Most of the packing for the Three Lakes Challenge seems to be the same as packing for a cycling challenge; food and drink, suitable clothing, route plans, cameras, phones and chargers, etc. However the addition of a night of wild camping means we also have to pack for some independent travel and work out how best to load a kayak to keep the kit dry. Thanks to Scout Camp Boo now has experience with loading, and carrying, a backpack for two day expeditions and our family camping holidays mean we’re reasonably well equipped with first aid kits, cooking gear and sleeping bags but dry bags and carrying kit in and on a kayak are definitely new to us all.
There is a lot of advice available online, including illustrated guides such as this one from Austin Kayak, although we’d like to think we won’t need to worry about bears wanting our food on Loch Awe.
We have been picking the brains of all the staff at the Leam Boat Centre to help us prioritise our kit requirements and feel that we’re as ready as we can be with just under two weeks to go. It helps that Libby and Jenna, our experienced team members, will carry some kit for the larger team and each of the family groups will share out some of their supplies so no individual paddler has to carry everything. It also helps that Boo is happy with her early Christmas gift of dry bags and has been testing using them as pillows. Preparing for our next paddling challenge should be a lot easier with all the lessons we are learning now.