1. Plan Ahead and Prepare (Overview)

Kayakers clad in rain gear lift their boats up onto a rock shelf on a steep ocean shore.


Kayakers prepare to camp by raising their boats above the tide and
waves on a steep shore.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Overview (click here for 117 kb pdf version)

Before setting out, talk with local USFS staff to learn of regulations/concerns that address protecting the resource, wildlife, visitors and the visitor experience.

Challenging weather, seas, terrain, coastlines and cold water must be addressed when preparing for a trip as well as in day-to-day planning during the trip.

Your party must be well-equipped, proficient, self-reliant, flexible, and capable of enduring extended, cold, soaking conditions.

Travel in small groups to minimize your impact and avoid popular areas during peak use.

Eliminate trash before your trip, prepare snack bags to sustain energy levels and plan for extra meals in case you stay out longer than expected.

Ensure everyone in your party can navigate accurately with a map and compass and a GPS unit; do not use marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.

Leave a detailed wilderness trip plan with people in town and ensure your party knows what to do if you get lost, you get separated from the group or you are weathered-in.