Lake Superior Sea Kayaking

Lake Superior Sea Kayaking for Adults

This eight-day sea kayaking expedition provides a stimulating lesson in teamwork, perseverance and personal development.
Gain the satisfaction that comes from meeting an expedition goal; the growth that comes from learning to work effectively with new peers; and the support that comes from sharing experiences in a challenging environment. Whether you’re in school, transitioning to the work force or coping with the demands of an established career, this expedition encourages you to push your comfort zone, hone your leadership style, and reflect – all while learning technical skills in a unique and beautiful setting.

Sleek and stable one- and two-person kayaks offer a unique vantage point from which to explore fascinating Apostle Islands National Park in Lake Superior.

By day, learn the techniques necessary to confidently paddle in quiet, flat water as well as rising swells; by night, learn general campcraft, perfect the art of cooking over a fire or stove, and practice Leave No Trace wilderness travel techniques that help preserve Lake Superior’s shoreline ecology.

Course Area

Lake Superior, Minnesota
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a designated United States National Park and encompasses 21 islands along the southern shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Windswept beaches, sea caves, cliffs, and historic lighthouses are just a few of the park’s highlights.

While the Apostle Islands are known for incredible clear blue skies, weather patterns change quickly over the lake, making the area a popular but challenging sea kayaking destination. Strong sea kayaking skills or guidance from a highly trained instructor are essential when sea kayaking on Lake Superior.

Adult Courses
Unplug from electronic devices and plug into the fundamentals of the natural world on an Adult expedition with Outward Bound. Acquire essential outdoor skills and experience rugged wilderness adventures as skilled Instructors urge you to surpass expectations and realize “there is more in you than you know.” With physical challenge, time for rest and reflection and conversations dedicated to evaluating life priorities, our adult courses are refreshing, reaffirming and rejuvenating.

  • Build core skills: Receive hands-on training in technical and interpersonal skills as part of a diverse and supportive adult crew. Confront new challenges and re-discover your inner strength.
  • Practice Outward Bound values: Learn to incorporate core values like compassion, integrity, excellence and diversity and inclusion into your daily life on course.
  • Demonstrate mastery: As the course nears the end, Instructors transfer leadership responsibilities to the students. As a crew, apply new skills and work together to achieve team goals.
  • What you’ll learn: Return to home, work and family with a refreshed outlook, renewed confidence in your own abilities, and the satisfaction of challenges met and overcome.

Listed below are a few of the activities:

Sea Kayaking

From the complete novice to talented sea kayaker, Outward Bound Instructors and Lake Superior herself provide learning opportunities for paddlers that further develop their sea kayak expedition skills.

Students learn a variety of paddling, landing, rescue, and navigation skills to contend with diverse weather and water conditions. Paddling anywhere from 0 to 20 miles in a day, groups camp just inland from sandy bays or rocky shorelines.


Weather and time permitting, the Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make significant decisions about their future, journal, and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. Students on an Adult Sea Kayaking Course typically experience a 4-8 hour Solo.

Regardless of Solo length, all students receive sufficient food, water, and shelter to keep them safe and healthy during Solo. Instructors choose Solo sites to offer as much solitude as possible while retaining some proximity to the group. While students spend the majority of their Solo time alone, Instructors do check on each student as often as needed, usually 1-4 times per day, to ensure that each student feels safe and comfortable. Solo is purposefully scheduled near the end of the expedition so students have plenty of time to acclimate to their new environment beforehand.

Students may have mixed feelings leading up to Solo: nervousness and hesitation regarding the unknown but also excitement to rest, reflect, and test their new skills while alone. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound experience.

Please submit the Course Inquiry form or call (828) 239-2376 to discuss if this course is right for you.

Visit the Voyageur Outward Bound School frequently asked questions page to learn more about the application process, scholarships, what to expect, how to pack and where your course begins.

Upon enrollment on a Voyageur Outward Bound School course students receive a day-by-day course itinerary, detailed packing list, and detailed arrival and departure information specific to their course.

Scholarship Info

Our Scholarship Program is guided by a single principle: Every person should be given the opportunity to experience adventure and challenge, develop character and compassion, and learn leadership skills and service ethics, regardless of financial ability.

Moreover, we bring together diverse groups of students to instill cultural understanding and teamwork skills that enable them to become principled leaders.

Thanks to generous donations from alumni, parents, corporations, foundations, and others, Outward Bound awards up to $3.7 million in scholarships to 6,000 students each year.

The Voyageur Outward Bound School scholarship program is need-based and in order to be considered, applicants must first enroll on a course, pay a $500 deposit and check a box noting that they are interested in a Scholarship. The deposit payment is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 enrollment processing fee (usually non-refundable). After the applicant enrolls, a Course Advisor will send them a Scholarship Application along with the other enrollment materials. The applicant is required to submit a copy of their most recent 1040 tax return along with the completed Scholarship Application. The average scholarship is 15-30% off of the posted fee. If the applicant receives an Outward Bound scholarship but it’s not enough for them to participate, Outward Bound will refund their $500 deposit, including the $150 enrollment processing fee.

In some cases, applicants can schedule a payment plan with the Voyageur Outward Bound School rather than paying for the whole course in one lump sum. In cases of payment plans, final balances are due at least 90 days prior to the course-start.

Packing for a Voyageur Outward Bound School course

In general, Outward Bound provides sleeping bags, sleeping mats, rain gear, and all group cooking, camping and traveling equipment. Students need to provide their own clothing, footwear, toiletries and a few other items, like a headlamp and water bottle.

Traveling to and from the Voyageur Outward Bound School

MN Courses:  In most cases, but not all, Voyageur Outward Bound School students meet in the Duluth International Airport baggage claim at 1:00 PM on the first day of the course. Students typically return to the Duluth International Airport around 11:30 AM on the last day of the course and should plan to fly out any time after 1:00 PM to account for check-in and security clearance.

TX Courses:  In most cases, but not all, Voyageur Outward Bound School students arrive in El Paso, TX the day before their course officially begins.  Students spend the night in a local hotel (not included in course-cost) as directed by their Course Advisor. Students typically return to the El Paso International Airport around 1:00 PM on the last day of the course and should plan to fly out any time after 2:00 PM to account for check-in and security clearance.

Explicit travel directions will be shared with you after you enroll on a course.  Students should refrain from making travel plans prior to being approved for their course and receiving travel details for their specific course as the exact details may differ slightly from the directions listed above.

Please submit the Course Inquiry form or call (828) 239-2376 to discuss if this course is right for you.

Sea Kayaking

Dates Days Age Tuition Course #
6.10.17 – 6.17.17 8 18+ $1895 VMAK-721
8.22.17 – 8.29.17 8 18+ $1895 VMAK-722

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