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Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:06 am
by goredho
Some buddies and I are starting to think about this for the fall. The goal would be to camp on the coast for 3 days and 2 nights primitively, setting out with only what we could carry on our 3-4 kayaks. I'm pretty sure we aren't the only guys to have thought of this, so I figured I'd see what others thoughts are toward the problem.

First, location advice. Where can we legally camp primitively within a few hours paddle from a launch site? St. Joes island from Port A? Matagorda island? Inshore side of Padre Island national seashore?

Second, gear advice. I have a vision of a kayak modded into a cot with a canopy and mosquito netting. Does such a thing exist?

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:12 am
by Earl
I do this 3-5 times per year. There are several places along the coast that I frequent and all are south of Freeport. I cannot speak to any kayak shaped like a cot and personally would steer away from such a beast. I really prefer to sleep in a hammock but that is nearly impossible along the TX bays and beaches unless you want to tote around a stand. I use a small tent as I can easily find sufficient space to plop it down and it will keep me and my gear out of any rain and I lose a lot less blood to the mosquitos. Your main challenge will be fresh water. Unless you know where to find and filter fresh water on the barrier island you will need what you need for those 3 days. Also, make sure you know your tides and approx amount of expected rise and fall as if you do not have enough elevation you might wake up with water in your tent, yes been there done that.

Locations:
1. Park at Charlies bait camp between Seadrift and POC. Paddle ~4-5 miles across the bay and you can camp anywhere along that shore. You can paddle into Pringle lake or on down to the old state park (Army Hole). You will need a limited use permit to be there legally and yes they do check. Good spots to camp, fish, eat, and be happy.

2. East Matagorda Bay, park at the Sargent boat ramp along the ICW then paddle back into the bay. You can camp anywhere but expect a lot of boat traffic. East Matagorda has gotten just to busy for my tastes.

An alternate park location is at LRCA Matagorda Bay RV park, at the boat ramp parking across the street from the park. You will need to call them and get permission to park there for a few days but I have never been turned down. Then you can launch down the road a bit into East Matagorda Bay then park and long walk back to the kayak or you can paddle across the river and drag you kayak through the marsh into West Matty.

3. Cedar Bayou, park at Goose Island State Park then make the long paddle out there. Great place, really enjoy it. I would not advise camping along the shores of St. Joe as it is owned by the Bass family and they have guys on 4 wheelers and horseback that will ask you to leave if they find you. You can do it but you will need to be stealthy and with 2-3 other people along that will be hard.

There are other locations but these are the ones where I feel the most comfortable about leaving my truck for that amount of time.


Cautions:
Mosquitos, I treat my repellant like firewood, get what you think you need then double it.

Water: Take plenty. If you do decide to find a freshwater hole you need to limit your efforts looking and while looking beware of rattlesnakes and hogs. Hint on where to find the water, follow the game trails and/or look bright green brush or growth just behind the dunes. As you approach the water holes be careful every other living creature on that island knows where the water is and they like to hang out there, alligators, snakes, hogs, I am always armed with a flounder gig. Walk into the water very slowly then take a small sip to see if it is fresh and how fresh. If you like it then fill your empty jugs and get out of there and filter somewhere else.

Gators: They are there, and you will need to be careful walking day or night through the marsh edge as you can walk right up on them sometimes. Also be alert when wade fishing with a stringer. They know where to find an easy meal. Generally they will not bother you but if you have fish, they will take what they want. Do not take a dog. Dogs in the marsh are nothing but gator bait.

I typically will spend 2-5 days on my trips with one trip a few years back at 10 days. I grew up on a barrier island along the TX coast so I am pretty good at finding fresh water and comfortable in the marsh.

I hope this helps. Good luck and post a report,

SYOTW,
Earl

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:13 am
by goredho
Thanks, Earl, awesome advice. I've been intrigued by the Port O'Connor area, haven't fished it yet. We may have to target that. Not sure I'm willing to chance us being able to find water. Maybe that will be a skill I'll try to develop while having a safety net of some gallons stuck in the yak hull.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:06 pm
by Chief Brody
great advice - thanks for posting it. One of these days...

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:44 am
by Boomy
http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/camp ... ctNameLink

The second one down is what I use for beach camping. One of the main benefit is that it's so small that you can kill off you buzzing invaders fairly easily. Also it stores very small and sets up easily. Downside is that one has crappy air flow for mid summer camping.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:03 am
by jakehardgrave
I have done it once now, lot of fun! for water i used repurposed wine bags.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:51 am
by goredho
Thanks for the bivy suggestion. That's probably where we'll gravitate towards. It didn't seem clear from the product description, though, if those are rainproof. Do you have firsthand experience?

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:56 pm
by texastom
Boomy wrote:http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/camping--outdoors/tents--screen-houses/technical-tents?cm_cr=No+Campaign-_-Web+Activity-_-SubCategoryRecommendation+Leisure-_-SubCategory_CP1-_-Backpacking+Tents-productNameLink

The second one down is what I use for beach camping. One of the main benefit is that it's so small that you can kill off you buzzing invaders fairly easily. Also it stores very small and sets up easily. Downside is that one has crappy air flow for mid summer camping.


Did you have the problem with condensation? Might not be an issue if you have enough time to let it dry out before packing it up.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:16 am
by Boomy
texastom wrote:
Boomy wrote:http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/camping--outdoors/tents--screen-houses/technical-tents?cm_cr=No+Campaign-_-Web+Activity-_-SubCategoryRecommendation+Leisure-_-SubCategory_CP1-_-Backpacking+Tents-productNameLink

The second one down is what I use for beach camping. One of the main benefit is that it's so small that you can kill off you buzzing invaders fairly easily. Also it stores very small and sets up easily. Downside is that one has crappy air flow for mid summer camping.


Did you have the problem with condensation? Might not be an issue if you have enough time to let it dry out before packing it up.

This last trip a couple weeks ago we did. (first time though) Normally I set up with the mouth facing the wind, and in that scenario it would dry out before you could pack it.

Water/rain proof? Have not had occasion to find out. BTB trips are planned around the weather so it's never come up, sorry.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:18 am
by Boomy
In retrospect it should be though. Same material as a normal tent. Dome tents use rainflys to cover the vents on top. No vent...

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:28 am
by larry long shadows
jakehardgrave wrote:I have done it once now, lot of fun! for water i used repurposed wine bags.

never used them on a trip but have filled them up and froze them for ice ...they are very strong also filled them up and dropped them on floor didn't break

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:56 am
by Part-time gypsy
You might pick up a copy of this book: http://www.tamupress.com/product/Kayaking-the-Texas-Coast,6439.aspx

It covers some good camping areas that I had always heard were private/off limits.

I fished out of POC in the fall and it is hammered by big boat traffic. As mentioned earlier, Charlie's is a great spot, not too far from POC, to get away from the crowds.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:24 pm
by goredho
Cool, thanks for the book advice.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:13 pm
by Jeaux
goredho wrote:Some buddies and I are starting to think about this for the fall. The goal would be to camp on the coast for 3 days and 2 nights primitively, setting out with only what we could carry on our 3-4 kayaks. I'm pretty sure we aren't the only guys to have thought of this, so I figured I'd see what others thoughts are toward the problem.

First, location advice. Where can we legally camp primitively within a few hours paddle from a launch site? St. Joes island from Port A? Matagorda island? Inshore side of Padre Island national seashore?

Second, gear advice. I have a vision of a kayak modded into a cot with a canopy and mosquito netting. Does such a thing exist?

I have slept in my sit in old town on the water a number of times with a tarp dew/ rain shield stretched above supported by light weight fiberglass tent poles. When bugs are a problem I slide in a bivy while laying in the yak. If legal hard ground is avaiable i will set up the bivy. But nothing like sleeping in a small vessle on the water though. Good luck, be careful and have fun.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:19 am
by goredho
Jeaux wrote:
goredho wrote:Some buddies and I are starting to think about this for the fall. The goal would be to camp on the coast for 3 days and 2 nights primitively, setting out with only what we could carry on our 3-4 kayaks. I'm pretty sure we aren't the only guys to have thought of this, so I figured I'd see what others thoughts are toward the problem.

First, location advice. Where can we legally camp primitively within a few hours paddle from a launch site? St. Joes island from Port A? Matagorda island? Inshore side of Padre Island national seashore?

Second, gear advice. I have a vision of a kayak modded into a cot with a canopy and mosquito netting. Does such a thing exist?

I have slept in my sit in old town on the water a number of times with a tarp dew/ rain shield stretched above supported by light weight fiberglass tent poles. When bugs are a problem I slide in a bivy while laying in the yak. If legal hard ground is avaiable i will set up the bivy. But nothing like sleeping in a small vessle on the water though. Good luck, be careful and have fun.


That's kind of what I was imagining. Might be hard to get to sleep wondering if you would wake up somewhere across the bay, heh.

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:02 am
by rockportkayak
I use a DD Jungle Hammock. It can be setup on the ground like a bivy. Try launching at Tarpon Shores Marina(the casino boat at LHL), then head to Quarantine shore. You will find a structure(posts in the ground) that is used for some boy scout camping. The next day head for Traylor Island, the next day paddle into Cove Harbour.

http://www.ddhammocks.com/product/dd_su ... le_hammock

Re: Minimalist coastal camping from a kayak

PostPosted:Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:31 am
by jakehardgrave
Lets set up a trip guys, sounds like were all on the same page here more or less. Which bay system would work best for you guys? Personally I live in the galveston bay area.