Posts Tagged With: camping

Camping and Kayaking Tips from Experts


  • 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



  • 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 are great! The company began by making pads for bed-ridden folk, so you know they do it right.

-Paddling Fan

  • 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

  • [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

  • 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


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

-LOLA of

  • 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

  • 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

  • [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.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!


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., 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

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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Matt and Jordan BIO

Jordan Sanders BIO


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


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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a 15 mile hike on a spoonfull of peanut butter.

This is the story about how my buddy Justin and I almost died on the Appalachian Trail. I know a lot of stories can be blown up and exaggerated, but what I’m about to tell you is the raw truth nothing more.

Background: My buddy Justin and I set out in 2007 to hike the Appalachian Trail. (This runs from the state of Georgia all the way to the state of Maine, over 2,000 miles). At this point we had been on the trail for about a month and a half, probably somewhere around North Carolina/Tennessee area. We were feeling pretty good, gaining experience (this was our first major hike), meeting new people,etc…..things were looking up.

We had just hitched a ride into town to get some resupplies for the next week out on the trail. The idea is to buy what you can carry for about a week until you make it to the next town. We bought our standbys: pasta, instant oatmeal, tuna packets and peanut butter. We were set for another week, or at least we thought….

And the story: With each passing day we ate the food off our backs until we got to our last day of food. Up to this point there had been a town about every 6 or 7 days walk on the trail so we were expecting to be close. When we looked at our guidebook, we saw that he next town was another 48 miles away! At the pace we were hiking, that was about three and half days walk.

So there we were with one day’s supply of food and three days walk to our next re-ration. Crap.

To say neither Justin nor myself are good at planning things out would be the understatement of the century. We stared at each other in disbelief.  “What now?”, we thought. There really wasn’t much of an option. We simply had to keep going. We decided that we would take those last three meals we had and split them up over the next two days and hike the last day on fumes.

The only photo we took during that time. You can just see the complete exhaustion in our faces

So we kept walking… and walking… and walking. Walking 16 miles a day is hard enough. Hiking 16 miles a day on less than 500 calories for two days and then nothing at all for a third day is suicidal. And it’s not like we could have just called someone. We were miles from nowhere, deep in the Appalachian wilderness.

As painful as it was, we finally made it to the last day. We had about 15 miles left on the trail, and then we would still have to hitch a ride into town (another 3 miles down the road)! Over the two previous days we had done well to ration and had managed to save ourselves each one spoon full of peanut butter (approximately 80 calories) for that final day.

We ate it (the worst breakfast ever I might add) and started hiking. A few hours went by and we started feeling the hunger more than we had the last two days combined. I’m not just talking about being hungry; I’m talking about feeling my body breaking down physically, my brain functions and thought process shutting down. I’m talking about delirious to the point of almost collapsing right there in the middle of the trail. The only thing that kept us going was knowing that when we got into town there would be an all you can eat buffet waiting for us. (We read it in our guidebook the previous night). Every time one of us just couldn’t even get up from break to put our pack on, the other would entice him with all you can eat steak and ribs, potatoes and green beans, fresh baked bread and chocolate cake for dessert. It was all we had just to keep moving forward. (We would’ve killed for a Hungry Hikers meal!)

Now, if this doesn’t sound challenging or life threatening enough, try adding into the mix a lack of water for the last 4 miles of the walk. Yeah that’s right we got within 4 miles of the road that would take us into town and ran out of water. I thought to myself it’s over…..were not gonna make it. We took our packs off and sat there for a long while just sitting not talking, not even really thinking, just staring off into space.

I still wonder how long we might have sat there in the woods had it not been for this day hiker. She came marching by all happy with smiles and smelling of fresh laundry detergent. “hey guys, how’s it going?” she asked seeing we were on the verge of death. “you guys through hikers?” At first we we thought she might be a mirage. “you wouldn’t happen to have any food or water on you would ya?” was the only thing I could think to say. To our surprise, she pulled out a couple power bars and a bottle of water. We told her we’d pay $20.00 for all of it. She threw us a, don’t be ridiculous, look and said “just take it; you guys look like you need it more than I do”. And wasn’t that the truth…

Needless to say we finally made it to town… and yes, we made it to that all you can eat buffet. Let me tell you, that restaurant lost money on us that day. We sat there, no joke, for like three hours just eating and drinking and eating some more. It was like I was tasting food and drink for the first time ever in my entire life. I never wanted to leave.

I’ve heard plenty of “Trail Angel” stories out on the AT, but to this day that day-hiker was the purest definition of a trail angel. Without her it’s hard to say if I’d be around to even write this story.

In case you didn’t know, we want to make a crazy movie out of our kayaking expedition AND raise environmental awareness at the same time! 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!

Categories: Bios and background | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FAQ About Expedition Mississippi — Part 1

Q: When are you guys leaving?

A: We don’t have the exact date set, but we’re thinking of beginning the kayaking expedition sometime in the first week of June. It may seem far off, but we still have tons of planning and ground-work to do before then!

Q: Where are you leaving from and how far you will go?

A: This is an easy one to answer. We’ll be leaving from a small tributary near Matt’s place in Bloomington, Indiana (see map –>). This will lead into the Wabash River, which will later take us to the great Mississippi. From there, it’s a straight (and long) shot all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico!

Q: What are you doing to prepare for the trip?

A: Right now, the main thing we’re doing is telling as many people as possible, whether that be in person, or on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a ton of work – we’ve been putting 4 to 5 hours into this on average every day! It will all be worth it in the end though.

We also need to get in physical shape for the trip. Matt is hitting the gym in Bloomington, Indiana. I, on the other hand don’t belong to a gym. Instead, I’m working out at a local playground! You may laugh, but they have everything there…a pull-up bar, parallel bars for dips, and more. And it’s all F-R-E-E. Sure, I may get some weird looks from parents, but it’s all good…

Finally, we also want to get some basic kayak safety training before the trip. Kudos to Bryan Hansel, a kayaking instructor & photographer, for the reminder. We are looking into taking a class in the Chicago area. More details on this coming soon…

There are still a few more questions to answer, like “Have you guys ever done anything like this before?”, and “How can you afford to go on this trip?”…but those will be answered in Part 2 of our FAQ! So stay tuned…

UPDATE: Part 2 of the FAQ is now up

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!

Categories: Expedition Mississippi | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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