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Relentless Explorers

Exploring and Kayaking (Upstream) in the Pine Barrens

Last update: April 3, 2021


Low Water in the Tulpehocken Swamp

By Ken Relentless

26 Aug  2018

See the entry here.




Elevation Change on the Tulpehocken Creek

By Ken Relentless

09 Jun  2018

See the entry here.




Exploring the Greenwood Branch, II

By Ken Relentless

19 Feb  2018

See the entry here.




The Dam at Hampton Furnace

By Ken Relentless

17 Feb  2018

See the entry here.




Choosing The Best Kayak and Paddle for Upstream Exploration

By Don Relentless

28 Jan  2018

There is a lot of discussion about what kind of kayaks and paddles to use for each particular types of paddling. Lakes, ocean, whitewater, river, all have boats specifically for that use. If you want to go exploring, just use whatever you have available. It's not dangerous where we go (using a little common sense). So no reason to miss out because you don't have the right boat. You just might not get as far. But here is what we recommend for exploring the upper reaches of rivers and creeks if you have a choice: Get the smallest sit-in kayak you are comfortable in. Some of the places we go have very narrow and twisty stretches. A shorter boat gets through much easier. Sit-in (as opposed to sit on top) protects you better if you get caught in brush along the banks, and you sit a little lower if you have to duck under obstacles. My 9-1/2 foot Perception Swifty suits me perfectly. Also get a reasonably sturdy boat. Some of the kayaks sold at the big box stores are kind of flimsy. Even after we clear a river there are a lot of pointy sticks and other objects under water that we hit. If you are buying a kayak, go to your local canoe/kayak rental and buy a used one. You can get a more solid boat for the same amount of money.


Use the shortest kayak paddle you can get. When you go through a stretch of the river that is barely eight feet wide with brush on either bank using a long paddle is going to be difficult. My favorite paddle for exploring is 6-1/2 feet long. And make sure your paddle is fairly strong and one you don't mind banging up. You will need it for pushing off banks in tight sections and poling yourself when dragging bottom in shallow stretches and over submerged logs and stumps. It's probably a good idea to leave your fancy graphite paddle home.


Exploring the Batsto River by Foot, III

By Ken Relentless

27 Jan  2018

See the entry here.