A kayak can carry
one in to areas inaccessible by any other practical
means. Add camping gear and one can dance with Mother
Nature’s diversity in the most remote and pristine
places on earth. In the process, logistical fortitudes
are tested, friendships solidified and the soul fed
all the adventure it hungers for and sometimes more.
There is no finer way to explore and experience the
natural world than from a seat of a kayak, self-support
But how does this relate
to Earthen Exposure and its revolving health theme?
Good question. While kayaking is considered a low-impact
sport by virtue of being human powered, we should not
kid ourselves. Kayaking is not without environmental
repercussions. Each time we check our paddle in as luggage*,
load our kayak on a car, or purchase a new piece of
gear, we indirectly add to a host of real problems.
On the other hand, I believe self-support can foster
the kind of awareness in ones surroundings that facilitates
a deeper respect for nature...the kind of respect needed
to fully appreciate the current environmental problems
and more importantly, the ones future generations could
be faced with. While the ego will dilute the experience
for some, for others, the connectedness made while deep
in remote canyons will be undeniable.
So, get out there.
Immerse yourself, observe, and experience it for everything
it is. In the process though, I humbly suggest pondering
how you might lessen your impact in everyday life. We
all want to believe our individual lifestyles are "low
impact", but, in reality, most of us could do more
and do so with little to no sacrifice. It's simply a
matter of learning to alter our habits. At the very
least, our immediate health will benefit and we can,
with dignity, know the attempt was made to leave the
greatest legacy to our grandchildren and theirs possible;
clean air to breath and unadulterated water to drink.
And, if our successors are lucky, they too will have
the means to enjoy the same beautifully pristine canyons
we are so privileged to see today.
travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change
that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
of Earthen Exposure happened rather haphazardly and
originated from hand written notes I started taking
in 1992 while experimenting with different self-support
loads. Meant to serve as a reference tool for myself
(and to appease my anal-retentiveness), these notes
migrated to my hard-drive and accumulated there as I
learned to type with the efficiency of a secretary.
It then dawned on me while planning Earthen Exposure
to compile these notes, along with some things discovered
on the range during my unconventional
early years, and make it available to others.
is one of the roots to the worlds environmental
problems. Unfortunately, self-support is gear
intensive. Share camping equipment with friends;
buy only what you need & buy quality items
made where there are strict pollution regulations;
make everything you can; & maintain
& repair for the longest life. Lastly
& most importantly, don't do any of this
to be "green" or fashionable. Do it
because it's practical. Do it because you believe
it's the right thing to do.
evolving notes are geared for the experienced whitewater
kayaker interested in self-support. However, other lightweight
travelers such as backpackers, sea kayakers, and those
who tour on bicycles etc may also find useful ideas.
Regardless, this stuff is not gospel, or the only way.
There were paddlers and other fanatics of lightweight
travel figuring these things out when I was still messing
my britches. Use what you find here as guidelines and
idea sparkers then watch your own discoveries flow.
Begin here and if you have
suggestions or comments, please email
These pages are not instructional nor for the beginning
kayaker. You need to get proper instruction. Even then,
kayaking is dangerous. Kayaking in remote places with
a loaded kayak intensifies the danger. The risks may
involve serious injury or death. The decision to accept
that is entirely your own. I shall have no liability
or responsibility to any person with respect to personal
harm or property damage caused indirectly or directly
by any material found in these web pages.
memory of our friends who loved expeditionary self-support
paddling: David Norell and Andy Zimet. Both did a number
of exploratory runs on obscure creeks in Idaho, British
Columbia, and elsewhere. David did the first modern
descent of the now acclaimend NF Stein in BC. Andy was
the quintessential explorer, thriving on soloing and
runs with challenging access in the U.S. and abroad.
Norell memorial site
on Andy Zimet
few of Andy's earlier paddling adventures
737 jetliner burns 866 gallons of fuel per hour.