River trips flow along with a mixture of paddling (usually not more than 1-2 hours at a stretch), exploring islands, birding, beach combing, animal tracking, napping, swimming, and whatever else is of interest to you & your friends or family! Our goal is to share the profound experience of immersion in the wild beauty of the Lower Mississippi River. We arrive as visitors, and respect the landscape and the river as such, the home of the richest biota in the heart of our country, including superlative birds, fish, crustaceans, and amphibians. Micro-biotas on the Mississippi include deep water, shallow water, forests, wetlands, sandbars, and meadows.
Lots of Sun
Be prepared for rain or intense sun UV exposure! Sunlight is surprisingly intense on the river (you get the sun twice – once from above and once reflected from below).
Sunburn is our number one complaint and has caused more than one Mississippi River paddler very painful days and sleepless nights. Be forewarned! Sunglasses, sun screen, long sleeve clothing and a wide brim hat are all good ideas, especially for anyone particularly sensitive.
Great Birding, tracking, animal & insect sighting, fossil & rock hunting (on select gravel bars). Bring your binoculars & pocket guides. We will be paddling though some of the wildest & most remote forests in the mid-South. 60% of America’s songbirds use this flyway. Also, the richest biota in North America for many species (including White Tailed Deer). You may not see the 230 varieties of fish & amphibians, but they “see” you! The fishing is fantastic if you know what you’re doing.
Cooking & Eating Great Food
Cooking & eating considerations: We do all of our cooking on the campfire with cast iron cookware, pans, pots & Dutch ovens. Smoked Cowboy Coffee (our specialty) poured from enamel coffee pots, we always keep hot water in a separate pot for soups & tea. We’ll have on board big coolers with ice and several dry boxes for dry goods in case you have something extra you want to bring (ie: BYOB). Meals served on enamel camp plates, bowls & cups. Any personal food requirements? Let us know, otherwise we’ll go with whatever looks freshest & tastiest!
Bug Protection: the Mississippi Mosquito has evolved way beyond DEET and other commercial grade repellants. Some people swear by Avon “Skin-so-soft.” The only thing that really works for me is long sleeve shirt and pants and shoes, My personal preference is fleece. The skeeters still haven’t grown their noses long enough to get through a thin layer of pile fleece! If all else fails be prepared to jump in your tent after dark. Check beforehand to make sure your tent screens are complete (not a bad idea to double check stakes, poles and fly. Maybe apply seam sealer?) The persistent skeeters will find the hole you forgot about last year when you packed it away!
Swimming: great swimming from ocean-size beaches and possible blue holes along the way. Blues holes are greenish or bluish pools of water carved directly into the sand & mud during high water, the low water leaves them in unexpected places. Best swimming in the Mississippi Delta! Pack swim gear and towels.
Camping: Remote islands, sandbars, towheads, usually sandy places, in inclement weather it might be necessary to find shelter within the forest. This is primitive camping on a river island, no services of any sort. Bring everything you need to make yourself comfortable. Bring your own toiletry. Bring a change of warm clothing, including summer months, when mornings can be cool. It’s always cooler on the river.
This is the Lower Mississippi River. The Muddy Waters Wilderness. Save for the occasional passing towboat, there are few traces of civilizations. Every island we visit will be primitive. Bring any toiletries you need, and be ready to dig a hole when nature calls.