First, a caution: This is not a beginner's trip. There is exposed ocean paddling which can come with difficult conditions. Camping is difficult to find. The water is cold and the weather can often be poor. This trip is more suited to people who have done some coastal trips and want to to get out to a less traveled place.
We got some good training in kayak skills from Shauna and Leon at Body Boat Blade. They are located in East Sound on Orca Island.
Use Odyssey Kayak in Port Hardy for equipment rental, local support, water taxi, and knowledge.
The Discovery Coast route of BC Ferries can be used to access points on the coast, including mid-channel drop off or pickup.
A tent with a large vestibule is a huge luxury. Ours comes from Hilleberg, a Swedish tent maker. While a large tent may seem appealing it will be harder to find a place to pitch it. I think the long narrow foot print of this tent is better than shorter, rounder footprints. There seem to be more long narrow tent sites.
A bug tent is not required, but worth having. Similarly, a tarp is not required, but worth having. Having a comfortable place out side the tent which is protected from the trials of the day, whether bugs or rain, makes being out in the wild in difficult conditions more pleasant. We used a home-made bug tent above which we can pitch a Mega-mid. The Mega-mid, Mega-bug combination from Black Diamond are good commercial options. I have a whole page about dealing with the bugs, including details on the bug shelter's I've made.
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