Posts Tagged With: kayaking

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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A New Member? + Paddling for a Purpose

The last couple days have been HUUUUUUGE for us!! And I mean HUGE. So many things have been happening recently, I obviously had to blog about it now to fill you in. Things are really moving fast, faster than we ever anticipated… but that’s a good thing 🙂

Here’s the latest news…

1. Matt’s brother, Daniel Lowers, might be joining the expedition! Daniel also isn’t a kayaking expert, but he’s done these kinds of adventures before. For instance, he went with Matt on a roadtrip across the US in an old VW Van. How they made it across the country and back in that hunk-of-junk… I’ll never know. In fact, it literally broke down 6 times during the trip…but that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, we really hope Daniel can take part, but it depends on the financial situation. 2 month expeditions certainly aren’t cheap. Keep your fingers crossed for him!!

2. We now are giving back to the community even more!

From the beginning, we wanted to “raise awareness about the need to preserve the Mississippi River and its surrounding wildlife” (as quoted from our Facebook Page. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a clear plan of what to do. Now that’s changed.

We’ve just teamed up with two amazing organizations: Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace.

Leave No Trace: promotes “Outdoor Ethics”. In other words, they teach people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. By doing this, we can maintain the beauty (and access to) natural land. They’re the perfect organization to help us raise environmental awareness.

Another primary goal of ours was to inspire self of confidence in our audience…that if WE can do this, with very little experience, YOU can do something like this too (see earlier post). The following organization does that for kids (they’re also working for peace, as the name suggests).

Paddle4Peace: Founded by a group of athletes, they paddle to help groups that actively work to foster peace around the world. They’re also developing a kids paddling program to help raise a child’s sense of self-worth and confidence, as well as to keep them outside and on the water.

Besides mentioning these organizations whenever possible (including our video), we’ve got something else in the works too —

Matt and Daniel are going to make and sell survival bracelets (y’know, the ones made out of para-cord) to raise money for the organizations above AND help finance our project. They’ll be selling them before the trip in Bloomington, IN, and throughout the trip in cities along the river.

Help us make our dream a reality by supporting our project (and get something cool in return!)

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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!

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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!

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Why would you want to watch our video?

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 both inexperienced kayakers, going on such a crazy expedition should make this video ridiculously awesome! I (Jordan) have kayaked maybe twice in my life, for about an hour or two. Matt has kayaked a handful of times for a fun afternoon. That’s it. Seriously.

Keeping that in mind, I’m willing to bet we’ll encounter more than our fair share of misadventures, problems and hilarious/difficult/challenging situations. The film will focus on us overcoming these obstacles.

Matt encounters a monsterous, evil lizard while hiking the AT. Look at the fear in his eyes!

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.

I think the question should really be… Who WOULDN’T want to watch this video?!

Help us make our dream a reality by supporting our project (and get something cool in return!)

 

You can follow the adventure here:

Twitter

Expedition Mississippi Facebook Page

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*NOTE*  – There’s nothing wrong with pros making a high quality film documenting their journey. In fact, they’re often really fun and exciting to watch. (It’s just a different genre than what we’re going for). For example, see this video of Dave Cornthwaite. He set a world record by completing the 2404 miles of the Mississippi river all by stand up paddling! We have so much respect for this guy.

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