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Happy Meals, Happy Paddling: A Guide to Food Planning for Sea Kayaking Trips

My partner Barbara and I were experienced campers and backpackers when we moved to Seattle in 2000, but we didn’t have much experience kayaking. We owned sea kayaks, had taken classes in San Francisco Bay, and we’d even done a kayak camping trip for a week in Prince William Sound, Alaska in the 80s. But we knew that Puget Sound was both fabulous and challenging for sea kayaking, and we’d better have more training before heading out there. As soon as we joined The Mountaineers, we signed up for the Basic Sea Kayaking course. Read more…

How the Basic Kayaking Course Opened a New World

Life was good since I retired in September of 2015 at 63 years young. In March 2015, I purchased the Mokai: a motorized kayak intended for use on rivers. The Mokai is 11’ Long 36” wide, powered by a 7hp 4-cycle Subaru engine, has an electric start, is a sit in kayak, and is rated for SK-III rapids. I bought to use in Washington rivers for fishing. Read more…

Sign Up: Tacoma Basic Sea Kayaking Course

Sea Kayaking is fun! It offers camaraderie, calm, easy paddles, kayak surfing, marine life viewing on rocks and in caves, camping on islands, and playing in currents. Kayaking is anything you want it to be, and its great fun to paddle with friends. The Tacoma Mountaineers Basic Sea Kayaking Course is coming up soon. You want in? Read more…

What Are The Ten Essentials?

The Mountaineers Ten Essentials™ dates back to our climbing courses of the 1930s. This widely respected safety and packing system was formalized in the third edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, released in 1974. Each of the nine editions of Freedom, as it is affectionately known, was written entirely by volunteers and reflects the collective wisdom of hundreds of outdoor skills instructors. The list has always sought to answer two basic questions: Read more…

Your Rescue Practice May Look Like an Emergency to Someone Else

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

Outside Insight | Charting New Waters: Creating a Cross-Branch Paddling Community

In the Pacific Northwest, year-round sea kayakers are a tight-knit community. These brave individuals don their drysuits in all conditions and relish in the opportunity to paddle big waves during winter storms. They seek adverse conditions to build their skills, growing more confident in their ability to explore wilder and more remote places. Read more…

Explore Puget Sound with Tacoma's Basic Sea Kayaking Course - Begins May 2

The Tacoma Mountaineers Basic Sea Kayaking Course is coming up - you want in? Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - Fall 2019

What better time to look back on your autumn adventures than when you're waiting for winter to arrive? Soon, snow will cover all of your favorite ski hills, the streets of the Pacific Northwest will be full of colorful down jackets and rain shells (if that hasn't already happened), and one single snowstorm will slow roads down for longer than is reasonable.  Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports of Summer 2019: Part 1

Unsurprisingly, The Mountaineers community takes an astounding number of trips all around the Pacific Northwest in the summer months, and many of those yield great write-ups and photos.  That makes aggregating reports for these Top-10 posts a lot harder. After looking through every report dated between June 1 and July 31, I pulled out the best of the best, which left me with about 50 reports - way too many to turn into a top-10 list. Therefore, I dub the reports below the "best of the best of the best." Read more…

How To Create Knee Bracing for Your Kayak

Want to master that “bomb-proof” roll or brace? Want to more effectively edge your kayak? Then you need to make sure your knees are properly secured in your boat to maximize your performance. Wedges can accomplish that. The last thing you want on a brace or roll is for your knee to slip off, and a secure foam wedge allows your knee to flawlessly pull hard and right the boat. Read more…