Paddling distance guide?

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goanywhere
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Paddling distance guide?

Post by goanywhere » Fri May 04, 2012 10:45 pm

Hi all. I'm finally getting around to planning a kayak camping trip for 3 days in June. I'm heading to the Coorong in South Australia. As this will be my first long distance trip for many years, and the first in the Sabalo I would like some guidance regarding paddling distances I can expect to cover.

I can paddle up to 10 km/h in short stretches, but around 3-4 would be my estimate over long stretches. I am not super fit, but have built up some upper body fitness and improved my paddling technique over the last year.

I was thinking if I allow 5-6 hours a day (allowing for a late start and generous lunch stop) at 3-4 km/h I would estimate around 20km comfortably in a day. That is if there is no wind, either behind or against. The water will mostly be sheltered with little wave action to deal with.

Bearing in mind my Sabalo will be fully loaded, is this around the mark, or am I being either too conservative or ambitious?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
My psychologist reckons I need lots of fishin' therapy!

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jem
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by jem » Sat May 05, 2012 7:57 am

While the Sabalo wasn't designed for long distance touring, it's an efficient hull.

Distance prediction is tough... depends mostly on you.

5-6 hours a day sounds ok if you're fit and taking your time. I'd allow some "cushion" in case winds kick up or something.
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by Oldsparkey » Sat May 05, 2012 8:19 am

When I plan trips for the gang or for myself there is something I like to do. Before the trip.
I take a gps and go to the finishing or take out area and record that location. Then I go to the put in and record that location. Next I get a map and divide the river into sections depending on how many days we will be on the water. The shortest distance is the 1st day since we normally get on the water around late morning or noon. Te rest of the days are calculated on the distance X time factor.
A easy trip is 2 or 3 hours of paddling ( or I should say , water time ) , leaving camp around mid morning and pulling into the new camp mid afternoon. This allows a lot of time for breaking camp and even more for setting up camp , gathering fire wood for the evenings fire and just relaxing. It also allows for breaks while paddling .... we call then sandbar snacks since we get out of the boats , walk around and have a snack , sometime even a dip in the river on those breaks.

I have paddled from early morning into the dark of night and for me that is not fun.I did not set up or plan those trips , someone else did.
As you figured out , on my trips we do not get in a hurry but take our time and just have a lot of fun. The paddling distance is really what a person wants to do that day. Plus we paddle only as fast as the slowest boat. A 20 mile trip will normally take 4 or 5 river nights 5 or 6 days. If we cover to great of a distance then we just spend a couple of days in the same camp. :D

Chuck.
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goanywhere
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by goanywhere » Sat May 05, 2012 6:50 pm

jem wrote:While the Sabalo wasn't designed for long distance touring, it's an efficient hull.

Distance prediction is tough... depends mostly on you.

5-6 hours a day sounds ok if you're fit and taking your time. I'd allow some "cushion" in case winds kick up or something.
Thanks for that. Yes, I understand that the Sabalo is primarily a fisher, not a cruiser, but as we will be combining cruising and fishing, which was my idea for building her, I am happy to sacrifice a bit of cruising speed for an all round recreational boat. I don't intend to wear myself out trying to meet deadlines, that's for someone much younger :) , but all the same, I do want to get an idea of how far apart our campsites might be, and decide on a plan accordingly.
My psychologist reckons I need lots of fishin' therapy!

goanywhere
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by goanywhere » Sat May 05, 2012 6:54 pm

Thanks Oldsparkey. You are right. No point ruining a pleasant recreational trip by pushing too hard. I'm past trying to prove anything to anyone (except maybe myself). I think I might modify my plans and make it a more leisurely cruise and allow more relaxing time.

Cheers.
My psychologist reckons I need lots of fishin' therapy!

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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by Oldsparkey » Sat May 05, 2012 7:32 pm

I like to go on the trips for the enjoyment of being there and seeing as much as I can. Listing to the Owls at night and watching the campfires light flicker on the side of the hammock or tent as I lay there just about asleep. Just enjoying each moment and what the outdoors has to offer. Heck I think one really nice sound is rain on the rain fly , it sure relaxes me and makes the night that much better.
It is suppose to be a relaxing affair and not a marathon or worse yet ....WORK.

It's interesting when talking to someone about the trip. If it is all about working and hardships or is it more along the adventure , good food , the people that were met and the wildlife. The latter are the folks I enjoy being with even if we do cuss about the mosquitoes and how they keep you swatting them. :lol:
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goanywhere
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by goanywhere » Sat May 05, 2012 7:43 pm

Gee OS you're making it harder to be patient! Are you a poet? I can hear a stanza or two in between those words.

We have a bloke over here in Aus called Macca. He has a show called Sunday with Macca on ABC radio. It's one of the most popular shows in the country. He gets calls from people all over the country about what they're up to and where they are. Many are 'grey nomads' touring all over the country by caravan or 4wd. Every week I look forward to listening to the show and fuelling my appetite for the adventure of 'getting out there'.

You're right. That's what it's all about, enjoying this fantastic world God has given us!
My psychologist reckons I need lots of fishin' therapy!

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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by tx river rat » Sat May 05, 2012 9:16 pm

12 miles a day is sure doable with out too much effort,I like to paddle long distances but there is a reason . In the area I fish and paddle 15 miles is about as close as the put ins are.
I paddle as long as I want to stop when I want to and set no time limits on myself.
Of course living in an area with very few storm no wind to speak off helps. :lol: :lol:
Ron

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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by Oldsparkey » Sun May 06, 2012 9:51 am

Ron ( tx river rat ) has it made , a 15 mile trip in a day is a cake walk , stroll in the park , easy river trip. With normal conditions the Brazos has a good flow to it and if a person wanted to , just sit back and go with the flow , dip a paddle now and then to keep it wet. There is plenty of scenery and wildlife to look at while just floating along.

Or you could show up if I ever make it back to paddle with Ron , that paddle downstream on the last day of our camping trip was sure easy and he said it was because I was there.
With the 55 mph wind hitting us from the back there was no need to paddle , just use the paddle as a rudder and scoot down river. I will not say we were gong real fast but my canoe only touched every third wave as it skimmed over the surface of the river , YES I was in it along with my camping gear. That day was winder then a politician running for re-election. :roll:
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Re: Paddling distance guide?

Post by OnkaBob » Mon May 07, 2012 6:17 am

Steve, I reckon you could do 20km in about 4 hours - but that's all paddling. If you want to fish and look around a bit then about 15 would be better. If you get to camp too early then you can always launch and do a bit more fishing.

For a test run do the Onk from Pt Noarlunga to Old Noarlunga and back - that's very close to 14 km. I've done it in the Laker in about 3 hours with a couple of stops for a snack and drink on the bank.

Also see about getting Canoe SA's guides to the Coorong. They look to be quite good, link here:

http://sa.canoe.org.au/?Page=12814

Where are you thinking of starting from?
Cheers, Bob

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