Lady of the Wild Woods

Kayak Camping in the Adirondacks

Kayaks packed up for camping
Packing the kayaks

We drove four or so hours from New Hampshire to Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks of New York to meet our friends, Jen and Jay for kayak camping! We parked at the Golden Beach Campground instead of at the public launch, since it was free to park, and we would have had to pay $10 at the public launch. It added about a mile and a half to our initial paddle to the campsite at Tioga Point for a total of about 4.5 miles, which is not bad overall. Paddling with a filled kayak is more strenuous than with an empty kayak, so you have to take that into account when you choose what to bring. I think of kayak camping as luxury backpacking. The remote campsites are usually just equipped with a picnic table, fire pit, and sometimes an outhouse. The one we were going to also had a leanto, but I’d rather stay in a tent to avoid sleeping with free-roaming spiders.

Loading the kayaks

Kayaks can quickly become quite heavy if you pack too much. While it is luxury backpacking, since you can pack more than you would into a backpack—too many luxuries can complicate your trip to the remote campsite. The luxuries we generally bring are—a queen-sized inflatable mattress, a two-person sleeping bag, the Jackery, an amazing device that empowers your camp, a bit more clothing (water clothes, dry land, and sleeping), and real food for cooking, not the typical freeze-dried backpacking fare.

Our paddle to the campsite was on the windy side, so the lake was choppy. There were numerous motor boats and personal watercraft, so paddling through wake was a given. It took roughly an hour and a half to paddle the 4.5 miles to the campsite, and it was so worth it!

Once we arrived and set up camp, and before making dinner, we decided to indulge in a beautiful sunset paddle on a much calmer lake.

Dinner Night 1

Famished, we still managed to patiently cook a gourmet camp dinner! We had a package of taco crumbles that required only hot water, and now I can’t remember the brand, but that’s okay, because they were meh. What made the soft tacos amazing was the homemade salsa, sliced jalapeños, and fresh cilantro. Next time we will bring frozen crumbles and sauté them with the Jetboil. We did use the Jetboil to warm the tortillas, and they were SO good!

View from our campsite

Breakfast and Paddling Day 2

We slept late the next day and woke up leisurely to coffee in the French press and almond milk. Breakfast was another packet of the freeze-dried crumbles but this one was for breakfast burritos. I heated up the tortillas with the Jetboil and added the crumbles, some sliced avocado (sliced at camp), more homemade salsa brought from home, and some Just Egg that I cooked at camp. We dined while taking in the misty scenery. The temperature was a comfortable cool, and a soft mist made everything seem surreal.

I threw together a couple of sandwiches for us to bring out on our explorations of the lake that late morning and afternoon. A couple of slices of bread, some sliced avocado (we brought two), a few slices of Tofurkey deli ham (bought at our local supermarket), and some bagged baby spinach made for a great lunch. In total, we paddled about seven and a half miles around the lake. It was overcast and calm. We got caught in a refreshing sprinkle once.

Explorations Brought us to a more shallow area of the lake. Miniature lily pads in singles or doubles floated on the water with spiral cords linking them to the bottom of the lake. A beaver dam greeted us at one end of the lake, mesmerizing with its miniature waterfalls, a magnificent demonstration of beaver ingenuity.

Dinner and Fire

Once we got back to the campsite, we started a fire with wood we gathered from the surrounding area. Dinner was jambalaya with a green pepper and an onion diced at camp and Zatarain’s jambalaya mix plus a grilled Beyond sausage links to “beef” it up. It was delicious paired with adult beverages and relaxing by the fire.

Day 3 Packing Up

The morning brought light rain and comfortable temperatures. Fortunately we had put up a tarp over the picnic table, so cooking breakfast was simple. I made the rest of the Just Egg, spinach leaves, Beyond sausage patties, a couple of hash brown patties, and the leftover bread and anything else we hadn’t eaten. It was a hearty breakfast for the paddle back with full kayaks and the ultimate loading onto the car.

Despite the steady, light rain, the paddle back was beautiful and calm. Because of the rain, there were fewer motor boats, and the calm winds make for calm waters. We leisurely paddled the 4.5 miles back to the launch, loaded the cars, and began our 4-hour trip home, banking new experiences, and basking in the afterglow of another amazing outing.

2 thoughts on “Kayak Camping in the Adirondacks

  1. HuiYeng

    Especially thankful for the crew at Golden Beach Campground waited for us to come back before they closed up the campground for the season!

  2. Pingback: Kayaking the Contoocook – Lady of the Wild Woods

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