Posted by Ken Campbell June 1, 2010 0 Comment 1012 views

When the subject comes up of long-distance voyaging on a SUP, I usually get asked something along the lines of, “How can you carry enough gear?” It’s a legitimate question, one I’ve been trying to answer for myself for quite some time. After all, the answer is not immediately obvious. There are no storage compartments, no hatches. When I say that I pack my stuff into dry bags and secure them on the deck, I can tell that people understand, but they generally don’t envision much practical enjoyment.

The thing is, I am going to have about 70 liters of storage space for the roadless coast leg of the Olympic Grand Circle, a section of the journey that I expect will take about 5 days to complete, maybe 6. If you stop to think about all the backpackers that are on the trail for that same amount of time, many of them are carrying a comparable load, some even less.

For me, the revelations have come not in what equipment I will need to take, but the items I will be able to leave behind. It’s not that less is more; it’s not. It’s more that the reality of limited storage has enabled me to work on getting the essentials to be smaller, lighter and more packable.

I still have a tent, but it’s a light one. I still take a stove, but it fits inside of my coffee cup, along with the fuel. I still take a sleeping bag, but it’s a summer bag for sure, very light and eminently packable. It’s been a game, this packing of the freight, and I have already learned a great deal. It is good to pare life down to somewhere near the essentials every now and then, just to remind ourselves what is really necessary.

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