Below is a list of commonly asked questions. If you have any further questions or concerns about Kayaking on Vancouver Island please don't hesitate to contact us.
How much experience is required to join one of the trips?
Do I need to be in great shape to join one of the trips?
Are there any age requirements?
How stable are the kayaks? What is the likelihood of flipping over?
What happens if my kayak flips over?
What if the weather turns bad? Will I be comfortable and warm?
What sort of wildlife might we see on the tour?
What are the chances of seeing Killer Whales? How close do we paddle to the Orca Whales?
Can I go fishing? And, do I need a license?
What does your camp set up look like?
Where do we wash? Are there toilets?
If I would like to tip the guides, what is the industry standard?
No experience is required for our tours! Our adventures are for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. The majority of people who join our tours are first time kayakers. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected.
No. Our adventures are not considered to be strenuous or physically demanding, and we do not require a high level of fitness. We just ask that you are capable of a few hours of moderate exercise each day. Please keep in mind that kayaking and hiking requires good general health. Sometimes we may encounter strong wind, or time restrictions. What is most important is an adventurous spirit.
Grey Wolf Expeditions caters to all ages of adventurers. Although we do not have any age restrictions on our day tours and overnight tours we do prefer minimum of 10 years for our multi day tours. Those concerned with being in ‘their older years’ contact us to discuss their physical abilities.
The kayaks we use on our tours are stable and designed for comfort. For those a little concerned, the double kayaks are more stable than the singles. The likelihood of a capsize is minimal, and generally only occurs in an uncommon situation.
If for some reason your kayak flips over, all of our guides have ample practice time on the water with rescue procedures, in order to quickly and efficiently get you back in your boat. At this point we will take you to the nearest shore to change into some warm cozy clothing and carry on with our journey. While we are out on the water, it is of the utmost importance that the group sticks together in the event of a capsize or change of route plan.
Our weather in the Pacific Northwest is generally pleasant from May through until the end of September. The temperature will vary slightly depending on which area you visit. For example if you visit Desolation Sound or the Discovery Islands it is not uncommon in mid summer to savor a swim in the refreshing waters in order to cool off. Johnstone Strait or Bute Inlet being a little further north and more exposed to weather will have cooler temperatures. Although it is uncommon, it can rain in the summer. Rule of thumb is to be prepared for any type of weather and you will stay comfortable. Layering is the key, for at any time if you need to put on or take off while on the water, this is all possible. After we receive your booking we will send you a detailed packing list.
The wildlife in the BC is very abundant. With river run off from mountains, and strong ocean currents these waters are among the most productive on earth. From the rich marine life of colorful sea stars and anemones to seabirds, birds of prey, mink, otters, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales, to land mammals like deer, raccoons, cougars, wolves and bears, we will see a variety of wildlife while in BC. Depending on which tour you take, some areas offer more wildlife opportunities than others. Inquire if you would like to know what sort of wildlife is most abundant on your tour.
At any time during this tour we have a great chance to see Killer whales, Humpback whales, Minke whales, Dalls porpoises and White-sided dolphins. Our chances are so great because Johnstone Strait is home to the largest concentration of killer whales on earth. More than 200 Orca frequent the area every summer. Hearing the blow of a whale even from a mile across the Strait will create a sensation of excitement. Note that regulations say that we must not paddle within 100 meters of the whales—this is out of respect for their space. However, if they decide to approach us, we may find ourselves within arms reach.
Yes - you can fish from on shore and from your kayak. Some tours camp adjacent to small streams, so both salt and fresh water fishing is available.
Fishing licenses are required. Depending on whether you are fishing in salt water or fresh water you will need either a federal or provincial license.
Licenses can be obtained from most local sports shops. You can also get your license and read the regulations online.
Note: Grey Wolf Expeditions does not supply fishing equipment.
All of our campsites are in wilderness settings. We seek out sites with beautiful surroundings and those that offer solitude. There may be times (on occasion) when we are camping next to another group of kayakers or hikers. Where possible we choose camps near fresh water streams.
For those wanting to wash up, you have the option of using small streams, the ocean, or one of the fresh water lakes that we may visit. For washing in the lakes we do not suggest using any cleansing agents, but if you do please use biodegradable environmentally friendly brands. Toilet facilities are not common in most wilderness settings, although some areas may have pit toilets. On other tours your guide will generally designate an area or system that works for ensuring your privacy. In your detailed info package we have some guidelines and suggestions for comfortably and correctly ‘doing your business in the outdoors’.
If you would like to express your appreciation to the guides through a gratuity, please know that such recognition would be enthusiastically received. The industry standard for tipping is approximately 15 percent of the trip cost. All tips received will be collected and equally disbursed amongst your guides by the trip leader.