Tasmania circumnavigation by kayak

A few words about some of the equipment we used in the expedition.


We have used two NDK Explorer kayaks, one of them was a 3 pieces kayak. We've been using NDK kayaks for a long time and once again it proved itself to be a sturdy, fast, manoeuvrable boat. This kayak starts to shine when fully loaded. We didn't use skegs, this kayak can be tracked easily without skegs. Initially we were worried a bit to use a 3 piece kayak in the rough waters of Southern Ocean, but after it stood a huge 6 meters breaking wave, we feel we can fully trust the NDK 3 pieces kayaks.

The only problem we found about NDK kayaks is that they tend to leak. Both of our kayaks leaked (cockpit & hatches). Nothing serious, yet annoying.


We have used Lendal Kinetik and Nordkapp paddles. This is truly amazing piece of equipment. Lendal was our sponsor, but we would use their paddles anyway. The carbon-nylon material is light, yet very impact-resistant. The modified shaft is great.


We have chosen Snapdragon spraydeck, and we were very satisfied with it. The bending corners make fitting the spraydeck quick and easy. The implosion bar proved itself: the spraydeck didn't popped even in the 6 meters breaking wave. The strap was useful to hold the compass and GPS.

Paddling clothes

We have used different products of a few companies: Rapidstyle and Young Pirates fuzzy-rubber clothes, Reed cags, and others. While the gear in general worked as expected, the Reed touring cag was really amazing: we used it almost in any condition and took it off only when it was really hot. The material is breathable and stretchy. You don't get cooked inside even on pretty warm days. Remember to secure the hood, you will loose it in the surf.


Therm-a-rest self-inflating ProLite mattresses were a great relief after the long paddling days. They are compact and comfortable. Nothing to compare to the foam pads.


Our Mountain Hardware Trango 2 tent was a good one, yet not ideal. It is roomy and strong, yet it takes a long time to pitch it with all the 5 poles. The vestibules are not self standing and pegs must be used to stretch them. On lousy ground in gale winds, the vestibules collapse. There is nothing particularly wrong with this tent. This is the standard construction for almost all 4-seasons tents. Yet there are some good exceptions on the market, like the Hilleberg Staika.


The Primus Omnifuel was simply a disaster. It worked fine on gas, but once we started using liquid fuels the frequent blockages began. Sometimes we couldn't light it for a half an hour. Other times it decided to spray the fuel all around (on us). Surely, it had hard times being in salty, sandy environment. Yet we would expect much higher reliability. We started missing the old, primitive, slow but never faulty Trangia stove that burns alcohol.


Both of our Garmin GPS (eTrex and GPS72) leaked and completely died during the expedition. Although they are specified to be waterproof up to 1 m for 30 minutes (IPX 7 standard), don't rely on their waterproofness. Inna Hoichman has used a Magellan Explorist GPS during her Greek islands trip, and it leaked too in the battery compartment. It seems that all the GPS units must be secured in transparent dry bags.


We found out that our two VHF radios were completely useless in Tasmania. No one monitors them. The same applies about Greece. Check the local situation before you try to rely on this piece of equipment.

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Last updated: April 21, 2005