A man on TikTok is recording his journey kayaking the Mississippi River. On July 23, 2022, he set out to paddle from a lake in Northern Minnesota for a 2,318-mile journey until he reaches the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, LA.
The man, who goes by the handle @notwaitingtolive, is posting content, like the peaceful sounds of nature he sees as well as weekly recaps of his journey.
He left from Lake Itasca, which is regarded as the main source of the 2,552-mile-long river. He kayaked 50 miles his first week and about 50 more the following week.
Now, three weeks in, he has only made it to Aitkin, MN.
Replying to @black_boot_soldier here’s only the sights and sounds from the first 50 miles of the #mississippiriver @notwaitingtolive — #mississippisourcetosea #notwaitingtolive #foryoupage #kayakingadventures #offgridlife #campinglife #campingideas #foryourpage @notwaitingtolive #naturelovers #naturesounds
The long trek has him going through all sorts of conditions like neck-deep, murky marshes, expansive lake waters, and even dry spots on the river that require him to drag his boat through it.
"I went a couple of days without seeing anybody," he mentioned in a video, noting there are many parts of the expedition where he is in the middle of wide open waters, far away from civilization.
So, he purchased a marine radio.
Replying to @sydneyschissel I’m on a pretty remote and meandering stretch of the #mississippiriver south of Grand Rapids. I haven’t had cell seevice the past 3 days but I have made it to the small town of Palisade which has wifi at the town diner. Aitkin is about 30 river miles away. #mississippisourcetosea — #kayakingadventures #canoetrip #campingideas #wildernessculture #travelamerica #notwaitingtolive #foryoupage
He does pass by towns, however, so he will occasionally pack up where he's at, hide his kayak in some brush, and walk to the closest city for a visit.
As for lodging, the TikToker says he sometimes camps in state-provided shelters that are scattered along the stream or pitches a tent in a clearing.
Quick tour of the kayak I’m using to travel the #mississippiriver from ita source to the gulf coast of Mexico. #mississippisourcetosea #kayakingadventures #wildernessculture #kayakfishing #boatlife #notwaitingtolive #offgrid #optoutside #kayaking #foryoupage
The man is prepared. Truly. He revealed in a video that he is traveling in a 12-foot kayak with a back support chair. The watercraft also has a small solar-powered pedal motor that he uses when he needs more strength to cut through stronger waters and waves.
He has food and water all figured out, too. The paddle expert travels with multiple bags that include a "water treatment bag" with a filter that he uses to keep two 10-liter bags full of liquids each day.
He also has a few smaller bags with camping gear, clothes and "about 30 days worth of food" including Clif bars, boxed mac 'n' cheese and some junk food.
He hopes to get past a couple of hundred more miles next week.