point reyes kayak camping
august 11 - 12
moderate, no previous kayaking experience required
Register until Monday, August 6
Boat-in camping is unlike anything else you've ever done. There's nothing quite like paddling a mile across a stunning bay, hopping out of a kayak into ankle-deep water, and pulling your vessel onto a sandy beach that's only accessible the way you just got there.
The Tomales Bay side of Point Reyes is one of the most ethereally beautiful destinations we visit, a stunning setting for you to hone your own skills, deeply connect with other amazing women, plus spend some quality time with the most important person in your life: you. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the bioluminescence, too. If the night is dark enough, we'll be able to wave our fingers underwater and see them sparkle.
FALL ASLEEP TO THE SOUND OF WAVES gently lapping outside your tent after being dazzled by NIGHTTIME BIOLUMINESCENCE.
ZERO STRESS around literally any planning. We handle everything from permits to bug spray, so all you have to do is soak in the learning and the fun.
HANDS-ON TRAINING so you can show off your skills next time you pitch a tent (we'll make sure you look like you've been doing it all your life).
PROOF THAT YOU'RE EXACTLY AS TOUGH AS YOU KNOW YOU ARE (it's just that real life doesn't provide enough opportunities for you to test yourself).
SPACE TO DISCONNECT so you can step away from the day-to-day of urban living, stop, breathe, plant your feet in the group and focus on what’s happening right now.
THE MAVEN FACTOR (i.e. what happens when you mix dynamic, thoughtful, open-hearted women for a weekend outside).
- Early morning meetup at the Bear Valley Visitors Center for Opening Ceremonies and packing strategizing
- Carpool to Inverness, CA, for kayak and (optional) wetsuit outfitting, kayak packing, and paddling primer
- Paddle north along world-famous Tomales Bay, keeping your eyes peeled for cormorants, devil rays, and pelicans, stopping for a picnic lunch along a private beach along the way
- Camp set-up and afternoon hike
- Beach bonfire, stove lesson, dinner, and mandatory s'mores
- (Optional) evening paddle to spot bioluminescence in the water
- Breakfast and camp-break down
- Paddle back to Inverness, bidding farewell to our beach campsite
- Lunch and Closing Ceremonies back at the Bear Valley Visitors Center
- Early afternoon return to Bay Area*
*Exact return timing pending our paddling speed and traffic en route home.
Guides reserve the option to modify trip itineraries as necessary due to weather, illness, injury or other unforeseen incidents.
FIRST-TIME TRAIL MAVEN? YOU GOT THIS.
Every single Trail Mavens trip starts with strangers. But don't worry - if you're nervous about not knowing anyone or not being skilled enough, everyone says this before they go.
To feel more confident before signing on, read our (extremely detailed) FAQs for the intel you need.
+ Packing list
Each Trail Maven should plan on bringing the following:
- Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
- Sleeping pad
- Headlamp with new batteries or spares
- A sense of adventure
- Backpacking bowl, mug, and utensil (a Tupperware bowl, heat-proof cup or mug, and any fork/spoon/spork set is just fine!)
- Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
- Personal clothing
- Sturdy, broken in waterproof hiking boots
- Lightweight shoes/sandals for hanging out at our campsite that can be worn with socks (like Crocs/Tevas/Chacos rather than flip-flops)
- Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 2L capacity
- Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
- Health insurance card & ID
- Tampons/pads/menstrual cup as needed
- Toothbrush/mini toothpaste
- Personal medications
- Glasses/contacts with solution
- A pen
- Field Notes notebook (Trail Mavens alumnae only)
- Optional: lightweight backpacking pillow, earplugs, camera, bandana or Buff to keep sun off your neck
Items in bold provided at no additional cost for any women who does not have her own.
+ bathrooms and hygiene
Our campsite on the west shore of Tomales Bay features pit toilets, and no running water. We'll carry all our own water over on our kayaks, about a gallon per person. (We're hardcore like that.) We'll use our fresh water to drink, cook, and wash our hands. We recommend taking a dip in Tomales Bay if you want to get all-the-way wet!
You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Trail Mavens locations, but we'll help coordinate carpools or shared rentals for women leaving from the same area. Passengers will contribute to owners/drivers to cover the cost of gas and wear & tear, or evenly split the cost of the rental. This cost is not included in your trip investment.
Want even more carpooling details? Check out our Transportation FAQ.
+ OUT OF TOWNER?
Plan to book flight arriving in the Bay Area on Friday and departing no earlier than 10pm Sunday night, or Monday morning.
IS TRAIL MAVENs FOR YOU?
TRAIL MAVENS IS FOR YOU IF YOU...
... love open, honest, hilarious conversations with other women. Surface stuff is fine at home, but you know the best stuff comes out around the campfire.
... haven't learned how to start the fire, work the stove, or purify water. Get hands-on practice here, with other adventurous women (so you don't have to trial-and-error on your own).
... thrive on being pushed - tenderly and lovingly - outside your comfort zone, because you know that's where the magic happens.
... learn by doing, and feel empowered when given the chance to make suggestions and decisions.
... feel creative, inspired, and happy when you're outside (and you could definitely use a little more of that right now).
OUR ADVENTURES AREN'T FOR YOU IF YOU...
... think getting a little sweaty, dirty, and marshmallow-y sounds gross.
... want everything—dishes, decisions, and dinner—to be done for you.
... don't want to experience the outdoors with a group of rad, like-minded women.
Trip Investment: $435 [$415 before June 11]
trip fee includes...
... all Point Reyes campsite, parking, and permit fees, plus tandem kayak, PFD, and wetsuit rental
... guided, hands-on outdoor skills instruction and facilitation from a Wilderness First Responder-certified guide, plus access to the collective brilliance of your group
... delicious meals from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, plus wine, whiskey, and s'mores for the evening hours
... all the gear you need, just in case you don't have any; just bring clothes and a toothbrush
... a donation back to Point Reyes National Seashore, to preserve and protect it for future generations
We don't want finances to ever be the thing that gets in the way of you experiencing a Trail Mavens trip. We offer installment plans and photographer discounts. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you set up.