Posts Tagged With: hiking

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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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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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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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

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