Point Reyes kayak camping
Wahoo! We're so pumped you're registered for this adventure to the remote beach on Point Reyes National Seashore's Tomales Bay. You'll find most of the info you need to prepare for your trip on this page. We'll email you the week before the trip with final details about our meeting spot, carpools, and bios from the other rad ladies who'll be joining you.
We'll be camping on Tomales Beach. We'll pitch our tents just a dozen yards or so from the water, so we'll be able to hear the sound of the waves as we fall asleep. Kayak camping in Point Reyes is a rustic backcountry experience. We'll have access to a pit toilet, but there's no running water, so we'll pack all our own fresh water on our kayaks.
Lunch/dinner on Saturday, and breakfast/lunch on Sunday will be provided. The group will share in cooking and cleanup responsibilities. Please arrive on Saturday with breakfast and coffee already in your bellies!
We’ll eat tasty hot meals for breakfast and dinner. Each Maven will create her own ‘snack bag’ at the start of the trip, with dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, jerky, granola bars, etc. To keep our energy up, we’ll snack throughout the day on trail, rather than having a single lunch meal. We’ll have more than enough snacks for you (think: bars, nuts, dried fruit, jerky for meat eaters) but if you’ve got any favorite trail treats, feel free to bring them.
We're covering most of our mileage by boat. We'll paddle from Inverness to Tomales Beach, around five miles, which should take the group about three hours including a snack break.
After we arrive at our campsite on Saturday, we'll hike through Point Reyes' lush greenery, but won't cover more than 3-4 miles.
*Guides reserve the option to modify trip itinerary as necessary due to weather, injury, illness, or other unforeseen incidents.
Flora + Fauna
To brush up on the plants and animals we might encounter this weekend, check out this brief presentation. Spoiler alert: black bears haven’t been spotted in the Point Reyes area since 2010, but poison oak is alive and well in the region.
Bonus points for being the first person to spot it for the group on our adventure!
Each Trail Maven should plan on bringing:
- Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 3L capacity (have these pre-filled when you arrive Saturday morning)
- Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
- Health insurance card & ID
- Personal toiletries as needed (toothbrush/paste, glasses, menstrual supplies, medications, etc.)
- A pen
- Previous Field Notes (Trail Mavens alumnae only)
- Optional: lightweight backpacking pillow, earplugs, camera, bandana or Buff to keep sun off your neck, pack towel, small bottle hand sanitizer
- Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
- Sleeping pad
- Headlamp with new batteries or spares
- Non-breakable dish/cup/utensils (a Tupperware bowl, heat-proof cup or mug, and any fork/spoon set is just fine!)
- Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing a Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
- Personal clothing (see below)
- Small backpack to carry water bottles, sunscreen, layers, etc. while paddling & hiking
Items in bold will be provided for those women who indicated they needed them during registration.
SHARED ITEMS, PROVIDED BY TRAIL MAVENS: Tents, food, stoves, fuel, cookware, camp chairs, utensils, and basic First Aid.
how to pack
We'll transport all our gear on top of our kayaks. Trail Mavens will provide bungee cords to lash your bags down to the top of your boat, as pictured.
Keep personal items that you'll want access to (lip balm, sunscreen, phones, and cameras) packed in your small backpack. Place electronics in small dry bags in your backpack, or in sturdy Ziploc bags. You'll wear your backpack on the paddle from Inverness to our campsite.
Place your clothes and personal gear (sleeping bags, pads, etc.) into waterproof dry bags, or line a bag you don't mind getting wet with heavy duty garbage bags.
Tipping in your kayak is extremely unlikely, but waves or rain may also get you wet. When in doubt, put your things in plastic bags or dry bags.
This trip is a great opportunity to practice your minimalist packing skills! We recommend the following:
- Sturdy, broken-in walking shoes
- Lightweight shoes/sandals for hanging out at our campsite that can be worn with socks (like Crocs/Tevas/Chacos rather than flip-flops)
- Extra tee shirt
- Long sleeved wool or synthetic shirt
- Warm fleece or other mid-layer
- Down puffy jacket
- Rain jacket
- Warm hat/gloves/scarf
- Warm wool or synthetic socks
- Long underwear bottoms or leggings
- Warm pants (we love fleece!)
TO WEAR SATURDAY MORNING
- Bathing suit bottom
- Quick-dry shorts or leggings & tee shirt (no cotton)
- Sandals/flip-flops you can get wet
(It will probably be cool in the morning, so feel free to wear your fleece or puffy, but you'll pack it back into your bag before we start kayaking unless it's unusually cold.)
Click here for the Point Reyes weather forecast as we approach our trip! Tomales Bay is home to a unique ecosystem that is often prone to heavy fog and wind.
Even if rain isn't in the forecast, plan on getting at least a little wet and sandy.
Leave No Trace
Trail Mavens is committed to following and teaching Leave No Trace principles. To get you started, watch this video on LNT Outdoor Ethics from the National Parks Service. We'll cover this material again on our trip!
Trail Mavens often enjoy wine or whiskey together around the campfire in the evenings. Participation in drinking is welcome but (of course) not mandatory. We ask that Trail Mavens leave recreational drugs at home.
If you’re a smoker, please be respectful and partake in a manner that doesn’t bother other group members, and adheres to Leave No Trace principles.
This is an internet-free weekend (plus, we won’t have cell service)! If you’d like to share your pics on social media, go for it, but only after we get backhome. Then, feel free to go crazy tagging @trailmavens on Instagram or Twitter.
Trail Mavens provides its adventurers with $800-1000 of fantastic backpacking gear. Read on for a couple tips on how to keep gear in fantastic condition:
Your tent is your home for the weekend, so you want to keep it clean and tidy! Keep the door zipped shut unless you’re getting in or out. Consume only water inside your tent to keep it scent-free, and store anything smelly, including toiletries, away from your tent. High-end tent fabric is very delicate; keep shoes and anything else dirty or sharp outside.
Set up your sleeping bag inside your tent to keep both your bag and your tent clean.
Our pads are inflatable, meaning they’re a) quite comfortable and b) can pop if they meet a sharp rock. Be sure to unpack, inflate, deflate, and pack your pad inside your tent, away from anything sharp. This will ensure a comfortable night of sleep for you and a clean tent.