Organize a paddle or trip!

Planning a last minute paddle or upcoming weekend paddle?  Please email so we can send a quick email to everyone.

Planning an upcoming trip or weekend paddle? The Trip Coordinator is the sole contact for anyone planning a Club trip. The Coordinator will work with the trip organizer and the Board to assess the difficulty rating of a trip and ensure the trip is posted on the Calendar and and Club website.  Review skill requirements here.

Please read over the information below in preparation of submitting your trip. If you have any questions, contact the .

Club trip participants must be club members, trips must follow SKOAC Guidelines for Club Trips & Activities.

To get the trip listed in the calendar and posted on the SKOAC Website please email the following information to the SKOAC Trip Coordinator.

You will need to provide the following information:
Brief description of trip and destination, approximate mileage is helpful
Your contact name and email
The rating for the trip (see the Skill Requirements)
You will need to think about your trip plan ahead of time:

What is the maximum number of people you will allow on the trip?

For Level II and on open water (any of the Great Lakes) trips we try to keep a ratio of one more experienced paddler to 2 or 3 less experienced paddlers. If you feel your trip needs several more experienced paddlers, try to get them signed up first, since that will determine your group size.
Where will the cars park and is there enough room at the put-in?
Will you need a camping permit/reservation for an overnight trip? (make reservations as soon as possible: national parks/lakeshores and state parks in the region have been getting heavier use and just showing up for a permit at the last minute is not a good idea between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
What will the total cost for the trip be (parking, camping fees, motel rooms, etc.)
If the weather is worse than in the trip rating, will you cancel the trip or plan a paddle in a more sheltered area nearby?
**For overnight trips, be clear in your own mind and with others on the trip that being stranded an extra night or two is possible, and preferable to paddling in conditions beyond your abilities**
See the SKOAC Guidelines for Club Trips & Activities for required and recommended equipment. You can require additional equipment if you feel it’s needed.

Signing people up for trips:

If people email or call about the trip, you should make sure that they are club members first (unless your trip is unofficial).
Check with the Membership coordinator ( Membership).
If you have not paddled with the person before, ask them about their paddling experience and equipment.
You are perfectly entitled to ask for a paddling reference or to ask for a demonstration of a required skill (paddlefloat rescue, assisted rescue, or roll) at a pool session or Lake Calhoun.
Don’t let these things slide, if someone signs up for a trip they can’t handle in terms of skills or distance,
you may not be able to complete your trip plan or the entire group may have to deal with the safety problems of a paddler who is in over their head – don’t let it happen to you. In particular, people often overestimate the distance and speed that they can travel, so if your trip plan includes 25 mile days, be especially cautious.
Leave a float plan or a trip plan with someone you know, including instruction about who to call when you are overdue and when you should be considered overdue.
General Safety Considerations:
Always check the marine forecast before going. Sudden, unpleasant, changes in the weather are not uncommon on Lake Superior.

Be clear about what your cut-off point is in terms of weather conditions. Have an alternate plan or destination in mind and explain it to the others in your group.
Be sure that trip participants have kayaks that float and are wearing PFDs and appropriate cold weather and water clothing.

Make sure the group is prepared to spend an extra day or two camping in case the weather does not allow you to return on schedule – missing a day of work is better than endangering yourself.
A word of warning: one of the most persistent problems of group paddling is keeping the group together. Make sure you explain to paddlers before you leave shore that this is important and that the group paddles the speed of the slowest paddler. One way to deal with this problem is to designate lead and sweep paddlers (these don’t have to include the organizer, but probably should include the more experienced paddlers in the group). The lead paddler in particular can help by telling the faster paddlers to slow down or stop and wait for the slower members of the group.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact the . .