It’s crucial to remember that on all trips we are voluntarily entering into mother natures’ domain. Preparation is key to optimally enjoying your paddling experience in this temperate rainforest. Prince William Sound is notorious as a sheltered body of water. This is true, however the Sound is a very complicated weather zone. The Gulf of Alaska is separated from Prince William Sound by barrier islands that absorb the brunt of storms traversing the Gulf. Aside from the southern barrier islands the thousands of miles of shoreline within the Sound are not exposed to significant swell and surf except during storms. Localized winds and storms are not uncommon and can greatly alter our paddle plan. Precipitation is abundant in our temperate rainforest as the name suggests. It's this abundance combined with the highest coastal mountain range that creates the heavily glaciated region. Getting out is the main objective. Once out, we get in sync with what the conditions allow for.
A comprehensive list of what to bring with you on our expedition will be sent to you once we collectively establish the trip itenerary.
Escorted vs Guided Trips vs Basecamping
Escorting is leadership and water support to ensure safety on the water and provide local insight of camp-able beaches, hikes, paddling options, sea life, sea state and weather, guidance on leave no trace ethics and proper food storage. I bring a satellite phone on every trip for emergency use only. I also provide water bladders for group storage and a group shelter for cooking, eating and relaxing. Water bladders are provided, but you are required to bring a water treatment system.
On the Escorted Trip you are responsible for: raingear and paddling gear (aside from sprayskirt, PFD, paddles, and pumps), sound/waterproof and tested 3-4 season tents, synthetic sleeping bags and sleeping pad, tarps- a tarp for each tent with abundant line to hang it and a tarp for a quick shelter from the rain, dry bags, stove and fuel, cook-set, dish set, food planning, purchasing and preparation, and dish cleaning. You are also required to bring some form of water treatment ie. Boil water, water filter/purification system.
One thing that I cannot stress enough is how important it is to have solid backcountry skills in a temperate environment. This can be a very unforgiving environment. The weather can be rugged: relentless rain and wind for days on end. If you're thinking about a trip to the tidewater glaciers temperatures can be as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These cold temperatures combined with relentless rain and wind, make for a challenging existence. If you're not familiar with comfortably living in this potentially cold and rainy backcountry environment I strongly suggest my Guided Trip option.
Fully Guided trips are more expensive. I'm not trying to steer people into more expensive trips. I know firsthand moving from Colorado where it is often dry and rain is short lived and summers are not warm but hot, that the temperate rainforest is a totally different world. I will do everything possible to talk through the logistics of making your camp as weather proof as possible, but ultimately once were out were out and if tents, raingear, sleeping bags, stoves… fail or get soaked, your safety is in jeopardy. My primary concern for every trip is everyone’s personal comfort and safety! This may be a reason for me to have to call the trip.
The bottom line is that sunny trips are easy to manage. Stormy trips, though more challenging, are an opportunity to embrace and overcome adversity. Both are great trips. I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t love sunny trips. But the reality is that most trips experience many varieties of weather.
The fully guided option encompasses the escort option plus having all the meals planned, purchased and prepared for you.
With this option my expertise in living- in the temperate environment for the past 10 years is utilized to make your trip as safe and comfortable as possible.
Of course the cook-sets, stoves, dining necessities, and cleaning will be provided for you. A baseshelter is established to ward off bugs, rain and wind, and provide a comfortable place to cook, eat, relax and hang out.
On these trips we eat delicious, healthy, balanced meals. In other words, we eat well! My wife is a registered dietitian and my advisor for meal planning and preparation. Occasionally she even makes a guest appearance on some trips! You are welcome to help in the kitchen, relax in your tent, or enjoy a hike in the temperate rainforest and/or along the shoreline while meals are being prepared.
Three person rainproof tents are provided for two people, while 2 person rainproof tents are provided for individuals. Synthetic sleeping bags and inflatable pads are also provided. To add additional protection all tents are tarped out for additional rainproofing and a bit more covered room. This is what I do with my own tent!
Included in the fully guided option is rain gear: boots, bibs, paddling jacket and poggies/paddling mitts. Sound 3 season rainproof tents for 2 people, sound 2 person tents for individuals. Synthetic sleeping bags and inflatable pads are standard. Tarps! Everything is tarped out! Why? Because this is what I do to make life as comfortable as possible when on my own personal trips.
This is as comfortable as life can be while still allowing for everything to fit into the sea kayaks!
Basecamp= Fully guided +
Take everything from the Fully Guided option and turn it up another notch.
Basecamping allows us to set up a temporary settled camp equipped with roll up tables and folding chairs, propane 2 burner stove, coolers, all contained in an extremely comfortable enclosed shelter. The tent set up is the same with the addition of another foam pad. Additionally, a tented private toilet is set up! I’m familiar with most of the companies operating in the Sound and haven’t seen a comparable set up. 14 years of guiding and living in the Sound has led me to develop the greatest basecamp!