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Trip Planning and Preparation


NSSKA trip leaders take care to plan safe, enjoyable outings. Here is the process:
  • A NSSKA trip leader fills out Trip Proposal Form
  • The proposed trip is reviewed by the NSSKA trip coordinator and NSSKA board members
  • Once approved, the trip gets posted to our events calendar
  • Members log into the website, find the event on the calendar, and register or join the waitlist

Each posted trip includes information about the expected conditions and required effort. If you have any questions about whether a particular trip is suited to your abilities, please contact the leader for the trip (listed in the calendar entry). Each entry includes a rating of the expected conditions and effort for the trip (see below for description of the ratings).


Club members who are not trip leaders can propose a trip by emailing the Trip Coordinator at

Bill pre-trip talk


Trip Ratings


I - Protected waters, possibly a light breeze, little or no current, easy landings. You must be able to wet-exit safely from a capsized kayak.

II - Possible chop with wind waves of up to 2 feet, current to 1-2 knots, easy to moderate landings. You must have experience with wet exits, assisted rescues, and bracing.

III - Possible swells and eddy lines, moderate to strong winds, moderate to difficult landings, current up to 4 knots. You must have dependable skills in assisted rescues, self-rescues, and bracing.

IV - Some exposed water, possible open-water crossings, moderate to strong currents, swells, moderate to strong sustained winds, moderate to difficult landings, possible surf. You must be able to brace automatically, to self-rescue confidently, and (preferably) to roll. You must be able to navigate using a chart and compass.

V -  Possible long crossings, rugged and/or exposed coast, large swells, surf, strong currents, turbulent water, difficult landings and/or strong wind effects. You must have advanced paddling, seamanship, and rescue skills, and be able to roll dependably.


A - Up to three hours and/or 6 nautical miles, with plenty of sheltered landing spots for resting.

B - Up to 5 hours and/or 10 nautical miles, with some sheltered landing spots for resting.

C - Up to 6 hours and/or 15 nautical miles with infrequent shelter or landing spots.

D - More than 6 hours and/or more than 15 nautical miles, with little or no shelter and very few landing spots.

Gear & Supplies

Paddlers are required bring the following items on any day trip:

  • Food and beverage/water
  • Personal flotation device (PFD) equipped with whistle
  • Sea kayak with flotation fore and aft (either bulkheads or float bags)
  • Spray skirt
  • Bilge pump and paddle float
  • Personal first aid kit that includes any medications for specific needs
  • Sun and rain protection (hat, sun glasses, sunscreen)
  • Dry bag with rain jacket or cagoule, and change of clothes
  • VHF radio if possible

In addition to the above, trip leaders are required to bring:

  • VHF radio
  • Compass and chart of the route
  • Emergency blanket
  • Repair kit
  • Short tow and long tow
  • Spare paddle

For overnight trips, the trip leader will provide a gear/supply checklist based on destination and duration.

Comfy in the rain