Backcountry food the ever evolving question.

Most of us have lost the art and knowledge of foraging for seeds, fruit and roots in the places we explore. We become reliant on ready made meals to fuel our excursions that usually end up wrecking havoc on our bodies. Over the years I have utilized many different food products, brands, and whole foods. Some have been great and others not so much, with a bit of ingenuity, research, and preparation food can be just as much part of the experience as is the journey itself.  Whole fresh food is not totally out of the equation if you know how to prep and handle the food. On our most recent trip we brought steaks on a multi night trip in 100 degree weather. To do so we planned in advance, vacuum sealed, wrapped in paper towel, and foil and packed against our water bladders (we froze our water bladders too). This allowed for a slow and delayed thaw while being slightly refrigerated. Result,  fresh ribeye after a hard training hike on the trail. When your trip doesn't allow this method due to the length of stay outdoors or having to keep a minimalistic pack. Finding companies like Heathers Choice or dehydrating your home cooked favorites allow for comforting, great tasting, healthy foods not loaded with preservatives and high doses of sodium that can truly make an already uncomfortable situation worse. (Hint, stomach issues)

Daniel Underbrink

Luke Kulbeth on our WAT training hike

Luke Kulbeth on our WAT training hike

Return to the Pecos – 1. Decisions

Return to the Pecos – 1. Decisions

The alarm goes off at 6:00 AM, but I’m already awake, and I’m pretty sure my wife Luisa is too. I hit the snooze button, and it’s pouring rain outside; it has been for the last several hours, and as if that wasn’t enough, there’s an occasional roll of thunder, accompanied by flashes of lightning. I can’t believe our luck, or karma, or whatever it is. The rain is so heavy the walls in my bedroom are vibrating, and I worry it’s going to wake Luisa (even though deep down, I know she’s already awake (click the title to take you to the full write up)

From left to right: Daniel Rodriguez, Bert Rodriguez, Daniel Underbrink, and Robert Field   Photo by Daniel Rodriguez  

From left to right: Daniel Rodriguez, Bert Rodriguez, Daniel Underbrink, and Robert Field

Photo by Daniel Rodriguez  

An Ode to the River

An Ode to the River

An Ode To The River

by Daniel Underbrink

Backpacking gear, a few cameras, some freeze dried food, a river, and a destination; it was all we needed to attempt our impossible.

Four days gave us plenty of time to cover a hundred Texas miles. Add a slow, winding river, a prevailing headwind, a ten-mile open water crossing and conquer it all on a paddleboard—now you have an adventure.

I wanted to test myself, push my limits, and set a standard for paddling in Texas. I wanted something new. Something that allowed me to become part of the river; I wanted the feeling of an expedition and the possibilities of an adventure.

A paddleboard and the Guadalupe River did just that. When asked about the trip, I normally tell of the crazy storms that hit us on the first two days. I tell of the rain that caused the river to spill its banks and rise more than 15 feet in a few short hours. I tell of the logjams that broke our soul after hours of hard paddling. I tell of the bugs that sucked the life out of us. I tell of the winds that beat us down.

But my mind remembers it differently. It remembers the glide of the paddleboard on the brown Texas floodwater. It remembers the sound of the water, the grip on the paddle, the crackle of the campfire, the voices of friends. I remember the river.

Rivers draw me to their banks, their landscapes, their solitude, their uniqueness; but my method of travel allows me to understand it all. I bought a paddleboard, we planned a trip, and we completed a hundred-mile paddle. It was a test of endurance. It was a test of spirit. It was epic in its own right. It was everything I imagined and more. Yet, it leaves me yearning for more. I want the feeling of the river beneath my feet. I want to go further and further. —Daniel Underbrink

 See the full article published in SUP The Mag