Everglades Exploration Network

Hi all,

Just moved to Sarasota from New England in October. Have done a few winter trips in Everglades / Keys and 10000 islands areas. Does anyone kayak camp in these areas in the summer ? I know there will be bugs, are they around 24hrs or just dusk to dawn. Heat I am not too worried about ( spent years adventure tour guiding in Equatorial West Africa etc ). As far as I can see afternoon lightning is the main problem. I was bicycling in the Keys this last weekend and the water looked very inviting for kayaking.

I am thinking island or beach camping will be the way to go.

Thanks in advance for any info/advice.


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I love A/C on a hot humid night 

Ha ha, you guys are funny, should be able to bungee that A/C on the rear deck of the kayak but not sure where the generator or 50 ft lightening conductor will go !!

Re: Bug shirts in the summer??

Sure the bugs won't get ya, but heat stroke prob will!

Stay cool - A/C is your friend! ;)

Ya'll may like this one for the summer:

Heaven or Hell: Summer paddling and camping in the Ten Thousand Islands!

(click pic)


Sometimes you pay in blood!  lol..

Good write up and pics as usual !  Did you ever get caught in the middle of a lightening storm ?

3 of us were camping on the tall Shark Point Chickee in Florida Bay 1 1/2 years ago when a thunder and lightening storm rolled across overhead in the middle of the night. Pretty scary anywhere but on that extra tall Chickee it was worrying. Not much you can do really. I considered getting in the water and hiding under the platform but although the storm was close, it wasn't directly overhead and nothing was buzzing ! I am sure the tent would be no protection like a car!

My most intense run-in with a lightning storm was actually in Miami paddling around all night long. Around 5am one of these systems coalesced almost over me with nearby strikes. I was on a small island, hiding under a tarp for 45 of the scariest minutes of my life! It was one of those early summer unsettled nights and did get some great (distant) storm pics earlier (midnite). Never thought that a system would develop that late at night and with such intesity!

I can only image your terror on the chickee! I think you would need a metal coated tent for that to work as in being inside a car. I believe this is called Farday's Cage - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage - the electricity stays on the outside of a metal car roof.

Like you mentioned, if you're caught in a lightning storm, there's not much you can really do other than basics like not being under a tree or tall structure (chickee ?), trying to stay as low as possible and insulate yourself from the ground. If you're on the water get to land asap if at all possible. The best thing is prevention, imho. Do everything to stay away from lightning storms!

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