Outfitting

Isle au Haut

THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTENDED SEA KAYAKING

Ocean kayaking offers a rich opportunity to study the complexities of our interaction with sea and island environments; it gives us relaxing and rejuvenating time away from our daily responsibilities. Islands provide a powerful, dynamic, and often wild foothold from which to witness the wonders of the natural world…and to perfect the art of the siesta and beachcombing. For others, developing seamanship skills and integrating environmental, logistical, and interpersonal factors into what we create for that day are paramount.

TRIP FORMATS

Outfitted trips are self-supported: your group carries all required food, water, and equipment. Groups may opt to utilize our power boat shuttle for transfer of equipment and food; this reduces kayak packing time, adds extensive options at island base camps, and provides extra safety needs. You may prefer to arrange lodging with a local inn or B&B to increase time on the water each day, while ending up under a dry roof with bed and shower.

GROUP SIZE

We have worked with groups from 2 to 64 paddlers. For friends and families, we recommend 6-10. Group sizes of up to 20-30 are workable in limited environments, depending on your goals. If your focus is a wilderness experience, group size should be smaller. Even with 12 participants, concerted planning is necessary to insure minimal impact on island ecosystems.

KAYAKS ON TRAILERS READY FOR THE ROAD

SEA KAYAKS

Our fleet includes Nigel Dennis Kayaks (NDK), Necky, and Valley Canoe Products (VCP) boats from 16’ to 18’; expedition doubles are 22’. These are primarily fiberglass and glass/kevlar boats. We believe that we have one of the finest sea kayak selections available in the Northeast.  We work with you to fit a kayak to each person’s skills, athleticism, and interests.

Visit our Retail Boat Store to learn more about these expedition grade boats.

Stonington Launch

SUPPORTING GEAR

MIKCo uses primarily Celtic paddles, neoprene and nylon spray skirts, and US Coast Guard approved Type III PFDs. We supply all necessary safety and rescue gear, along with deck mounted compasses and waterproof charts for your expedition. Usually we supply everything needed except your sleeping bags, pads, personal gear, and your enthusiasm. For extended expeditions, we can provide wetsuits, pogies, booties, paddling jackets, and dry bags. We have 2-person German tents; our large Moss-type tarps are ideal for kitchen and group activities in inclement weather. White gas and propane stoves and stainless steel cookware are part of a well laid out and effective camp.

PARTICIPANTS' GEAR 

Basically, you need to take care of yourself on the islands. Kayaks generally carry at least twice what we could carry backpacking, which enables each participant to share the load of fresh food and camp gear. Your bags and pads should be of reasonable size due to smallish hatch openings.

EXPEDITION TRIP PLANNING

In order to facilitate development of island-based recreational trips or educational programs, we offer the following as suggested areas of attention: 

  • What are your goals, priorities, and interests? How active do you really want to be?
  • How feasible is this trip or course for your group? What are your required minimum/maxim participant numbers? Are these obtainable with your current development program?
  • What resources are required to meet program goals? 
  • Qualifications: what are your requirements for participation?

Please see our guide Before You Go: an outline of considerations before you go out on the water. We are also able to provide a 1-4 hour orientation session for your group on kayaking skills, navigation, weather, and other topics.

ROUTE SELECTION

Your put-ins and routes will be developed based on group skills and interest, time constraints, and weather factors.  Trip routes trip can be circuitous, beginning and ending at our base on Peaks Island or another launching point. One-way expeditions have a special appeal, but require your group to maintain a schedule to get to the take-out on time. Scheduling around the tides is important for certain areas or courses.  We strongly recommend unsupported travel for courses where outdoor leadership and ocean skill development are primary emphases.

Maine Coast Fog
Self Rescue

KAYAKING SKILLS

We have found that most people can acquire adequate skills for protected paddling in a few hours of on-water instruction in paddling technique and safety procedures. For early season or extended journeying, we may recommend beginning your program with 1-2 sessions of instruction in order to  cover the basics before immersion in higher exposure conditions. Our general teaching methodology involves a summary presentation, demonstration, modeling, and  positive critique.

INSURANCE & MEDICAL CONCERNS

In our more remote locales, we recommend that all participants have medical evacuation insurance. Sea kayak expeditioning often brings us a long way from high quality health care, so participants need to be in good health, without any substantial problems. Please speak to us about any concerns.

Contact us to inquire about outfitting your sea kayaking trip.


"There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude and peace."    Sigurd Olson