For those who don’t know, we offer four Go Play Days (paid workdays) a year for all employees to get outside and learn more about our products through personal experience. Of course, it doesn’t take much pushing to get ACK-ers outside.

Here’s a blog by ACK Houston Store Associate John Hayes on his kayak camping trip down on the Colorado River!


 

Last week I spent a night kayak camping on the Colorado River in Columbus, Texas.  This was the maiden voyage for my brand-new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, so I was really excited to get it out on the water.

I left Houston around 1:45 pm on Thursday, and arrived at around 3 pm in Columbus, where I met up with a couple of friends, Anthony from San Antonio and Cal from Dallas. We made a quick stop at HEB for some last-minute groceries and then headed to the put in location, a boat ramp under the Highway 71 bridge. After loading all our gear into the kayaks, we started making our way down the river. For this trip, we were using my Native Manta Ray 11, my new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120, and an Ocean Kayak Trident 13.

We weren’t in any hurry, so we just took our time paddling down the river. I made a few casts with a crankbait to some fishy looking spots but didn’t get any bites. It was only about a mile to the island where we were camping that night, so we were there before we knew it. It was really hot, so we found a nice shady spot to set up the tent.Despite the heat, we wanted a campfire, so we collected some wood and Anthony got to work building the fire. Meanwhile, Cal and I set up my Katadyn Base Camp Pro Gravity Filter. It was my second time using this filter, and I was really happy with its performance. It’s a really convenient system. Once you fill up the bag, you essentially have a short supply of fresh running water that you can use to fill water bottles and rinse dishes. After filtering about 10 liters, it started to slow down, so I sponged off the prefilter, which helped to speed the water flow back up.

“It’s a really convenient system. Once you fill up the bag, you essentially have a short supply of fresh running water that you can use to fill water bottles and rinse dishes.”

Once we got camp set up, we set out some rods with hotdogs as bait to try and catch some catfish. We left the rods out for the rest of the evening, but didn’t have any luck. For the rest of the night, we sat around the campfire, enjoyed the sunset, and cooked up some hotdogs for dinner before turning in for the night.

For breakfast the next morning we scrambled some eggs in my Jetboil Flash with the Jetboil Frypan. The Flash isn’t ideal for cooking at low heat, but we were careful to watch the temperature and the eggs came out great. We cooked some more of the hot dogs and heated up some tortillas for breakfast tacos.  

We took it real easy the rest of the day, paddling, fishing, and swimming. It was about five miles to the take out point at Beason’s park, and we made it there in a couple of hours. After stopping for some Mexican food in Columbus, we all went our separate ways back home. It was a great, relaxing trip, and we can’t wait to do it again.