We had our first test packing this past week, our first attempt to pack the kayaks with the exact gear we expect to be taking as we paddle the Alaska Peninsula portion of this summer’s expedition. (For the Augustine Island portion of the trip, we’ll be boated in and working mostly from a base camp – although we are planning one short 3-day excursion – so we don’t have the same space issues we’ll have once we make the crossing to the peninsula.)
On the whole, we were both very pleased with the way the gear fit into the hatches. The filming equipment is the wild card; it takes up a significant chunk of both of the kayaks and making sure that all fit well was a priority. We do have back deck bags in case we need more room than we have, but I’m hopeful that we won’t need them. If I do use mine, it will probably be for the copter – just to avoid any stress that it might have being crammed into the back hatch.
There will be another packing session, maybe more than one, before we actually get going. Initial results are good, however, which is one less thing to worry about with three weeks to go.