Paddle Through Time: Navigation & Primitive Camping Exploration

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Date(s) - May 29 - May 31
4 pm

False Cape


Strange, spooky, & undiscovered, False Cape, VA provides a unique

False Cape

Navigation, personal coaching, & primitive camping

paddling & camping experience. Early explorers confused the bay with Cape Henry, to their sad dismay, and the shallow waters became a ship’s graveyard. Early colonials moved in and attempted to farm, but after a hundred years of having their fields and houses washed away during storms, they abandoned the region, leaving a moldering church and a few crumbling houses. Today, the mile-wide strip of sand and trees that separates the bay from the Atlantic is home to nothing but a few wild pigs, a bunch of birds, and the occasional passing paddler.

We will meet on Friday night at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, VA. Enjoy the showers & running water while you can! We will have an on-land navigation session to get us ready for the weekend of kayak camping ahead.

On Saturday, we will drive to False Cape and launch into the unknown. We will spend the day using our navigation skills to explore the waters before setting up our primitive campsites around lunch time. In the afternoon, we will use charts and compasses to find the church ruins in Wash Woods & see what else there is to see. On the water, our coaches will provide one-on-one coaching and we will run training sessions as per the group’s needs. Then on Saturday night, we will eat good food & try to scare each other with ghost stories.

On Sunday, we will pack and set a heading for Cedar Island to find the gravestone of the last two people to live in the area. Hopefully, their spirits will not follow us home as we head back to our cars in the late afternoon, completing our kayak camping trip.

This trip is an excellent introduction to navigation & kayak camping. We will give you a list of gear in advance, teach you to load your boats, & provide any education you need on Leave No Trace. If you have questions about your gear, you can text us from REI as often as you like.


  • Which Way Do I Go? Basic Navigation for All PaddlersLearn the basic skills needed to plan and execute a paddle no matter what the water type or weather conditions.  You will learn how to use a compass, read a navigation chart, and plan for wind, tides and currents. The first half of the class will be hands on compass and charting exercises.  The second half of the class, we will use the skills we learned in the morning and take a journey on the water following a charted course that is prepared by you.  Good for those new to navigation skills.
  • Training sessions TBD by group

What we teach is up to you. Depending on the group’s desires, we’ll work on specific strokes and overall efficiency by stopping during our journeys to take a learning break. Expect to leave with a better forward stroke and easier turning skills.

  • One-on-one coaching

As we journey, our coaches will be moving among to group to give individual help. You’ll get the attention you need to reach your personal goals.

This is going to be a wonderful adventure. Join us!


Bookings are closed for this event. Please call 443-579-5079 to join the wait list.

3 thoughts on “Paddle Through Time: Navigation & Primitive Camping Exploration

  • Pingback: 4 Necessities for Kayak Navigation - Babes with Blades

  • April 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Looking forward to this trip. I will review your instructions and come up with more questions. First, recommendations for amount of water and food suggestions?

    • May 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      We’ll be sending out a gear list next week, but I usually bring about a 1/2 gallon a day of water and I never use it all. For food, you’ll need 2 breakfasts and lunches. We’re providing dinner on Saturday. I’m so glad you’re joining us!

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