Living Off the Land on an Alaskan Kayaking Adventure

Something within me craves the wild exuberance of summer in Prince William Sound. August is a riot of life.

Humpback whales dive and dine within meters of our camp. A raft of sea otters floats by, pups peaking out from their mothers’ arms. Blueberries hang so heavy that branches droop and seem to sigh with relief at being picked. My husband, Fredrik, and I decided to enjoy the abundance of August in the most visceral way possible—sea kayaking in the Sound for a month, living off the land.

With the variety of lightweight, compact and easy to prepare camping foods available, why would a person choose to paddle around eating weeds? At times I ask myself the same. Wilderness time is so precious in our busy lives. Wouldn’t an evening hike be more exciting than sitting under a tarp picking through mounds of beach greens?

Searching for food makes me notice things in greater detail. Does that mushroom have true gills or flat-topped, diverging ridges? Gulls sitting on the water in a perfect line could mark an upwelling current and good fishing.

There’s also a strong sense of tradition. Most of the world’s early explorers relied on food from the land. Not only did Lewis and Clark balance hunting and gathering with making forward progress, they also had to preserve the food they found for lean days ahead. In Prince William Sound, we knew we…

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