Last month, the ACK marketing team decided to finally take action on our long-talked-of dreams about a multiple-day outdoor excursion.
Out of the Office & Onto the River
So we made a plan to go canoe/kayak camping and we saw it through. Our VP of Brand Marketing, Roland Jimenez, took the initiative to pick the route; he’d had plenty of good experiences camping on an island on the Lower Colorado River with family and friends. Happy hours and lunches are cool and all, but trips always deepen bonding. All that time in close quarters can be risky. I mean, I had to spend several hours a day paddling a canoe with my direct supervisor (who had just been hired) but I’d say the team came out stronger for it! 😉
We arranged for our friends at Rising Phoenix Adventures to drop us off and provide us with canoes (we brought our own yak) at Fisherman’s Park in Bastrop, Texas, about a 45-minute drive southeast of Austin. The plan was to put in around 10 am, paddle until we reached the island to camp on, spend the night, then pack up and paddle until we reached our take-out point under a bridge around mid-afternoon the next day, where Rising Phoenix would pick us up and take us back to Bastrop.
Here’s a map for the visual folks:
Other than a few sunburns that could have been avoided and arriving to an island that was much, much smaller than Roland had seen it on previous trips (water levels were high), the adventure unrolled as planned.
I’d been kayaking and I’d been camping, but I’d never had the opportunity to combine the two before this trip. Before we departed, we all contributed to a collaborative Google Sheets listing the gear we’d each bring.
Pro-Tip: Combining forces is great for certain things like food and drink (we pooled resources and put them in YETI 20 and Engel 30 coolers) but having your own gear is ideal for other things, like sleeping accommodations and apparel. Some products on my gear list included Klymit’s Static V Sleeping Pad, Nemo’s camp pillow and of course, the Chacos I spent the entirety of the trip in that marked my feet with tan lines that won’t fade for a while.
But I think the one product that stood out in my head that made this whole trip possible was the SealLine Baja 40 L Dry Bag. I knew we’d need dry bags. Unlike some gear that’s merely convenient or luxurious, dry bags are a necessity if you’re on the water for any extended period of time in the rare case you flip your boat. I guess I was just in awe at the fact that most of our needs for a two-day one-night expedition fit into one bag!
Plan Your Own
It’s just really cool knowing we paddled to a destination, set up a base camp (home for a night!) using only what we brought with us in three boats, and then left the next morning without a trace that we were there.
Am I being overly poetic about it? Maybe. But more than letting it be known that I’m grateful for my team that made the trip prep and journey go as smoothly as possible, I want others to be able to experience kayak/canoe camping.
If any of y’all are interested in planning a trip, drop your questions in a comment and we’ll help you brainstorm!