Olympic dream and gold in the World Junior Championships
When Norwegian Daniel Salbu gave up his Olympic paddling dream, he needed another kind of challenge to focus on. After paddling home gold in the World Junior Championships and receiving other medals, this year he will paddle the entire Norwegian coastline.
Focusing on the experience
Safety is key
-In the past, all my hours in the kayak have been dedicated to the goal of becoming as good as possible, but now I can instead focus on the experience and enjoying nature, says Daniel.
He has already trained enough to handle the physical challenge. However, he is preparing more for packing and safety.
-Safety will be important. Extra paddle, GPS, compass, spare parts, and tape are things on the packing list along with a good headlamp so that others can see me on the water when it gets dark.
In addition, the tent, sleeping mat, and sleeping bag should fit in the kayak along with enough food, water, and energy to paddle more than 50 km per day.
Daniel is prepared for all kinds of weather and believes that when it's blowing a gale, it's not the time to venture out into open sea.
-I expect that I will need to spend many days in my tent waiting out storms, so I need to pack enough food, water, and gas for my storm cooker to handle all kinds of weather.
Packing with dry bags
Fog can also be a challenge along the Norwegian coast.
– Fog is common along the coast, which means I won't see anything, and no other ships or boats will see me. I want to make sure I have a lot of reflectors and lights so that others can always see me. In addition, it is particularly important to have both a GPS and a compass when the fog rolls in and visibility becomes poor.
Daniel keeps his gear dry with dry bags, which are a prerequisite for managing 2–3 months of paddling in a small kayak.
– I’ll have all my gear in waterproof dry bags of different sizes. They're colour-coded so I know which bag contains what I need. Since the kayak is cramped, I use dry bags with valves so I can get out all the air and reduce the volume.
Daniel explains that he expects all kinds of challenges, but that loneliness will probably be the greatest. He knows he has to keep his spirits up despite headwinds, rain, cold and waves rolling in from the west.
– I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the summer will be really good in Norway, Daniel concludes with a laugh.