Kayak Camping

This past weekend, I joined 11 other guys to take part in a kayak camping excursion. We loaded up the boats at the Land Between the Lakes and headed out with back country camping permits to find the perfect spot.

This was the first time I've camped out of the boat before. Very few places within driving distance allow you to find a spot anywhere near the lake (without it being a commercial campground). This isn't the case with LBL. The land around the lake isn't privately owned. It's set up for exactly what we were wanting to do.
The first day was spent fishing and scouting in the fully loaded boats. Some of the guys were packed down pretty heavy and dragging in the water. In hindsight, we should have dumped our stuff at the campsite first off. But it was no big deal to us. We were just pleased to be in the water.

Finding a spot was a little tough. With varying water levels, many of the flat areas right on the lake were still a bit soggy. And with that sogginess came lots of mosquitos. We had to look for high ground or open air to keep the breeze blowing. In the photo above, you'll see how dense the woods were in the coves. Bugs were so bad, camping wasn't an option here.
After hours of casually paddling and fishing, we found a great open spot right off the water. With this many guys, it wasn't easy to find enough space for us all. But this was pretty much perfect.
There were two guys meeting us that night in the dark. This was one of those technology scenarios that is a game changer. I just took a screen shot of my iPhone maps app and they knew exactly where we were. There wasn't much guessing to do in the dark in a kayak with a headlamp. Pretty cool.

There was so much beautiful scenery. It was truly a perfect weekend to be on the lake. With temps in the 90's, it was great to be surrounded by water the entire time. We stopped every 30-45 minutes of paddling to hop in and cool off.
It's hard to tell in the photo above, but I snapped a pic of a bald eagle flying away. They're really stunning creatures.
Humidity rendered my watch useless.
One of the guys brought an Eno hammock. It was, seriously, the only option for cooling off on our campsite. It was up in the woods and allowed airflow above and below you. I kept sneaking off every hour or so to lay in there and drop my body temp. It was delightful.
Cliff jumping destroyed our hands. I was bleeding out of several cuts. It was too much fun to walk away to grab my camera. But we spent a couple hours in one spot eating lunch and diving in. On one of my flips off the rocks, I landed on my back so hard that I've got a big bruise on half of my back.
Fishing was fun but I didn't catch a thing. All in all, the 11 of us probably caught about 20 fish. But several of us turned up empty handed for the entire weekend. Mike (above) was one of the guys who scored lots of catches.
Three of the guys ventured pretty far out and didn't get back until about 10pm Saturday night. You can see their faint headlamps glowing across the lake.
It really was an awesome trip. I still can't believe that we had 12 guys with us. It seems that something like that would be nearly impossible with schedules. I didn't know most of the guys there, but it really was a great group of fellas. The shot above was taken as we paddled away. It was wild to see that many boats peppered across the lake.

Word is, this will be an annual trip. I can't wait until next year.

Get out there.