“The Scout” at Lake Fontana, NC

Sitting in the middle of 600 foot deep Lake Fontana, Jared and Daniel would be the first to push “The Scout” to its limits. Loaded with gear, the boat managed to hold everything needed for a two-man camping excursion: two 60-liter backpacks, two fishing rods, a small  ice chest and a medium-sized dry bag for their tents and sleeping bags.

They left Baton Rouge and drove all night to Fontana Village, North Carolina with KC Kayaks’ newest addition, ”The Scout,” the boat designed and manufactured for the Boy Scouts of America.

Eleven hours later, at 8 am, they pulled up to the 27-mile long lake, loaded up all their gear, and were on the water by 9 o’clock.

The goal for the first day was an exploratory five mile paddle to end up on their destination island, where the two would set up a full campsite and spend two nights. The goal for the second day was to fish and do absolutely nothing.

At 16.5 feet long and weighing 78 pounds, the Scout is a true tandem sit-on-top kayak that can be dragged by one, or easily carried by two. When the guys reached their island, there was nowhere to safely dock; and the water was rising a foot every night because of the heavy runoff from all surrounding streams. No problem, as they hauled the boat 20 feet up the sheer rocky shoreline.

As it turned out, the water was so low, that the “island” would not be an island until the water rose another 20 feet. Because of this news, they were forced to hang their food and gear in the trees to avoid any bear confrontations.

The second day was spent further exploring in the kayak. The guys had been told to fish the bottom of the lake, unfortunately, they found nowhere shallow enough to actually reach the bottom.

Luckily, they brought food and they still ate well after enjoying their daily adventures.

After a weekend on the water, the Scout had been tested and approved. Stability was no problem, nor was space to fit all that gear, and after 10+ miles of paddling, the guys were already planning their next trip.

Stray the Course.

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