water beside us for 15 minutes, jumping and chasing us. A highlight of the trip."
"Without a doubt the best trip I have ever taken! I'm still in Awe and Wonder."
"It was incredible to see orcas, humpback whales, minkes, eagles... the wildlife was superb. Our guides were awesome: very friendly, helpful, hard working but also relaxed. They created a great group atmosphere. I would highly recommend this trip... a once in a lifetime experience."
"Awesome! I love you guys! Want to bring my daughter. Thank you so much for a trip I will never forget! Thank you all!"
“A Whale of a Time... again!”
"Best honeymoon ever"
"Outstanding outfitter for sea kayak expeditions! Everything was organized top notch starting with getting us there, keeping us safe, well fed and teaching us all about the sea, marine life and environment.
Our guides were fantastic!
"Over the top! I hate writing reviews but Spirit if the West certainly deserves an EXCELLENT PLUS. This was my 4th trip with Spirit of the West and as usual nothing on the coast can compare with the experience!"
"Everyone very helpful and patient. Food, kayaking, accommodations all great. People before trip on phone very helpful. A trip we will always remember. Thank you!"
"We both really enjoyed the trip. The guides, area and wildlife were amazing. Great balance between organized time and "own time" Guides were very accommodating, relaxed, made all feel welcome!"
Heather and Mark Elliott
"Experience of a life time. I will be back with my family. Your dedication to your company 'shined' through your staff."
"The trip was all around awesome.
This guides and organization was phenomenal."
"So impressed with the guides depth of knowledge and how the trip is run so smoothly. Base camp is a wonderful place. Would be happy to wake up every morning there."
THE CAMP & FOOD
"Friendly guides, fun, great food, and group was super too! Hot tub and shower unreal! "
"With my dietary limitations, everyone at Spirit of the West went out of their way to make delicious food. I have never gotten service like that before."
“Great trip, great camp, never seen a beautiful hot tub in such a beautiful scenery.”
“Awesome! Most luxurious camping trip ever with fun and knowledgeable staff!”
The food… ahhh yum. The hot tub and tent amenities were luxurious! Overall I feel very satisfied and unwilling to leave! Thank you to the great staff for a wonderful experience!”
“Fantastic overall. Wonderful food and accommodations top notch (hot tub!) Amazing guides, great pace. Essentially a perfect trip. Bascamp, food, guides are all amazing. Keep it up! Thank you for being awesome!”
"Beyond expectations - deluxe guiding, food and hot tub! The kayaking was amazing, The wildlife just incredible!"
"A truly wonderful and inspiring trip. I slept under the stars last night to hear the orcas and was lucky enough to see an incredible asteroid shower. A once in a lifetime experience. (Although I hope to repeat it soon!)"
(John) Brian Weir
"OMG!! Saw everything, whales, humpback, bear, eagle, seals. The guides were amazing, knowledgeable, funny and friendly! The guests were great everyone got along. Felt like we were all old friends."
On our Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour we are transported to our wilderness base camp by boat which is equipped to carry all of our passengers, plenty of gear and is specially designed for safety and comfort. With this style of tour we are not restricted in the amount of luggage and gear we can bring as our gear does not have to fit in the kayaks. Although your gear will be stored in the cabin of the boat, you may want to waterproof some items, in the unlikely event that it may get wet while being transferring to and from the boat.
At our glamping paradise on Swanson Island we have dry bags (waterproof bags) that will be given to you for use while kayaking. The small dry bags are great for cameras, sunscreen, and other small personal items that you would like to have near you. The larger ones will be for your spare clothing for the day.
Please note that our summer temperatures from July until September are generally quite comfortable with temperatures from 18-30 degrees Celsius / 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not uncommon to find mid day summers hot enough to want to cool off in the ocean! June and later September will have cooler temperatures, and at ANY TIME OF YEAR we can have rain & wind, with temperatures occasionally as low as 13 C / 55 F. So, we say it is best to come prepared for any type of weather.
PLEASE NOTE WHAT WE PROVIDE:
- All SAFETY & KAYAKING GEAR
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR THE PERFECT GLAMPING EXPERIENCE:
– WALK-IN CANVAS TENTS ON WOODEN PLATFORMS
– REAL BEDS (2 TWIN SIZE OR 1 KING SIZE)
– THICK SOY FOAM MATTRESSES
– WARM BLANKETS, 2 PILLOWS, LINENS
– BATH TOWELS
– HOT WATER BOTTLE
– MOSQUITO REPELLENT (Insects are generally not a significant concern for us on the coast)
– WATER BOTTLE & TEA/COFFEE MUG
– DRY BAGS
– LIBRARY OF NATURAL HISTORY BOOKS
– CAMP BINOCULARS (you may wish to bring your own pair for paddling)
The following is a list of suggested items to bring along. If you have any concerns or questions about the list, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Wetshoes – A pair that can get wet such as sturdy full strapped sandals (such as Keens, Tevas or Chacos), neoprene booties, crocs, or rubber boots. Please avoid flip-flops/thongs. Spirit of the West has a wide range of rubber boot sizes (youth – men’s size 13) available to borrow free of charge if you don’t have your own wet shoes or have limited space in your luggage. There will be an opportunity to try on boots at the pre-trip meeting.
- Camp footwear – An additional pair of footwear that you plan to keep dry. Runners, trainers or light hikers are great.
- Hat – A sun hat such as a baseball hat or full-brimmed hat as well as a wool or fleece warm hat for evenings or cooler days.
- Sunglasses & sunscreen – A must for protection from sun and glare off of the water. Safety cords on your glasses are highly recommended.
- Camera – In a waterproof bag or case, or you may use our dry bags.
- Medication – If you are bringing medication please ensure that… 1) The name and expiry date of drug is on the container; 2) You have the detailed instructions of your dosage and frequency; 3) It is packed in a water and sunproof container; 4) You bring a full extra dosage of your medication in a separate container to leave with your guide, in case you misplace or lose yours, or are weathered in. If you are flying, please pack all necessary medication in your carry-on luggage. This will help eliminate some stress should your checked bags be misplaced in transit.
- Ziploc bags or other large plastic bag – We will provide you with dry bags, but these come in handy for transporting laundry and/or wet clothing.
- Gloves (optional) – Biking gloves work well to protect your hands from blisters. If you are really concerned abut cold hands, and are paddling in the spring or fall seasons, you may want to invest in neoprene gloves or pogies.
- 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. Please note however that we do expect our guests to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and strictly enforce a no alcohol on the water policy.
- Personal items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap/shampoo, washcloth, feminine hygiene products, hairbrush, etc.
- Book or journal
- Fishing gear (optional) – Make sure you have a valid B.C. fishing license. These can be purchased on-line at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/licence-permis/index-eng.htm
- Gratuity for your guides – at your own discretion.
Clothing should be suitable for the time of year, bearing in mind that it could become cold and wet at any time 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! (we’re serious!). If you would like to rent/hire rain gear from us, please reserve in advance of the tour. Tops and bottoms can be rented for $25 plus tax for the set.
- Light windproof jacket (optional)
- Long-sleeved non-cotton shirt (synthetic/wool) – 2
- Long pants – 1 pair of fleece or warm comfortable pants. 2 lighter pairs made of a quick drying, synthetic fabric. Athletic style pants (running or yoga) are generally appropriate. Jeans are NOT recommended for paddling.
- Shorts – 1-2 quick dry nylon
- T-shirts – 2 or 3
- Lightweight long underwear – 2 pairs, helps to keep you warm at night or as a base layer during the day. We recommend one set for kayaking and one set which is reserved for sleeping and always stays dry.
- Sweaters – 2 warm wool or fleece sweaters (one may be all you need, but it is nice to have a spare in case one gets wet)
- Bathing suit – For the hot tub, or brave ocean swimmers!
- Warm socks – 3 to 5 pair (1 warmer pair for around camp)
- An extra set of clothes that you may want to reserve for the end of the trip.
Our online booking system allows you easy access to booking your tour with Spirit of the West Adventures, any time of day. If you think that you would like to book a trip, but need time to look into other travel arrangements, please contact our office and we will place a temporary hold on your spaces.
We also offer real humans to speak with if that’s your preference, so feel free to call our office at 1-800-307-3982 (from within Canada and the U.S) or 1-250-285-2121 (from overseas). We can be reached by email at [email protected] If, for any reason, you are having trouble booking your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help!