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Packing the essentials aboard Kobuk

The demands of the long voyage I'm on require that I store a lot of gear aboard Kobuk, even though much of it is rarely used. When the boat was launched in 2002 in Utah, she rode nearly an inch above her designated waterline.

Hampson (here on Lane Michigan) made the Bahamas after 10,000 miles on rivers, lakes and the ocean.

Now the 2-inch boot stripe is completely submerged, and I spend evenings mulling over what can be jettisoned. This is how character gets built. I've become less stingy because of Kobuk.

The boat's small frame is obliged to troop along with the following sorts of things:

  • inflatable kayak
  • 65 gallons of fuel
  • auxiliary engine
  • well-stocked cooler
  • Coleman stove
  • spare parts of unmentionable diversity
  • books and charts
  • collapsible bicycle
  • suitcase in which to pack the bicycle
  • canvas curtains that zip onto the Bimini; a canvas cover for whenever Kobuk is left in storage
  • 10 gallons of water
  • safety items, such as a paddle, life vests, emergency flares and an EPIRB
  • navigational items, such as a GPS and a backup unit, and a VHF
  • galleyful of pots and pans and dishes; buckets and cleaning aids
  • cabinet full of head items
  • anchors and anchor rodes and lots of line
  • bed and a sleeping bag
  • clothing for cold, fog, rain and enervating heat
  • spare liquids, such as motor oil, Clorox, distilled water and antifreeze

See related article:

- Grand quest in a small boat

This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue.