Water, Water, Nowhere
Looking at the chart and reading reports, we expected fresh water to be abundant. Given our need for 3.5 litres of fresh water per day per person, we would need almost 100 litres of water for our trip. Typically, we carry 44 litres, but this trip, we opted to carry only 24 litres—a 20-litre container and two, 2-litre water bladders—and fill an empty 20 litre container as needed from those expected streams.

However, once we started on the trip, people we met told us that because of the winter drought in the area this year, fresh water was scarce. So, we decided to take every opportunity to fill our empty container. However, we could not find it, because, as we found out later, we left it on KJ’s garage floor. Oops.

But luck was on our side as people donated extra water they had, we did find water at a few creeks, an anchored Coast Guard vessel we passed spared us some water and the friendly folks at the Hakai Fishing Lodge on Calvert Island allowed us to fill our containers. Finally, we found that by washing our dishes in the sea and rinsing only minimally with fresh water, we could save us a few precious drops per day. All that, and the not too hot weather, which lowered our daily hydration needs, brought our daily need down to 2.5 litres per person.

And that’s how you canoe while carrying less than 28 litres of water at any time!

KJ filling our 4-litre jug with fresh water from a stream in Cultus Sound

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  1. I have often found water south of Seaforth Channel to be a scarce commodity. North of Seaforth I am comfortable traveling with 8 to 10 liters but try to double my supply prior to of as soon as entering the Bardswells.

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