The first time Christine and I went kayak camping, we paddled eight miles out into water so calm, still as silk bed sheets, that we heard the humpback whale slice through the surface of the water before we saw her. Too bad we didn’t check the weather. The next morning, the radio was repeating a …

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“Wait!” I shout as my head smacks below the surface of the pool. I flail around for a few minutes, trying to remember where to have my hands on the paddle and when to snap my hips. I eventually forget and the lady teaching me uses her body weight and arms to roll the kayak …

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Katie Albert could be described as a “small town girl,” but only technically. Sure, she is just seventeen and her hometown of Waterloo, Illinois has under 10,000 residents. Her perspective, however, stretches far beyond the horizons of the southern Illinois heartland. In fact, Katie has her sights set on visiting all seven continents – a …

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“For after something this powerful, this deep,” I whispered, “There is nothing after here.” I was five days into a weeklong solo-kayaking trip through the backcountry of Everglades National Park when I spoke these words out to a cove of salty water. I had just set up camp on a small, white sand key. The …

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Just to name a handful of Robyn Benincasa’s many accomplishments: she holds the record for farthest distance traveled by kayak on moving and on flat water in 24 hours, is 2 x Adventure Racing World Champion, and fights fires in San Diego. I’m half-surprised she wasn’t scaling a mountain while we conducted this phone interview.

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Em Bell is a writer, outdoorswoman, and adventure-maker. She was the first woman to kayak the length of Great Britain, stand-up paddle the 1001 miles of the Missouri, and she’s not done yet. Read on to learn about her next trips, the joys of not-planning, and Em’s top recommendations for things to do in the UK (that you would never think of).

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