Thinking of Renting?
Anyone wishing to rent sea kayaks (unguided trips only) must take and pass our 3 hr Basic Safety Course ($65/person).
Why?This 3 hour course is designed to first and foremost prepare renters to make confident, informed decisions in the absence of a guide. It is imperative that renters learn how to rescue themselves and their group members as the weather on Lake Superior is notorious for changing quickly, producing high winds and big waves. Knowing how to perform rescues can mean the difference between life and death on the big lake.
How long does the safety course certification last?Successful completion of the safety course allows for rentals for up to 5 years. After 3 years, it is recommended to take a discounted refresher course in order to ensure safety on the water.
Are there any alternatives to the safety course?Those who are looking to rent may provide documentation proving ACA/BCU 2 star or higher certification in lieu of the safety course. Otherwise, those confident in their abilities may pay $25/person to take a check out test. The check out is split between land and water. The land portion is made up of a written exam on hazards specific to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Lake Superior, as well as rescue techniques. The water portion is a brief assessment of basic paddling strokes and depends upon the performance of an unassisted self rescue and successful T-rescue of another kayaker.
Planning Your Rental
Knowing where to start may feel daunting. That’s okay! One of the most important factors to consider is distance. Experience level often determines speed. Beginners and families tend to move around 2-3 mph. Experienced tandem paddlers tend to move closer to 4 mph. With those speeds in mind, we recommend that beginners plan to do 10 miles or less in a day. Experienced paddlers can typically handle 15-20 miles a day.
Here are some tips for planning your trip:
- NEW IN 2023: Due to new National Park Service regulations, we are no longer able to provide shuttle service to Meyer’s Beach and Little Sand Bay for rental groups. We will be encouraging rental groups to launch/land in Bayfield from the beach behind our storefront.
- Reserve your NPS camping permits ahead of time. Individual sites (7 or fewer people) open for reservations 30 days in advance. Islands with only one site tend to be reserved first. You can edit reservations after booking sites.
- Plan your first night on one of the closest inner islands. You will be tired after the basic safety course and will spend time working out the kinks of packing your kayak. Sand, York, and Basswood Islands are ideal for day 1.
- Understand and constantly assess your group’s abilities, especially during the safety course. Sometimes, we overestimate the group’s skills and goals. The core issue with bad trips is often an over-ambitious itinerary.
- Come up with a backup plan, or two. Be familiar with a map, your route, islands that do/do not allow camping, mainland bailout locations, and mainland camping information. Pack emergency food for at least one day.
- In the event of poor weather, we do not offer refunds. Be prepared with alternate routes or to camp with your rentals on the mainland.
- Remember, the lake is the boss. Kayaking on Lake Superior requires flexibility and informed decision making. Patience and smart choices always pay off when you’re kayaking in the most beautiful place in the world!
- Looking to set up a base camp and take day trips? Look at staying on Sand, Oak, Rocky, or Stockton Islands
What to Bring
- A physical map of the Apostle Islands
- T&T’s retail area carries a variety of maps including NatGeo maps and laminated placemats.
- The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters has maps as well.
- Your printed NPS permits
- You must purchase these ahead of time
- The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters can print your permits on-site.
- Food and cooking equipment
- A water filtration system
- Water bottles
- A swimsuit or clothes to get wet in during basic safety course
- Dry paddle clothes to change into after the basic safety course
- Warm camp clothing
- A rainjacket
- Bug spray
- Garbage bags to pack all garbage out in
- A sleeping bag
SEA KAYAK RENTAL INCLUDES: standard paddle, nylon spray skirt, personal flotation device, paddle float, and bilge pump. (Wetsuit not included).
|Sea Kayak Rentals||6 hrs||24 hrs|
|Equipment Rentals||6 hrs||24 hrs|
|UHF Weather/Emergency Radio||$10||$15|
|Nylon Spray Skirt||$3||$4|
|Dry Bags (various sizes)||$3||$4|
|Foam Block Roof Racks/Straps||$6||$8|
|Rescue Kit (bilge pump/paddle float)||$2||$4|
|2 Person Tent||–||$20|
Hours: 8am – 5pm, Memorial Day – Early Oct,
Closed Tuesdays thru September
Commitment to Safety
With one of the world’s largest lakes as our day to day office, we are committed to continuous rescue and safety development both on and off the water. Each spring (and weekly training meetings) our guides and mentors work through ACA Level 1-3 and WFA certification to keep our adventures just as safe as they are fun.