Concerning moisturizers, powders and DEET.
For everyone’s personal medication/protection list, I would recommend everyonebring some type of really mild moisturizer (Aveeno or Cetaphil works best), and after years of international travel into damp or sweaty places, chafing ranks up there next to insect bites galore as ways to diminish our fun: the last thing I recommend for my runners is powder (of any kind): moisturizer works great to prevent, but to treat once acquired, we always used Gold Bond Cream, for which I have never found a substitute. For the moisturizer, Vaseline can substitute, but a moisturizer actually sinks into the skin, whereas Vaseline makes more of a protective barrier.
At Walmart while shopping for summer camp for my boys, we found a spray 100% DEET while promises 180 sprays in a slender 1 oz cylinder, great for dropping the pack weight and minimizing spills. I don’t like to see us using DEET on our faces, but if you slap some on your thicker skin (thighs, calves, upper arms, forearms, and side of your neck, then sort of roughly frisk it through your hair, usually this “aura” of go-away-skeeter prevents them from landing on your face.
People shouldn’t need two large (standard size) dry bags. Two would take up a lot of storage room needed for food and patrol gear. One dry bag plus a couple stuff bags with plastic bags inside should be sufficient. With stuff in plastic bags inside there is little problems with water. The hatch compartments are generally dry except for condensation. People dropping bags is usually more of a problem. The forward compartment on many kayaks won’t hold a full dry bag and the rear one probably won’t hold two full ones. Except for sleeping bag, we don’t have much personal gear and most of this wouldn’t matter if it did get wet. Things like meds can be in zip lock bags which are fine in a stuff bag. It is a bad idea to carry any large gear like a full dry bag on the kayak decks except things like tarp poles.
Whistles provided by outfitter – Ontario law. Little real need for a compass.
Water shoes need to have hard, closed toes with good treads like Keen. No soft or open toes or flip flops. Wet suit shoes are not great for rocks either for traction or foot protection. Without a hard sole there is the danger of a foot getting wedged in a crack between rocks. Also we may well have cobble (baseball sized rocks) beaches which would be tough in soft soles. We had these in the Lake Superior 2000 trip. Not great for pitching tents and sleeping either.
Long sleeve polypro shirt is nice for paddling on cool mornings when fleece might be too warm. Poly-pro is quite comfortable even when wet. I have some with zipper necks which is handy for venting body heat.