Expedition Mississppi: What Now?

What we’ve been doing now that we’re back.

One of the questions we’ve been getting asked now that the kayaking expedition is over and over is “what are you guys doing now?”

Well, this can be broken down into 3 parts: 1. What we’re doing as far as the Expedition Mississippi Project, and 2. What else we’re doing with our lives  3. After the film is finished, what’s our next crazy adventure?

1. What we’ve been doing for the Expedition Mississippi Project: Although the kayaking portion of this project is over, there’s still plenty to do for the project!

  • We still need to send out the Kickstarter rewards. The bracelets still need to be made. Now that I’m (Jordan) back in Chicago, and Matt is in Indiana, we’re waiting til Matt comes to visit in about one week. We’ll get as many bracelets made then as possible. Whatever we don’t finish then, we’ll get done later in August when I see him in Bloomington.
  • The same goes for our upper-level backers. We’ll be sending them some exclusive, signed gear/memorabilia hopefully around the same time.
  • Then there’s the kayaking film. We have PLENTY of raw footage, some of which we uploaded to give you a sneak peek! We hope to upload a bit more in the near future… stay tuned for that. I haven’t been able to actually start editing it into a “movie” yet, because we want to use the high-end software bundle, Final Cut Pro. This costs several hundred dollars to purchase – fortunately, a friend of mine in Germany can give me the software. I’ll be flying back to Germany at the end of this month, so I hope to be able to start the editing process after that.. Take a look at the “illustrious start” we had to our kayaking expedition below.

2. What we’re doing now besides Expedition Mississippi

  • I’ve had about 2 months to get my work-life in order before I fly back to Germany in late August. The last time I was in Germany, about 70% of my work consisted of communication training, and 30% was social media related. Now that I’d like to focus on social media as a career, I want to expand my client base. This isn’t the easiest thing in the world, because I’m primarily looking for U.S. based accounts to manage while living abroad[1]. Although it’s been challenging, I’ve put in plenty of work building “my brand”, networking, and I already have a few new clients[2] as result. Two of them are games (Serpent’s Tongue and Zpocalypse) – I’m soooo pumped!
  • I’ve also been extra busy seeing every single friend, acquaintance, and family I have in the Chicago area before I leave the country. What can I say…I’m popular!
  • Matt’s been working just as hard, figuring out what to do next.  He’s set on becoming a high school teacher, but that’s more of a long term goal.  Since he just graduated from college a year ago, he still has plenty of options right now. He originally wanted to spend 1 or 2 years teaching English in Spain. That way, he could get international teaching experience AND practice his Spanish. Sadly, he changed his mind due to the unstable economic situation there. Then a couple weeks ago, he did a little research online and discovered that South Korea offers a sweet deal to native English speaking teachers. He’ll be getting a great salary, plus his flight and room + board are all covered!! Truly an amazing deal.

3. Our next crazy adventure

That’s right…Matt and I had PLENTY of time on the river to brainstorm ideas for our next great adventure. (I mean really, what else do you have to talk about with the same person you see every day, all day, for an entire month?!) We won’t begin seriously planning it until all the work is done for Expedition Mississppi — especially the film. We’re not quite ready to unveil it yet, but we were thinking of doing something a bit different this time.

It would be like backpacking, but with a very unique twist….I think that’s all we can say about it for now. Although our kayaking expedition was amazing and out of the ordinary, it wasn’t something that had never been done before. Our next one will be TOTALLY NEW — the first of it’s kind! We’re super super pumped for it. Well, I better stop writing before I give it away :) …but stay tuned.

Well, that just about covers everything. If you have any questions for us on just about anything, email jordandmatt@gmail.com or tweet us. Really, we’d love to hear from you!

If you were one of the few that missed out on Kickstarter, you can still preorder our kayaking film here.


[1] I just made a guest blog post on this subject. It should be published by tommorow — I’ll send out a couple tweets when it’s up.

[2] If you know of any small business that could use a good social media manager, please let me know (contact info above)!!!

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Expedition Mississippi Leaves Wednesday!

This is it, we are now leaving this Wednesday, June 6th! We were originally going to leave a couple days earlier, but we had a few last minute things come up and had to push the departure date back a couple days.

Last night we had our kickoff campfire, that was so much fun! We grilled hotdogs burgers, roasted marshmallows, and played music. I (Jordan) rocked out on bongos, and both Matt and Daniel played guitar. At the end we put on our headlamps and had an amazing night hike through the forest.

Matt, Jordan, Chris, and friends getting ready for the kickoff bonfire! Jordan: middle with brown shirt, Matt: right of Jordan. Chris: far right. Daniel arrived later.

Finally, we just talked to Hector Manley He’s doing something very similar to us — “Paddling For a Purpose” on the Mississippi too!. He was full of great advice! He’s already been kayaking on the Mississippi for a few weeks now, so he gave us a good idea of how far we can expect to go per day (25-40 miles/day), where to camp (he says there’s lots of campsites along the river, and more good advice. Thanks Hector!

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Expedition Mississippi: a Krazy, Kayaking Adventure Film

We’re making a video of our 2 month, shoe-string budget kayaking expedition down the Mississippi. The crew will be Jordan Sanders, Matt Lowers, and Daniel Lowers. Besides making an entertaining video, one of our primary goals is to raise environmental awareness and also motivate kids to get away from the screens and go outside. In order to do that, we’ve teamed up with two great non-profit organizations, Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace. (See an earlier post for more info about these organizations)

 Some people have been asking, “why would people watch this?? Is it just a video of you guys kayaking down the river?”

The short answer: NO.

That’s been done before, and by professionals (with film crews!) with way more experience than us.*

And THAT’S the whole point.

The fact that we’re inexperienced kayakers, going on such a crazy expedition should make this video ridiculously awesome! Jordan has kayaked maybe twice in his life, for about an hour or two. Matt, his brother, and his friend Chris have kayaked a handful of times for a fun afternoon. That’s it. Seriously. With that being said, we’re still taking a couple kayak safety training classes before we leave (gotta be safe!)

We’re willing to bet we’ll encounter more than our fair share of misadventures, problems and hilarious situations. During the course of the expedition, there’s sure to be all sorts of surprises in store for us (there always are!). The film will focus on us overcoming these obstacles.

 And that leads to another point. We’re also doing this to show you that if WE can do it, with practically no kayaking experience, YOU can do it. Or any sort of adventure for that matter.

Below is a special, limited time discounted price to pre-order our movie. Click on the button below to pre-order the digital copy of our film for $11.95.

Thanks for your support, we are extremely grateful!!!

*(Please note that the movie won’t be released until October/November)

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Preparing for our kayaking adventure: the gear rundown!

As our kayaking expedition is drawing nearer, we’ve had tons of people ask us to make a post on what we’re doing to prepare and what’s been going on.

Well, give the people what they want is what we say!

Last minute gear scramble

First, it’s exciting for us to receive all our sponsored gear in the mail. Parana paddles recently overnighted us a couple pairs of their crazy paddles, just to make sure we’d get them on time…then KRAVE Jerky came in last week, which Matt (and his dog Bailey) tell me is super yummy. So yummy in fact, that she got into the box while Matt was at work and ate 3 bags!! Suffice to say, Matt wasn’t very happy when he got home.

Anyway, our hammocks from Trek Light Gear came in a few days ago too. They look amazing — we can’t wait to field test them. Then after our meals from Hungry Hikers arrive, we should have just about everything from our sponsors.

Outside of the sponsored stuff, we’ve actually bought a couple cool things too. Matt just told me about his new Adidas Climacool Watershoes — he’s pretty excited about them. They look like your basic adidas soccer shoes, BUT they’re made from a breathable, synthetic mesh, and — get this — there are holes in the bottom! That way, water drains right out. For me, I just got these toe- shoes from FILA with a rubber sole (w/small holes in the bottom). When I wear them I look like a crazy, amphibious ninja!

 While I was in Germany, my dad went to REI and got me a Werner Skagit Paddle. From what I understand, it’s not “top of the line” but it’s still a solid choice with a carbon and fiberglass shaft.

Speaking of REI, they were having a sale so we just sent there a couple days ago and stocked up.

-Both Matt and I got an REI brand “Sahara Tech Shirt”, a collared, long sleeve shirt made of quick drying nylon.

-I picked up a goofy, wide-brimmed hat for sun protection.

-We both got Black Diamond “Spot” headlamps. 90 lumins!

-Finally we got Sea to Summit Dry Sacks. Looooots of them!

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Now there’s still a bunch of odds and ends we’ll need.

Here’s what we still need to get next week:

-HD Digital Camera & tripod

-waterproof case for Matt’s iphone (we’ll be doing some filming with it)

-extra memory cards

-I just looked through my entire house and couldn’t find my pocket rocket stove anywhere! So it looks like I’ll need another one of those now :(

-water filter

-rain fly for sleeping in hammocks

-lots of bug spray and sunscreen :P

If anyone knows where we can get any of the above cheaply, or would like to loan us anything for the expedition (We’ll send it back when we return!)

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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How Many RTs Can We Get?: A Crazy Social Media Experiment!

I woke up today with a brilliant idea. ….okay, maybe not brilliant, but at least it should be fun!!

It’s extremely simple. we’re sending out ONE tweet today, at 2:00 pm CDT. I’m not tweeting it a million times — just once. Sure, I’d get a better response, but that would be cheating.

All you have to do is click “Retweet” (RT), and you’ll be listed below in this blog post. Not only that, but we’ll list your full twitter bio too! Not a bad deal, right? :)

The cool part is that I’m no @BarackObama or @LadyGaga. If someone with a huge following tried this experiment, all it would prove is that they have a lot of followers. Yes, we have a few hundred followers… but in the Twitter world, that’s small beans. (YES, I just used small beans in a sentence!). So if this works for us, it can work for anyone!

Excuse me, my rabbit is biting my toe right now. Bad Lena. Anywayyy…let’s see how viral Twitter truly is — thanks for your help!!!

UPDATE: AND THE RESULTS ARE IN!!!!

And the grand total number of RTs is…..drumroll……….Blackjack! I mean, 21. Okay, so maybe it’s not the massive viral attack I envisioned, but hey, for someone like me who doesn’t have a “huge” following yet, 21 isn’t too shabby — I’d still call it a success. Plus our blog got 67 hits yesterday, our second biggest day ever.

The tweeps that RTd me were an interesting mix of kayaking/camping folks, social media professionals, and a couple misc. ones*. They range from HUGE Twitter accounts (41K+ followers) to ones just getting started (15 followers). Many I’ve interacted with before, but there was also a good amount that I haven’t spoken with yet.

But one thing they ALL have in common is that by RTing @Jordandmatt, they’ve shown that they’re all supportive tweeters, unselfish, and willing to interact if you send a tweet their way!

So without further ado, here we go in no particular order….

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@MyCampmate

Trip planning & social sharing platform for outdoor and travel enthusiasts and the merchants that support them. Plan. Pin. Share.

Sacramento, CA · http://www.mycampmate.com

———————————————————————————————————————————————-      Adam Boalt – @boalt

Interactive Strategy, User Experience, Search Marketing, Search Optimization and Social Media enthusiast.

Miami, FL · http://boalt.com

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Hendrik Morkel – @hendrikmorkel

Wilderness Guide | Rōnin | Entrepreneur | Minimalist | Author | This is a personal account & does not reflect the opinions of my boss, who is an asshole.

Finland · http://hendrikmorkel.com/

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@Paddle4Peace

Going the distance for Peace and Understanding!

Elsah, IL · http://www.paddle4peace.com

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Gary Bradford – @plumaslaker

Follower of Christ, Husband, Father. myCampmate Community Manager & CIO, Elected Official, State of CA IT Professional. See http://about.me/gary.bradford

Plumas Lake, CA · http://www.mycampmate.com

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Jereme Bivins – @jcbivins

Former progressive political operative, turned nonprofit digital marketing & communications specialist. I tweet for @fdncenter. Opinions here are my own.

New York, NY · http://about.me/jcbivins

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David Barnes - @paddlingboy

I am a sea kayaker, writer and artisan living the good life on Salt Spring Island. Look for my latest book The Hungry Kayaker, available now.

Salt Spring Island · http://www.facebook.com/HungryKayaker

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Bill Powell – @beholderbill

Happily married man, Cleveland Browns Fan and dog Person, living with a brain tumor and soon to be author and Appalachian Trail thru-hiker

North Carolina · http://www.going-south.org

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Meagan Adele Lopez – @meaganadele

Co-founder @SocialKaty. In England, I lunched, ex @theladylunches. Francophile. Dreams of flying. Author of #ThreeQuestions @USCalumni http://amzn.to/3qu3stions

Chicago, IL · http://www.ladywholunches.net/blog

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John Wayne Zimmerman – @eRocketFuel

Chief Rocket Scientist of eRocketFuel Social Media. Author of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook Marketing. Avid thrill seeker.

Chicago · http://www.eRocketFuel.com

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Lola and Leah – @LolaAndLeah

travel partners in crime. fashionistas sprinkling humor & sass. producing fun travel stories for your reading pleasure. also tweet as @LolaDimarco & @L_e_a_h

WE’RE GOING PLACES · http://websitecomingsoon.com

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Lauren DiMarco – @LolaDiMarco

Avid world traveler, writer & purveyor of fun. Fan of flip flops & summertime. Love making new friends & making them laugh! Looking for the next adventure…

here & there · http://lolastravels.com

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Adam Nutting – @HikingTheTrail

HikingTheTrail.com is a blog about the journey of one mans dream to hike the Appalachian trail. The adventure is not just on the trail itself.

Overland Park Kansas · http://www.hikingthetrail.com

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Traci – @WalkSimply

obsessive daydreamer, outdoor lover, wife to 1 and mom to 2, photo taker, art maker

Orange County, CA · http://www.walksimply.com/

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Kathy and Wes – @Scrapbooks 

Treasured Memory Preservation Consultants and Scrapbook Business Owners.

Deer Park, WA · http://www.FreeScrapbookTraining.com

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Sue – @SueOnTheWeb

Online Community Manager for 12 yrs. In between consuming copious amounts of choccie I chat about cmty-Check out my Cmty Manager jobs board http://bit.ly/xClu9M

Brit living in Charlotte, NC · http://sueontheweb.com/about-2

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Logan Pence – @DocPence

Tweeting about life’s mysteries, random facts, jokes, outdoor insights, and #kayaking since 2012. #teamlivebadass #kayakerprobz #Crohnies

warren, pa · http://www.facebook.com/logan.d.pence

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@kayakgal

Native Floridian. Operations coordinator for college bookstore. Seakayak and bicycle as balance

seattle area

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Christina Lizaso – @btrfly12

Interests include: Volunteerism, Nonprofit Management, Health & Cancer

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@PaddleByNumber

Obsessed with everything paddle sports. Canoe, Kayak, SUP, Kayak Fishing, Surfski

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Dillon Allen – @dillonangus

Dad, nuclear engineer, enthusiast of many nerdly hobbies (Ham Radio Astronomy, et al), left-of-center right wing nut-job. Just your normal everyday guy. W5DAA

Mississippi · http://www.dillonallen.com

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To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

NOTE* In case you were wondering, this account is for Jordan Sanders & Matt Lowers to keep people posted on their crazy kayaking adventure this summer. However, Jordan is also a social media marketing professional and has also begun tweeting about that too. (PS I love talking about myself in the 3rd person — makes me feel important!)

Categories: social media stuff | 3 Comments

Look at all our awesome sponsors!!!

We owe a HUUUGE THANKS to all of our sponsors. Our kayaking expedition would be much harder to manage if it weren’t for their generosity. Plus we’re all super excited to enjoy all their sweet products and services. And without further ado…here they are!!!!

1. Hungry Hikers – A camping food company that makes hearty and healthy packaged meals for outdoors people on the go. They generously supplied us with lots of yummy camping meals to keep us happy and well-fed!

2. Kayak Chicago – Chicago’s finest kayaking company; the offer kayak tours, rentals, lessons, and more. They’re giving us basic kayak safety training before we leave. This valuable training could save our lives!

3. CF Trading Company – A new knife and crossbow superstore with a huge selection of camping knives, crossbows, and accessories. They are providing us with a nice variety of knives to use on our expedition.

4. Appleseed Camping – A philanthropic organization helping nonprofits serve homeless people & pets affected by natural & economic disasters. They gave us some nice thermarest pillows as well as other miscellaneous camping supplies.

5. KRAVE Jerky – Krave Jerky provides a variety of flavorful, high quality packaged jerky products that will create a new, healthful image for the product category. KRAVE will be giving us a variety of jerky snacks so we can munch on something that’s both tasty AND healthy on our expedition.

6. Parana Paddles – Larger and lighter than ping pong paddles, PARANA PADDLES are designed to help you navigate the waters in a kayak or tube. They will be giving us a pair of their crazy paddles (with special grips) to give us an alternative to standard paddles.

7. Indiana University Outdoor Adventures - Offers students and the community opportunities to build connections through outdoor recreation activities and leadership training. They’re loaning us some nice PFDs (life jackets) and throwing a few meals our way too!

8.  Paracord Store – Offers a wide variety of high quality paracord 550 that will prepare you for anything from a weekend camping trip to an disaster/emergency situation. They gave us a generous discount on the paracord we’ve been using to make the survival bracelets we’re offering on kickstarter.

9. Going South: Hiking the AT with a Brain Tumor – Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February, Bill Powell decided to be the first to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (length of over 2, 100 miles) with his condition, and is writing a book and photo journal about it. Thanks for the financial support Bill!

10. Robin Smith -  He told us, “We are only on this earth for a short time and we all need to make the best of it by following our dreams and desires”. — Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the financial support Robin!!

11. David Barnes – The author of “The Hungry Kayaker”, a common sense guide to both cooking and camping, with and emphasis towards the weekend paddlers. He sent us his fantastic book and made a pledge on kickstarter as well.

12. PaddlingFan – A website that connects kayaking, canoe & kayak fishing enthusiasts to paddling trails in Florida. You’ll find detailed listings of trails, launch sites, river conditions, downloadable maps & more! Thanks for the financial support!

And a special thanks to Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace for teaming up with us! They’re a couple amazing non-profits that promote peace and environmental awareness.

Support us and get our movie, paracord bracelets, and other cool prizes — ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT !!! 

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Camping and Kayaking Tips from Experts

FUNNY STUFF

  • When kayaking, hold your breath when you see fish, breathe when you see birds :)

-Brandy Nethery

  • In your query for “kayaking tips”, it’s worth mentioning that a kayak generally has two tips. There’s the front tip, and there’s the rear tip. They’re also referred to as the “bow” and “stern”, though front and rear “tip” will get the point across with less confusion for some.It would be a mistake for a person who happens to be a bit tipsy to get into a tippy kayak; particularly if that kayak were of the type to tip.When kayaking, you will often find yourself ravenous with hunger, whether you’ve tipped over or had a “dry run”. Though you may be tempted to snack along the way, snacking in a tippy kayak may cause you to tip excessively, which among other things will increase your appetite; so, finding a restaurant where your hunger may be mitigated following a kayak trip, filled with tips, is of the first order. In doing so, be certain to leave your waitstaff an ample tip.

-Keith Benoist kayakmississippi.com

 

KAYAKING & PADDLING TIPS

  • Make sure you have a comfortable seat when paddling. It can make a long trip not seem so long. The gel seats & pads made by Skwoosh.com are great! The company began by making pads for bed-ridden folk, so you know they do it right.

-Paddling Fan paddlingfan.com

  • Take a tarp, and keep it in your day hatch. When you land for the evening put it up first, it gives a great dry space to get out of your drysuit or wetsuit and then un-pack your kayak. A Siltarp packs down into less than a liter and is worth its weight in gold on a cold rainy day it transforms camping.

-Christopher Crowhurst  http://qajaqrolls.com/

  • [What to wear when paddling:] Above 70 degree water doesn’t require a wetsuit or a drysuit unless the air is under 50 degrees. Wear a rash guard and have a paddling jacket or drytop ready if it gets chilly. For 50-70 degree water, a Farmer John or Jane wetsuit, one without arms, will be the most comfortable. For 45-55 degree water, A full 4/3 wetsuit or a drysuit will both suffice.  For water below 45 degrees, wear a drysuit with a base layer and multiple mid layers, plus protect the hands, feet and head.Bryan Hansel

-           Bryan Hansel paddlinglight.com

  • Pre-pack your boat before you leave so you know where you want everything to go. Important stuff should be within arms-reach.
  • Waterproof hatches may claim to be waterproof, but murphey’s law can always happen. Plastic ziplock bags are your friend.

-          Hungry Hikers hungryhikers.com

GENERAL CAMPING RELATED TIPS

  • If I were taking this trek I’d be sure to bring loads of bug repellant! Mosquitos find me tasty.

-LOLA of http://lolastravels.com/

  • Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit in a water tight container. Here’s a link to some first aid kits, the second one on the page is a waterproof kit approved by the Coast Guard.
  • I would also include a flask or two of whiskey, a shot in the evening will ward off any chill in the air.

-Corral Plastics http://corralplastics.com/

  • A must have is a thermarest for camping. Get the trail scout. It costs $50 but is very compact when not in use and will save your back sleeping.

-Shane Perrin paddle4peace.com

  • [While camping] I have Recoverite by Hammer Nutrition and that helped my body recover better from day after day beatings. It also has a nice subtle flavor and was part of my nightly routine. It was my sweet reward at the end of the day. Find out what your reward is at the end of each day. It gives you something to look forward to and signals that you’re all done for today.

-Jake www.hike734.com

  • Hydration is key! Drink at least 4 litres (1.6 Gal) of water per day. That’s about 1 quart for cooking, and 3 for drinking while paddling. Drinking enough water will ease the aches and pains from a long day on the water as well as maintain a steady core temperature.
  • Also, a great after-paddling drink is a cup of apple juice. It decreases the build-up of acids in the muscle tissues and aids in their repair. Dang, now I am thirsty!

-David Barnes kayakrogue.com

  • When pitching your tent, put a roll of duct tape around a tent pole. It will always be handy for any repairs you need to make to the tent.
  • When gathering firewood from some trees hands can get coated in sticky resin which is hard to remove. Use cooking oil to remove easily.
  • When looking for firewood in wooded areas look up not down, Wood on the floor will be damp but dead wood will fall onto lower branches. This dead wood will be dry and make for quick burning tinder.

-Kel Willis @kelaussie29

  • Yes that simple. That means if your mind is not set on the present moment emotionally and physically you’ll miss the opportunity of the best pic of your life. And also if your camera is at the bottom of your backpack in front of your boat or in the trunk of your car, then again you’re going to miss all the fun!

- Val KayakCanoeBlogger.com

  • When camping with kids…make lists! :) With kids there are so many things you need (or really DON’T need) and it’s too easy to forget something important! That and invest in kid’s sleeping bags. They are smaller so trap their heat in better and everyone stays warmer!

- Amelia Mayer talesofamountainmama.com

  • I always take along my favorite roasted coffee (ground)- Trailhead Coffee and a cotton tea net. Put the right amount of ground coffee into the tea net add to boiled water, steep four minutes and you have an amazing cup of coffee to start the day.

- Hungry Hikers

In case you didn’t know, we’re making a movie out of our kayaking expedition AND raising environmental awareness too! Help us make our dream a reality by supporting our project (and get something cool in return!)

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Hey Look, We’re in the News!

This is the start of what will hopefully be a growing collection of links to articles and posts about Expedition Mississippi in other blogs, websites, online periodicals, etc. Also includes a couple live, streaming podcasts!

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1. Our Alma Mater, Indiana University just published a piece on us (with a couple nice photos like the one above!). They also list the gifts we offer at various price-points, but some these are now LOWER! :)

2. We wrote an article for the non-profit organization Leave No Trace, describing why environmental awareness and their organization is important to us.

3. RVNN.TV had us on their live, streaming podcast twice. Once to interview us about our expedition, the other time to introduce us to Geocaching and speak with expert Andrew “HeadHardHat” Smith.

4. Our 15 miles on a teaspoon of peanut butter got published on the Bucketlist Blog: 2 People hiking almost 50 miles on 3 “meals”

5. A summary of our kayaking project (including backgroung) as well as both of our Bios was published on CamoRidge’s website. CamoRidge is an outdoor specialty store and hosts a large online community with various discussion forums.

6. The first post made on an outside blog about our trip, titled “Crazy Kayakers”, by ContributeUK. The Brits honestly think we’re 100%, certified insane. I would say we’re only 50%.

7. Our kayaking expedition was also mentioned by David Barnes in The Ramblings of a Rogue Kayaker: “2012 the year of Kayaking Expeditions”. Barnes is a culinary kayaking expert (can’t say that about many people!) who generously offered to send us a free copy of his book, The Hungry Kayaker, “a common-sense approach to co-existing with nature while enjoying great food”. Thanks David, we can’t wait!

8. We’re prominently listed on Paddle4Peace’s website as “Paddle4Peace Ambassadors”. We’ll be working with this organization to spread the word about kayaking and the benefits of having fun outdoors as opposed to staying inside (especially for kids).

9. We were featured in a recent post by US Kayaks, a kayak supplier and kayaking news source in Sunny San Diego.

10. Kayakcanoeblogger.com, a new blog about anything paddling related, just posted our press release along with lots of great, full-size photos. Check it out!

11. Our camping & kayaking tips post was included in the Camping News roundup of the day on paper.li

Want to help us make a crazy awesome film of our kayaking adventure  AND support environmental awareness? Then support Expedition Mississippi (and get something cool in return!)

Also, feel free to follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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Best Friends Seek Sponsors For Expedition Mississippi

Jordan Sanders and Matt Lowers, part time teachers and full time adventurers, turn to alternative funding sources for their first, major film project. With the project’s conceptualization beginning just one month ago, the process is testing both the merits of social media and the friends’ nerves.

Bloomington, IN (WEB) April 14, 2012 – If everything goes according to plan, in mid-May, two best friends from the Midwest will have the budget to make their movie-making dream a reality. Gearing up for a two month kayaking expedition. The crew, including Jordan Sanders, brothers Matt and Daniel Lowers, and Chris Smith-Nicholson, will kayak from a small tributary in Bloomington, Indiana all the way down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Their film will encompass the highlights of the trip, the lowlights, and everything in between.

It all started out as a way for the friends to re-unite. Since meeting at Indiana University, Jordan Sanders and Matt Lowers used to do everything together. Since then, Jordan as moved to Germany and Matt has remained in Bloomington. Yet the more they talked about it, the more they realized they wanted to do something more significant together.

Expedition Mississippi has two primary goals: to show through their video that if THEY can do it YOU can do it. Jordan notes,

“Although we’ve been looking into getting some better quality gear for safety reasons, we still aren’t ‘kayaking professionals’ by a long shot. But we’re not letting that discourage us. We’re making this movie to show that if just a few average guys can do this, YOU can do it. Or just about any kind of adventure for that matter.”

Another main objective is to raise awareness about the need to preserve the Mississippi River and the natural environment. They did this by teaming up with two fantastic organizations, Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace. Matt states,

“We feel like the further we get down the river, the more we’ll be doing to spread peace and environmental awareness”.

In addition to featuring smart environmental decisions in their movie, they will also be selling self-made “survival bracelets” and waterbottles at major cities along the river. Some of the proceeds will help fund the Expedition Mississippi project, and the other part will be donated to these non-profit organizations.

The idea has already drawn lots of attention online, especially considering the fact that they only had the idea one month ago. In that time they’ve garnered well over 100 likes on their Facebook Page, nearly 200 followers on Twitter, and a slew of support from “average joes” as well as Kayaking and adventure professionals. They’ve also fortunate enough to receive help from Hungry Hikers for camping food, Kayaking Chicago for safety training lessons, and the Complete Paddler for kayaking gear.

Finally, Jordan, Matt and Daniel are especially excited to receive advice from Dave Cornthwaite, the record holder for the longest SUP journey (stand up paddling); he set this record on the Mississippi.

The only question now is whether or not they will be able to successfully fund their project on Kickstarter, the world’s largest creative project funding website. Artists have a set number of days to raise all the funds on Kickstarter, or the project receives nothing. Expedition Mississippi has 30 days to reach their $1,800 goal. This isn’t much considering that they’re going to need food for a couple months, a decent set of paddles, and a good quality HD video camera. Those interested in supporting the project can visit their Kickstarter page here.

 

UPDATE — ONLY 28 HOURS LEFT TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT!!!

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Matt and Jordan BIO

Jordan Sanders BIO

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Jordan Sanders is 25 years old, and grew up in the Chicago area. He’s currently living near Hamburg, Germany, where he does communication training as well as social media marketing consulting.

In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities like rock-climbing, hiking, and camping. He’s gone hiking in the beautiful Bavarian Alps in Germany, the Appalachian Trail, and would like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail at some point… perhaps with Matt for their next adventure!

In addition to adventure travel, Jordan also loves budget travel. When he’s not camping with Matt, he’s going on shoestring budget trips throughout Europe. He’s gone couchsurfing, traveled with group train tickets or rideshares, and cooked his own, budget-style meals to scrape his way through Finland, Bavaria, Switzerland, England, and the Czech Republic (with Matt).

Jordan also enjoys playing the drums. He’s been playing the drumset and other percussion instruments for over 15 years, and has been the drummer for several alternative rock bands in Chicago. As a student at Indiana University, he performed with Matt in many local venues.

Matt Lowers Bio

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Matt Lowers is 25 years old and currently lives in Bloomington Indiana. As a recent graduate from Indiana University, he is working part time as a server, baseball coach, beekeeper and Spanish language tutor all the while trying to transition into a full-time teaching position.

Growing up in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, He enjoyed much of his time outdoors. In his free time he finds himself hiking, running, snowboarding, and disc golfing. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail running from Georgia to Maine as well as completing the smaller Tecumseh and Knobstone Trails in Indiana twice.  Matt also enjoys Budget traveling. His adventures have taken him from Costa Rica, Western Europe, to all over the Continental United States and beyond(most often with Jordan).

Some of Matt’s other hobbies include playing/writing music (guitar, harmonica, piano), winemaking/brewing, reading, bird watching and simply getting lost.

Want to help these two guys make a crazy awesome film of their kayaking adventure AND support environmental awareness? Then support their project (and get something cool in return!)

To learn more about our expedition and get all the latest updates, follow us on Twitter and check out the Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page!

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