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Taking Care of your Body on Multi-day Kayaking Trips

May 24th, 2017 No comments


There’s nothing that cures the soul like a week-long paddling trip. Spending some time unplugged outside with some of your best pals is a great way to unwind and refresh. Just as important as taking care of your mind is making sure you’re taking care of your body while you’re out getting down with nature. Stay feeling good and ready for action all week long with these five tips for taking care of your body during a long paddling trip.

1. Get plenty of Rest

Nothing can kill your trip’s momentum like lack of sleep early on in your trip. As bad as you want to stay up all night talking about all the great things you’re going to do in the next few days, you won’t be able to do them if you don’t get enough of that precious shut-eye. While we know packing space is limited, do yourself a favor and don’t skimp on the sleeping necessities. The last thing you need after a long day on the trail or in the water is a chilly night that keeps you awake.

Packing for your trip

2. Come Prepared with your Wardrobe

Mistakes happen, climates can be unpredictable, and sometimes plans just change. This is important to keep in mind when you’re choosing clothes for your trips, especially if you’re going somewhere new. While you might be heading somewhere that is traditionally very hot, nights can get cold and as you know, rain can fall from a clear blue sky. So, be mindful of the possibilities. The right clothes can contribute to more comfort and higher performance during the day, as well as contribute to a great sleep at night (see tip #1!)

3. Eat Everything

OK, don’t eat everything, but don’t estimate how hungry you will be or what your body will need for recovery. Many people don’t realize how much energy they expend on long days in the forest or on the water. The four main food groups you should focus on are proteins (for slow release energy), carbohydrates( for strength and stamina), fats (for muscle energy) and electrolytes (to prevent cramping). Trail food can be tricky because you must pack a big punch with limited space; finding super foods that you love will fill you up, but leave plenty of space in your pack (for your favorite trail socks!)


4. S T R E T C H

Just like a professional athlete, when you are pushing your body to perform at a high level you have to take the necessary steps to warm up and cool down. Taking a long hike or paddling for hours asks a lot of your muscles and taking a few minutes to cool down can increase your body’s stamina throughout the trip. Neglecting to stretch before an active day can cause both long and short term issues that you, nor your body have time for.

5. Don’t Downplay Personal Hygiene

We agree one of the great things about getting out in the wilderness is being able to ditch the tie, the high heels and iron for a few days. But even on a bro trip, forgetting the soap out in the woods doesn’t just take a toll on your overall, but can cause a decrease in performance as well. Nothing puts a damper on a good trip like blisters or a skin rash that can affect your gait or your ability to sleep comfortably.
Taking care of your body on the trail or in the water is key when tackling a multi-day trip. Keeping your body in tip-top shape will improve how your feel overall and help you to do more cool stuff! You feel good, you smell good(ish), you play/paddle/hike good!

Tips for Creating an Awesome Whitewater Video

May 22nd, 2017 No comments

Having a killer day on the river or creek is great, but having the awesome video footage to prove it is even better. The majority of paddlers these days use a GoPro or another type of video recording device mounted to their helmets or boats to capture all the action. Paddlers can then edit the footage and add music and effects to create sweet whitewater videos to post to social media or YouTube. Some of these videos are lacking that little something extra that makes them stand out in the crowd. We’ve all watched whitewater videos with scratchy audio, or wonky editing that drives us nuts because it takes away from the real action. Check out some of these tips and suggestions to help you create the best whitewater videos trending on the interwebs.

Gopro in place

Get Equipped

First things first, you’ll need to purchase a camera or type of recording device to film while you’re on the water. There’s a broad range of options available, with prices across the board. You don’t need to drop a grand on a camera either, it’s not what you buy but how you use it. GoPro like we mentioned above has tons of great options, and they really are a forerunner in the field. Check out some reviews and ask some paddling buddies who already own cameras about some of the pros and cons to the devices they have. Other companies like Canon and Sony also make cameras with recording features, so if you have a camera you like the style of already consider using this with the proper protection from the elements.

Rafting with no hands


Tell the Story

Anytime you go to see a movie on the big screen, you’re hoping for an interesting story-line that’s worth getting into. The same is true for short but awesome whitewater videos. Think about telling the story of the day, or the trip. Including some footage of the journey to the river, the friends who are paddling with you, and what the beginning of the day looks like is a good way to grab your viewer and get them waning to know how the story ends. It’s just like heading into that huge rapid on the river; there’s a beginning, chaotic and thrilling middle, then the denouement or final resolution to the plot or conflict. Having a more cohesive plot line enables you to build the action and story, which adds to the overall interest and appeal to your videos.

Best. Song. Ever.

Most whitewater videos we watch have music that goes along with what’s happening in the film. However, we’ve all seen those videos with weird song choices at odd moments that leave us feeling disconnected and wondering why in the hell they would have picked that music? If you’re building a good story, you’ll want the music to do the same. Obviously, you’ll want to choose good music you’re into but start the mood slowly and build the pace and excitement. Editing your footage so highlights of the action can hit simultaneously with big points in the music is key here. It lets your viewers know that something awesome is about to happen as they hear the music building. Play around with the footage and try different tracks in the background to see what seems to fit the best. We suggest testing these a very high levels to get the full effect! (FYI – so you don’t get in super trouble, make sure you have permission from the artist to use their music, or hunt for work in the public domain or royalty-free to share.)

Leaving on a kayaking trip


Establishing Shots and Movement

This goes along with telling the story and will add to the overall experience viewers will get from your videos. An establishing shot is typically that long shot in the beginning of movies that let’s us know where the story takes place. It helps to show the crucial connection between important characters (you and your buddies) with the objects (the river) and places (middle of glorious nowhere) around them. Also consider time lapse filming here since most of your action footage will be at full speed to show what it was really like to be in the thick of it. The time lapse adds length and can stretch a good song if you have a mellow vibe going that you’re building up. Good establishing shots can be unloading boats, close ups and introductions of your bros, and the actual travel to the put in.

From Rafting Magazine

@commodoretrevor and @thepublic_enemy of @raftingmagazine

Mounting Options and Angles

Different mounting options will give you different perspective on the action. Some cameras will come with different mounting kits for your helmet or boat. The helmet mount is probably the most popular, and GoPro offers some tips on the best way to do this. This gives you the action from your personal point of view, so if you take a swim or boof off a rock the viewer is right there with you. Another awesome option is to mount the camera to your boat looking back at you, or facing forward into the fray. The sky is the limit here on mounting, so try out lots of ideas. You can also use a wrist or paddle mount or have your friends film some footage for you. Scouting ahead and placing the camera in a good spot to catch the action as you guys move by can be really cool too. Experiment with lots of mounting options and different angles while you’re on the water so you have lots of footage to play with later.

If you’re going to make a whitewater video, make sure it’s as quality and badass as it can be! With a little extra time and effort a decent whitewater video can become a great one. Pick good music, tell the story, and film the footage from your own unique perspective that will make the project turn out to be as individual as you are. Also, don’t forget to share them with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages!

Need more inspo? Check out one of our faves from Watershed Ambassador, Dylan McKinney:


Boone || Crew from Dylan McKinney on Vimeo.

Rest with RVR 2 RVR

May 17th, 2017 No comments

As a company who tries desperately to surround themselves with water as often as possible, we have the opportunity to rub paddles with some cool people who are doing things that we like so much that we feel like we need to tell EVERYONE!

Some of those cool people are Brittany Parker and Natali Zollinger who have become stewards of the river as co-founders of  RVR 2 RVR. This is a program where the pair, along with their team members, travel around the world teaching clinics that help to equip paddlers of all levels with knowledge about about local waterways and how they can enjoy them to the max! They offer a wide variety of clinics with a choice of three different levels.

A post shared by RVR 2 RVR (@rvr2rvr) on

Both founders bring loaded resumes to the program. Along with being a top-ranked professional stand up paddle athlete with impressive rankings in the competitive whitewater circuit, Brittany is also considered the top female river surfer in the country. Natali is also an accomplished stand up paddle instructor, 12-year river guide, personal trainer, and yoga instructor.

In starting this program, their main objective was to teach people about river safety and help them to achieve their paddling goals. Regardless if you want to learn to paddle some of the world’s most challenging rapids, or if you’re just looking to expand your skillset on the water, they want to help you get there!

A post shared by RVR 2 RVR (@rvr2rvr) on

Some of the services the RVR2RVR crew offers are flatwater SUP skills, general river safety (river dynamics, and reading water), whitewater skills (eddy turns, peel outs, ferrys, etc.), stand up paddle river surfing, shortboard river surfing and downriver guided trips. Stoked.

If you’re looking to participate in a clinic, but have a specific situation that would require instruction beyond what is available in the current classes, they also offer private clinics tailored to the need of the client.

A post shared by RVR 2 RVR (@rvr2rvr) on

They are continuing their tour with upcoming clinics in Colorado, with the next stop being in Grand Junction on May 19-21. Prices and clinic levels are listed on their website, but if you think this Grand Junction clinic is for you, sign up today

Watershed is pumped to sponsor the ladies of RVR2RVR for the second year! They are passionate about getting more people in and around water the safe way, so how could we not be excited about that?! For more information, check them out at rvr2rvr.com!


River Language Explained

May 11th, 2017 No comments

Often you will hear kayakers or boaters talking among themselves in a strange language. It’s English, but not quite. There are strange words usually accompanied by excited or nervous expressions. This is river language, and it’s a spoken by a special breed of folks. We are going to give you the inside on what a few of those words and sayings really mean.



Boof, There it Is.

Nice boof, is one of these sayings often uttered by one kayaker to another. A boof is the act of lifting the bow of a whitewater kayak while going over rocks, waves, or waterfalls, in order to launch over hydraulics, holes or rocks. This helps to keep the boat on the surface of the water when landing a drop which keeps the boater out of places that are no bueno to be in. This word was originally coined because of the “boof” sound the boat made once it hit the water again. There is also a boof-stroke, which raises the boat for a short period of time.



Shred the Gnar

Gnar is a term that shouldn’t need much explanation. This term has been lovingly used to describe many aspects involved in the kayaking lifestyle. Generally speaking, the “gnar” really just means the gnarly section of whitewater that’s hopefully at flood stage you’re about to “shred” your way through. Gnarly lost it’s cool a few years back, but gnar seems it’s here to stay, at least for now. Urban dictionary also helps to shine some light on their definition of gnar.


River Cute

This term is often used to raft guides to describe guys and gals that happen to be in the boat with them all damn day. In the beginning of the day, that guy or gal might not be so attractive. However, after 8 hours of only getting to see really that one person within your age range suddenly they become quite attractive, even cute? Beware, this is river cute! They are only attractive because you’re tired and hungry and need a beer. River cuteness can cause blindness, confusion, as well as short lived relationships.



Heady Brah

Another fantastic bro-brah word, “heady” can be used to describe many things that are just plain great. It can be a perfect line you took, a new boat you just bought, or even a sweet new hoodie that was purchased at an electronic music festival. Anyway you slice it, heady is something that’s a cut above the rest or top of it’s class. This can also be used to describe an individual person as 1) a derogatory term to denote one who is overly occupied in the pursuit of ‘headiness.’




This word can refer to the delicious stout beer that will be enjoyed after paddling, but most often means a stout drop or hole. One can use this term as in, ” damn, that looks stout” as they are sizing up a rapid or section of creek or river. Any stout section or rapid is just like it’s alcoholic counterpart – dark, strong, and may put you on your ass.

These and other fine words are all collectively including in the genre we consider river language. These words can be mingled and intertwined in unique ways to come up with even more confusing speech that we all seem to just understand.



Top 5 Favorite Camping Life Hacks

April 30th, 2017 No comments

Life hacks are great little tips and tools to put in place that help us humans to work smarter not harder. Put “camping” in front of those two little words, and you have some of our favorite tips and how to’s to camp like a boss. From starting fires in a pinch to warding off mosquitoes, these are our top 5 must know camping life hacks for any savvy adventurer!

Nachos fire starter

From buzzfeed.

Nacho Fire

Taking delicious tortilla chips with you camping is a good idea all in itself: Crispy, crunchy, and hopefully covered in salt or cheese or something else magical. You can even cook nachos in a cast iron skillet right on your campfire. But did you know, that you can use some of the extra chips to actually get the fire going? Chips are basically pure hydrocarbons which burn, soaked in delicious fat which also burns. You can use a small pile of flaming chips as kindling to build your fire with. Don’t plan to make a bonfire of Doritos though as this could lead to a delicious overdose of aroma you may not be able to recover from.

Sage for the campfire

From Soul Flower Farm

What Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes can be a pain in the ass when you’re out camping, especially if you like to camp near the river or creek. A tent will help you some at night, but these pesky little creatures will do anything to get your tasty blood! Sure, you can soak yourself in DEET  which is a chemical used to repel mosquitoes, but your skin is often left oily and you smell like either a bottle of pine sol or like the pest control guy just came through your campsite. Sage is a common herb often used in cooking or even holistic and ceremonial rituals to cleanse away energy. Grab a few bundles of dried sage – which comes in many varieties – and throw them in your campfire on your next trip. The sage will give off an aroma that you’ll enjoy but those little bloodsuckers can’t stand!

Mason Jar match holder

From Gentlemint

Bomb Proof Matches

This is a favorite of ours here at Watershed as we like things that are waterproof! Matches are great to take camping, but not so great if they’re soaked once you get to your campsite. You can buy waterproof matches, or you can make your own for much cheaper! First, start with strike anywhere wooden matches and dip the striking end in nail polish or wax from a wax candle if you’d prefer. Next, lay the matches out and let them dry before putting them into a waterproof bag or container for your trip. For the wax dipped matches, you’ll need to peel off some of the wax before striking but the nail polish ones will be good to go. Just ensure you do a light coating and shake off excess polish. It’s also a great idea to affix some sandpaper to the inside of a container or surface to have a great place to strike it up!

Use a rock as a grommet

From REI

Grommet Rescue

Camping is always fun when one of your grommets from a tarp or rain fly rips out. Don’t despair! You’re super crafty and can fix this no problem! Grab a small rock or object  and create a new anchor point by wrapping the tarp or fly material around the rock, then tying the guideline around it. Just be careful with the fabric as the rock or object may rub from the inside. This is much better however than having half your shelter flying around in the huge surprise storm that just rolled in. It’s a good idea to keep a couple of golf balls handy while camping as they work beautifully for this without the sharp edges of a rock.


Zippy Zippers

We have all experienced desperately trying to get out of your tent when the call of nature happens and either not being able to find the pull on the zipper door, or worse the zipper getting stuck and not unzipping smoothly. Grab some wide key rings thats most of us have laying around at home and attach them to your zipper pulls on your tent and other equipment. This makes them much easier to locate in the dark or when it’s cold and your little paws are frozen. Also, use a bit of candle wax along your zipper to keep them nice and zippy!

Camping is awesome, but with these life hacks it can be even more so. Don’t forget to waterproof your matches and bring five times the amount of tortilla chips you think you may need!