Can't tell you how many times I've been up Paradise Creek without a paddle. Next time, I'm packing a Klepper Aerius Classic I folding kayak ($3,115), a work-of-art bundle of autonomy that puts you at the helm of your own ship as soon as you pick it up from baggage claim. Well, maybe 20 minutes later, after you assemble the sturdy wood framework and slip it into a tough hypalon-and-canvas skin. (Try it at home first, though; there's a bit of a learning curve.) Inflatable sponsons render the vessel as stable as a river barge, but it still paddles quick and true, and stows enough provisions for a three-week journey from one happy isle to the next. The boat breaks into two packages - one a backpack, the second a long duffel for the framework - and weighs just 55 pounds total, including paddle and rudder; tel. 800-500-2404, Web site www.klepper-usa.com.