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Swamp Base will provide the following gear and supplies for all participants embarking on the 61.6-mile high adventure canoe trek.

  • Wenonah 16'-9" canoe

  • Werner Skagit or Canon kayak paddles

  • Astral V-EIGHT or Ronny PFD (personal floatation device)

  • Hennessy Hammocks for the primitive camping night on Rougarou Island

  • Coleman cots at the Turtles (floating campsite) and Camp Atchafalaya

  • 16 meals (beginning with dinner in Lafayette on the Arrival Day)

  • Fresh water refills at overnight locations


For all Swamp Base treks Scouts will paddle in tandem Wenonah Canoes. Tandem canoes allow the two people in the boat an opportunity to participate, as well as being more efficient on the water.

The polyethylene Wenonah Northfork is made for people who demand ruggedness— sportsmen, camps, outfitters, etc. Its stable hull feels solid when the going gets rough. It has plenty of capacity for gear, and paddles easily when loaded.

  • Length – 16’9”

  • Width – 37 1/2”

  • Weight – 87 lbs.


Swamp Base employs an unconventional method for paddling our canoes. Instead of using traditional single blade canoe paddles, Swamp Base participants use double bladed Werner Skagit kayak paddles. Through our experience, we find that kayak paddles are the preferred method of paddling for the following reasons:

  1. Brings even unexperienced paddlers up in skill level

  2. More efficent

  3. Less corrective strokes needed

  4. No wet laps when switching paddling sides

  5. Stronger and faster boats


For PFDs (personal floation devices), Swamp Base exclusively uses Astral V-Eight lifejackets. These PFDs provide plenty of manuverability and are ideal for adventure in the climate of Louisiana:

  • Super high mesh back is ideal for warm temperatures keeping you cool and comfortable

  • Strategically placed "Vent Port" cutouts in the foam let warm air escape out of the jacket

  • The inside of the PFD's foam has a textured surface that reduces body contact by 70%, creating channels for air to move freely

  • The foam in the upper front is sculpted to fit a woman's body


Due to the daily paddling requirements necessary to complete the week-long program and the climate of South Louisiana in the late spring/early summer, the following items are recommended for all participants to bring with them in order to ensure an enjoyable experience in the Atchafalaya Swamp.

Remember, BE SELF-SUFFICIENT. Don't put yourself in the position of being dependent on others. Think and plan ahead about what you will do about having enough food and water. Keep a back-up snack and bottle of water in your boat, regardless of the group's plans.

Essential Gear:
These items are required in order to participate on the high adventure trek.
    •  Proof of age/photo ID
    •  Safety whistle
    •  4 large-mouth Nalgene® 32 oz. water bottles
    •  1 bottle non-oily sunblock and sunscreen spray (SPF 30+)
    •  Pocket knife
    •  Flashlight or headlamp
    •  Compass
    •  2 copies of BSA Health and Medical Forms and medical insurance information
    *  1 roll of toilet paper in a zip-lock bag with the cardboard removed for easier storing (this item was previously recommended, but is now required)

Paddling Gear:
    •  Quick dry clothes (2-3 short  or long sleeve shirts and 1 pair of shorts)
       Note: Clothes with at least 30+ UPF is recommended. Swamp Base offers a long sleeve, UPF 40+, 100% polyester moisture-wicking shirt with Insect Shield® for $32.95. To place an order, please visit
    •  Lightweight zip-off long pants and long-sleeve shirt (for insect and sunburn protection)
       Note: Dark colored clothes attract mosquitoes
    •  Hat (wide-brim recommended)
    •  Close toed water shoes – required for all swimming
    •  Tennis shoes or boots
    •  Lightweight rain gear (pants optional)
    •  Sunglasses with strap (polarized are best)
    •  Swim trunks or board shorts (males)
    •  One-piece swimsuit or tankini (females)
    •  Insect repellent (containing 20% DEET)
    •  Powdered Gatorade or PowerAde or equivalent electrolyte supplements
    •  1 towel
    •  2 dry bags – 20 liters each (larger dry bags are acceptable, but we recommend two bags per person)
    •  “Snack pack” – 5 days of trail snacks (beef jerky or Slim Jims, trail mix, nuts, breakfast bars
        or power bars, candy, nuts and dried fruit) Snack packs should be used to supplement individuals that require more daily food than is provided by Swamp Base.
        Note: Avoid snacks that will melt in the heat
    •  Freezer grade Zip-lock bags (sandwich and gallon sizes). Number dependent on amount of

Camping Gear:
    •  Queen sized cotton sheet or lightweight compact sleeping bag rated over 50° F
    •  Camp pillow  
    •  Toiletry kit (tooth brush, tooth paste, biodegradable soap, toilet paper, deodorant, etc.)
       Note: Unscented soaps, shampoos, and deodorants will help reduce mosquitoes
    •  Mess Kit (plastic bowl, spoon, and fork)

Crew Gear:
    •  First-Aid kit
    •  Baby powder or Gold Bond® (to cut down on chafing)
    •  Garbage bags (10 total)

Optional Items:
    •  Smartphone and phone dry bag for trek documentation purposes
    •  Camera (waterproof is optimal)
    •  Canoe seat
    •  Paracord, rope, or straps for securing gear and water bottles to the canoe
    •  Bandana, small towel, rag, or a Real X Gear – Xtreme Cool towel
    •  Paddling gloves
    •  Wristwatch
    •  Smartphone and phone dry bag for trek documentation purposes
    •  Binoculars
    •  Hydration system (Camelback or Platypus)
    •  Extra money ($) for Swamp Base merchandise, souvenirs, or snacks at the end of the trek Swamp Base souvenirs can be purchased after the trek. Note: Keep money with you on the trail, so that souvenirs can be purchased
    •  Fishing gear – poles and bait box to be used at program areas

Health Items:
    •  Prescription medication
    •  EpiPen (if required through a prescription)

    •  Video games or DVD players
    •  Fireworks
    •  Firearms
    •  Alcohol
    •  Drugs
    •  Scout-inappropriate clothing

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