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Preparing for the Expedition of a Lifetime

As you can imagine, preparing for a 140 day sea kayak expedition is pretty complex! We learned a heck of a lot from our 2019 paddle around Vancouver Island – primarily the importance of spending the time to properly plan the trip to set ourselves up for success. If you’re interested in how we got to this point in the planning process, check out our blog post about the expedition’s origins.

We’ve already had meetings with fellow adventurers, started some conversations with potential sponsors, booked training courses, and made plans for conquering the remaining prep work. Over the next 396 days, Sanesh and I will be preparing ourselves for the physical and emotional challenge of the trip, planning and preparing the meals we’ll be eating along the way, planning the route we’ll take, acquiring the equipment we’ll need for the journey, and figuring out how to balance our desires for adventure with the reality of our day-to-day lives and careers. Along with planning for all of these things, we also want to be sharing them with you on the blog. Here’s what you can expect from us over the next year:

  • We’ll be sharing our training routine, and the steps we’re taking to ensure that we’re in the proper mental state for the expedition. Our plan to paddle 20 Nautical Miles per day means we’ll be on the water and working hard for up to 10 hours every day! If we’re gonna keep our arms attached to our shoulders, we’re gonna have to train! Being separated from our loved-ones (sorry Sarah, Caro, and Enzo) for such an extended period is also certain to be a huge stress. Not to mention that Sanesh and I will only have each other for company, problem-solving, support, and debate for weeks-on-end! As we learned from our paddle around Vancouver Island in 2019, being prepared both physically and emotionally is critical for success.

  • We are very excited to plan and prepare our meals! In recognition of that, we’ll be writing a blog series entirely dedicated to the process of planning and creating our meals. This series will cover menu planning (portions, nutrition, variety, etc…), food drop preparation, a recipe book of our chosen meals, and the process of dehydrating and preserving food for expedition. Sanesh and I have a pretty diverse food background (his is South African and Indian, mine is Polish and Italian) and hope to incorporate as many of our comfort foods as possible into the menu. We’ve also reached-out to some of our favourite local restaurants hoping for some tasty collaborations!


A stir-fry of rehydrated veggies from a 2014 West Coast Trail hike
  • Route planning for an expedition this long is going to be a monumental task! We’ll need to calculate travel distances, find suitable camping, acquire permits, create evacuation plans, locate hazards, and create contingencies. We’ll also need to look into the current and tide tables and check historic weather patterns. All this while ensuring we find as many cool gems and viewpoints as possible! A crucial piece of route planning will be ensuring that we have enough rest built-into our plan so we don’t burn out early. We currently have a basic idea of where we intend to paddle – it’s posted here!

    • Planning our route also means planning the logistics of the trip: ferries, drop-offs and pick-ups, and some friends that might join us for some sections of the trip!


A route planning session from our 2019 expedition around Vancouver Island
  • We’re gonna have a lot of gear to find for this trip so we’re gonna share our process for selecting the pieces that will serve us the best on our journey. Sanesh and I are pretty huge gear nerds, so we’re pretty stoked to have the opportunity to chat with industry experts, test out pieces of new gear, and learn as much as we can about the state-of-the-art in sea kayaking. We’ll be sure to document some of the debates which are bound to arise between the two of us as we decide between gear options.

  • Finally, we’ll be sharing the ways in which we’re managing to balance our expedition dreams with the realities of our 9-5 work lives. This is of particular note for Sanesh, who works full time as an engineer. We’ll need to figure out how to save ourselves enough time and energy to train, take courses, prep equipment, and write blogs!

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us! We’re very excited to have started this journey and to share as much of the expedition prep process as possible. If there are any topics you’re particularly interested in or any that you think we missed, let us know by leaving a comment! We’d love to hear from you. Please consider subscribing to be notified about future posts.


Cheers,

Nathan

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