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New to Sea Kayak Camping Workshop, April 26, 2015


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NSPN New to Sea Kayak Camping Workshop

April 26, 2015

OK, this isn't really a trip report, but it does offer a chance for one attendee to echo others in saying what a fantastic job Rob Folster did, almost singlehandedly, in putting together this years NTSKCW at Gould Barn. And hopefully the photos that follow will give a sense of the breadth of what he presented.


Of course, others helped to set up - Cathy, Bob, Doug and the Other Doug as well as me. We had two tents indoors and one outside, and two hammocks slung between trees.

Cathy made a million sandwiches to feed the masses - take your pick!


Before everyone arrived, she took a well-deserved break in her most impressive new camping hammock.


It not only gets her off the ground, which makes her very happy, but it allows her to sleep covered in a pink blanket - her head nestled on a green frog pillow...

Rob started off with an historical note on our venue, and its status as NSPN's unofficial clubhouse. The workshop was divided into three parts: hour-long presentations on grouped-together items such as tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats; stoves, food, sanitation and and water; and finally safety issues and how to load - and carry - a boat.


I think we ended up with every permutation and combination of sleeping bags and stuff sacks: 15 degree high end synthetic, 30 degree down, 20 degree car camping bag, 30 degree synthetic, 15 degree down; as well as warm and cool bag liners; and compression sacks and regular drybags with a nod to triple wrapped garbage bags as a method of keeping a bag dry.


At break, people were free to check out the merchandise and ask questions.


Doug found takers for trying out his hammock.


We moved on to stoves and water storage


and again, except for cat food can stoves - which did get a nod - we had most of the common kinds laid out.


And of course one of the most important topics: leave no trace camping principles and a perennial favorite - poop management (sorry, no photos of that!).

Another break and more questions, some directed to Bob, who had a table full of (damp!) paddling gear for those with questions about dry suits, pfds, charts and so on.


And finally the piece de resistance: loading the boat. Rob explained the rationale for his loading choices, focusing on weight, trim, and the need to keep the compass free of metal interference.


So efficient was he in this process that he kept calling out, "I got room!" and in would go another sleeping bag, or sack of clothes, or stack of pots and pans.

And then showing the gathered masses how easy it is to lift a very heavy loaded boat when four people contribute.


Cathy had prepared an Oh The Places You Will Go slideshow, but we ran out of time. But there was time enough at the end to give a plug to MITA and Maine Coast Heritage Trust, to address the importance of respecting private property, and the need to have skills adequate to the task of paddling out to the many alluring coastal islands.

I spoke to many attendees who praised Rob's thoroughness, know,edge, humor and eloquence. I observed many people scratching notes throughout, and coming away with pages of new information on kayak camping.


Thanks to Doug, Doug, and Sherry, as well as Neil Sheehan, who helped with putting the barn to bed for the night. A really successful day. Thank you, Rob and Cathy, for all the work you put in!

Now, let's get out there and camp!

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Thanks for the report and pictures, Pru! And thank you to all those that helped out. I appreciate all of the comments and compliments, since this was the first presentation like this that I have ever done, and I really enjoyed it. Definitely have some improvements to make, and already looking forward to doing it again next year.

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