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Butterfly Tours 8-day Packing List

This is a list of all the recommended items to pack on your 8-day Expedition through Gwaii Haanas.

Guests will be provided with two seal-line drybags (20L & 10L) that offer 30L of space to pack all your items. Water bottles, sleeping bags, and shoes do not need to fit inside these dry bags.

In addition, we will provide a 5L dry bag for gear like your cellphone, camera, sunscreen, hat, gloves, etc., that you can access on the water. Unfortunately, butterfly tours do not provide a sleeping bag, compression sac, or rain gear. (Rentals may be available if ordered in advance).

Butterfly tours provides the following: Tent, drybags, and paddling equipment (PFD, paddle, skirt, safety equipment, kayak).

Foot & Hand Gear

  • 1 pair supportive medium-weight fabric/leather trail boots with good traction soles, for wearing on shore
  • 1 pair neoprene booties with thick soles, for wearing in the kayak
  • 2 to 3 pairs warm socks, wool or synthetic
  • 1 to 2 pairs light-weight synthetic liner-socks (please do not bring cotton socks)
  • 1 pair neoprene "grip-palm" paddling gloves with curved fingers (these are optional)
    • (Appropriate socks and boots will make a big difference to your trip)

Lower Body Clothing

  • 1 pair shorts, fast drying synthetic is best
  • 1 pair warm long pants, wool or synthetic
  • 1 pair lightweight long pants, fast drying synthetic
  • 1 pair rain pants, waterproof coated nylon or Gore-Tex, etc.
  • 4 to 6 pairs underwear, synthetic or wool (see online resource)
  • 1 pair long johns, synthetic or wool (not cotton)

Upper Body Clothing

  • 1 lightweight merino wool t-shirt
  • 1 light-weight long-sleeved UV protective sun shirt
  • 1 or 2 light-weight long-sleeved wool or synthetic undershirts
  • 1 medium-weight long-sleeved wool or synthetic shirt
  • 1 warm heavy-weight wool or synthetic shirt
  • 2 sweaters or jackets, synthetic or wool
  • 1 vest, synthetic or wool
  • 1 neck gaiter or scarf, wool or synthetic
  • 1 waterproof paddling jacket or a quality rain jacket with sleeves capable of closing tightly
    • (see the online resource for detailed information on paddling jackets & rain jackets)
  • Women: sport bra, synthetic or merino wool (not cotton)
  • Head Gear
  • 1 sun hat with firm, windproof brim - adjustable for snug fit and with a chin-strap
  • 1 warm hat - a synthetic or wool warm hat is required
  • 1 synthetic or wool balaclava, or ski mask (extremely practical; small, light & warm, please bring one!)
  • 1 sou'wester rain hat (to fit over warm hat) or a hood on your rain jacket
  • 1 cotton bandana or handkerchief
  • Merino wool and synthetic clothing materials are highly recommended.
  • Down and cotton insulate extremely poorly when wet and dry very slowly.
  • Wool insulates well when wet, although wool dries fairly slowly.
  • Synthetic materials insulate well when wet and dry quickly.

Required Equipment

  • 1 medium-weight 100% synthetic sleeping bag (do not bring a down-filled, or cotton-lined sleeping bag)
  • 1 sleeping pad (Thermarest, or closed-cell foam)
  • 1 sturdy frame-less day pack, capable of compressing very small when empty (for day-hikes)
  • 1 or 2 water bottles - approximately one litre capacity each
  • 1 headlamp with extra batteries
  • 3-4 5-10L small stuff sacs and garbage bags to waterproof all your gear. (No more than 40L total) – No bigger than 20L dry bags
  • 6 spare empty garbage bags and 3 spare empty small nylon stuff sacs - for reorganizing your gear
    • (large garbage bags are ok - the garden-size bags are too large, kitchen bags are too small)
  • several medium and large size ziplock freezer bags (very useful)
  • small quick-drying camp towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • sun block lotion & lip protection, SPF 15 or more (waterproof)
  • insect repellent
  • sunglasses - 100% UVA & UVB protection (eyeglasses should be secured with a head/neck strap)
  • pocket knife, lighter and whistle with lanyard (keep whistle with you at all times when on shore)
  • contingency funds - please bring approximately $450 cash and a credit card
  • 1 large duffel bag to carry all of your gear (see the online resource for details)
  • (duffel bag must fit through kayak hatch when empty - mesh duffel bags are often the most compressible)
  • Women: extra tampons and/or sanitary napkins (increased activity may cause irregular menses)
  • Contact lens wearers: lens cleaning & storage facilities plus spare eyeglasses with head/neck strap
  • Diabetics: glucometer in a waterproof case, glucagon emergency kit and an extra supply of insulin

Optional Equipment

  • 1 waterproof compression dry sack (very useful if you have a large sleeping bag, or lots of gear)
  • Gore-Tex oversocks (very useful in wet weather)
  • 1 “fuzzy rubber” skull cap (highly recommended if you tend to feel cold during wet & windy weather)
  • 1 pair light-weight wool or synthetic gloves
  • thick knee pads (useful for fitting small people into kayaks and kneeling beside boats while loading gear)
  • neoprene elbow braces (for quick insulation and joint support)
  • camera with spare batteries & extra memory card - in waterproof case; please consider insurance
  • binoculars - in waterproof case; please consider insurance
  • compass, chart case and laminated charts (see the online resource for information and chart numbers)
  • journal, playing cards, books or e-reader (see the online resource for suggested reading material)
  • 1 roll of toilet paper (see the online resource for a brief description of the “global technique”)
  • Handi-Wipes or other moist towelettes for personal hygiene
  • bug-jacket or insect-netting headgear (bugs are rarely a problem on Haida Gwaii)
  • swimsuit
  • earplugs (some people sleep better with earplugs)
  • 15 meters (50 feet) light utility cord (this is string, not thick rope - it's for general use; clothes-lines etc.)
  • 25 lb. fishing line and several "Buzz Bomb" lures (fishing rods not recommended - see online resource)
  • Tidal waters fishing license - available online: dfo-mpo.gc.ca
  • waterproof marker for labeling bags
  • small roll-top dry bags (to substitute for stuff sacs and garbage bags)
  • favorite goodies or alcohol to share during the trip (perhaps a wine carton to keep in Rose Harbour for the last night)
  • Conserve space; use collapsible containers like Dromedary bags or wine skins
  • ski goggles (some people prefer to wear goggles on the speedboat)

Please also see Packing for a Kayak Trip for more information.

Northern Gwaii Haanas

8 Day Tour

Venture into Northern Gwaii Haanas National Park for an 8-day adventure through the nutrient rich waters of Haida Gwaii

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Southern Gwaii Haanas

8 Day Tour

Endeavor into Southern Gwaii Haanas National Park for an 8-day wilderness journey towards SGang Gwaay

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Book Your Sea Kayaking Trip of a Lifetime with Butterfly Tours

Butterfly tours explore the isolated and pristine east side of Gwaii Haanas, an area preserved in its natural state.

We will leave behind all signs of civilization and explore the supernatural coastline of Gwaii Haanas, which consists of island clusters, jutting headlands, sheltered inlets, and secluded beaches.

Humpback whales, ancient murrelets, salmon, and tufted puffins thrive in this rich and diverse marine environment.

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