Sea Kayaking In British Columbia
Sea Kayaking In BC: A Paddler’s Guide
British Columbia is a sea kayakers paradise, with a lifetime of paddling adventures all over the West Coast of Canada. Head out for a day trip, paddling in some of the beautiful inlets and coves of British Columbia, or plan a remote paddling expedition through extensive coastal wilderness.
You can go paddling in BC anytime of year, with mild temperatures and weather on the coast. BC has several world renown paddling areas, each with their own distincitve specialties and attractions.
Try paddling in Johnston Strait with very high chances of spotting orcas close up, or head to Barkley Sound for some west coast islands and camping on whitesand pocket beaches.
The hearty wilderness paddler can plan a sea kayaking expedition in BC, heading out for weeks at a time on the coast, or even connecting with the northern coast of BC and paddling in the Great Bear Rainforest region.
Use our BC sea kayaking guide to help you plan your paddling trip on the west coast of Canada.
BC’s Best Sea Kayak & Paddling Companies
Paddling In BC- FAQ
When is the best time of year to go sea kayaking in BC?
British Columbia is home to some of the best sea kayaking in the world, and though most people wouldn’t consider a winter sea kayaking trip in BC, you can paddle year round!
The west coast of Canada has a very mild winter climate, allowing paddling activities all year.
That being said, it is definitely most pleasant to plan your BC kayaking trip in the armest times of year and during the dry season. The weather is driest from the end of May to mid October on the coast. This is also the warmest time of year.
Late May can be one of the best times to go for a paddling trip since the crowds haven’t begun their sea kayaking season yet.
What should I bring on a paddling trip in BC?
Along with the regular sea kayaking expedition gear, you should have a warm layer, a rain layer, camp shoes, sun protection and sun glasses. If you are camping you will definitely need a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad, plus some camp kitchen gear and perhaps a tarp for shelter.
Here is what you need for the paddling:
- A kayak and paddle
- VHF radio, map & compass (GPS is nice too)
- Pump, sponge, paddle float
- Standard safety gear (floating line, whistle, light)
- Permits if you are camping in the parks
If you are planning on doing a sea kayaking tour in BC, the company you book with will have a complete packing list too.
Is Sea Kayaking In BC Family Friendly?
Yes and no. You should be aware of all the hazards involved with paddling in cold, tidal waters and know the skills needed to keep yourself and your family safe.
If you don’t know much about sea kayaking, hiring a paddling guide is highly recommended.
If you stay within the safety recommendations of knowing what you are doing or hiring someone who does, then sea kayaking can be a very family friendly activity.
Is Sea Kayaking In British Columbia Safe?
It can be! Sea kayaking generally involves exposure to cold water, tides and unpredictable weather. If you take some time to plan your trip and you know what you are doing then sea kayaking in BC is very safe.
Hiring a guiding company to help you plan and outfit your trip, as well as guide you on the water ensures that you do everything right, from staying out of dangerous currents, to making it to your campsite in good time.
Give it a try!