12 Days is the most compelling self support kayaking film ever produced. This hour long film showcases The Grand Canyon, its rapids, and the epic adventure it holds. Breaking down the most iconic river trip in the world piece by piece this film is a launching point for anyone interested in self support kayaking or The Grand Canyon. Starring whitewater legends such as: Mike Hipsher, Woody Callaway, Kelly Fisher, Shane Benedict, Boyce Greer, Les Bechtel, John Grace, Nate Helms and a host of others 12 Days provides an experts guide to camping out of your kayak. The topics included are: food, shelter, gear, hikes, preparation, permits, technique, geology and whitewater video guide.

The film “12 Days” is available for instant streaming at amongstit.tv click here

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We are hard at work finishing all the post production work on the feature film ’12days’. At the same time the crew is preparing for another epic winter trip down The Grand Canyon. Enjoy this sneak peak and check back daily as more video is released!


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Lots of big adventure was had on the 3rd Annual Liquidlogic Grand Canyon Self Support Expedition! We will have a steady stream of content from the trip rolling out over the coming days. Until then here is the initial trailer for our upcoming feature “12 days”.

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Some of the larger, named rapids on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Includes Hance, Horns, Granite, Hermit, Crystal, and Lava. Get a taste for the wonderful whitewater of the Grand Canyon.

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In the section of the NPS’s Noncommercial River Trip Regulations entitled “Human Waste Carry-Out Method” (Page 14) the NPS asserts: “It is easy to contain about 50 uses in a container measuring 2,000 cubic inches.” By our calculations this equates to 40 cubic inches per use. Wow! That’s one massive bowel movement. Our experience is that half that amount is adequate. But when you’re on the Grand you have to play by the NPS rules, so our calculations for the size of the Groover assume 40 cubic inches per use. So, for a 12 day trip on the Grand the NPS says you need 480 cubic inches of space for your PHWM system. We considered two different ways to provide 480 cubic inches for human waste: Pelican cases or PVC pipe, and our experience is that the PVC pipe is the superior method.

The groover mounted in the altered center wall of the Remix XP

There are several options for wall thickness in PVC, and for this purpose the thinner the better. The attached calculations assume SCH 40 PVC, which is generally available at building supply stores. It’s the green PVC pipe at Lowes or Home Depot, but Woody found at a local supplier some thinner PVC used for sewer pipe. You’ll want to use 6″ PVC, which fits well in the front of the kayak, and the pipe needs to about 16″ to get you the required volume. A solid end cap is glued on one end of the pipe, and on the other is glued a female threaded end cap with a threaded plug.

Boyce showing us his 'groover wrench'

You’ll want to manufacture some sort of “groover wrench” to unscrew the threaded plug. The plug has a square nut on it, so we cut a piece of 1/4 inch plastic sheet as a handle with a matching square hole to serve as a wrench. Another important innovation in PHWM system is the foam plug. This is a circular piece of minicell about an inch thick that fits inside the groover and separates the HW from toilet paper, wipes, etc.

Woody showing us how the 'groover' can double as a table or stool (no pun intended). Way to bring it back full circle.

The container fits well in the front of the XP10 by cutting an insert slot in the front wall of the boat. Punch a couple of cam straps through the foam that will secure the groover in the wall of the kayak. The groover is then sitting between your feet while you’re paddling, and you don’t even know it’s there.  –Boyce–

The 'groover' mounted in the XP 10

The groover is a necessary piece of equipment for any Grand Canyon Trip.  Here is a little video with Grand Canyon veteran Will Lyons explaining the beauty of…well watch the video and see for yourself.


specifications of our teams personal waste management systems

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We received this comment from Justin ‘Can you say a little about Boyce’s fire pan, by any chance? what is he lining it with, what is it made of, etc.? thanks!’.  Justin your answer is below straight from the source.

The important dimensions are required by the NPS regs: the pan needs to be 300 square inches – 15″X20″ – and have sides 3″ high.  The legs have to lift the fire pan off the ground by at least 3″, so I had the legs be 7″ long (3″ to line up with the sides of the pan, plus 4″ of height from the ground).  The pan breaks down into 11 pieces – 4 legs, 4 sides, and 3 bottom panels, plus 8 thumb screw bolts to put it together.  The whole thing weighs 8.8 lbs.  I had made it out of 1/8″ aluminum. Actually, I just designed it, and Greg Hanlon had it made at the shop at his work.

The individual pieces of the fire pan.

The fire pan fully assembled.

One alteration I considered was to drill out the legs and the bottom portions of the sides to reduce some of the weight, but since the pan was being distributed among 5-6 different people the weight reduction didn’t make that much difference.

Here is the corner where I would have drilled larger holes.

The only thing that I’d change would be to drill the thumb screw holes a bit larger, so it would be easier to match up the corners.

The fire pan dimensions complete with a Titanium vs. Aluminum analysis.

Stay tuned as we dig into the behind the scenes footage captured on the Grand Canyon trip as well as deeper discussion of the gear required for a safe and comfortable kayak camping experience.

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This is a pretty simple aspect of the trip, although many people have many different ways of going about it. I’ll give you my approach to food, which may give you some ideas. You can go crazy or you can keep it simple; I take the simple approach: how can I get enough calories in every day? As opposed to how much variety can I engineer, I’m looking at how to get 3000 calories per day. On the river, I’m looking at food as body fuel and focus on achieving my alloted calories per day. Last year, I ate as much as I could at each meal, never felt hungry, and still lost 8 lbs during the trip. Here’s my food strategy:

Typical breakfast, oatmeal and dried fruit.


Pre-package 12 hot cereal breakfasts. I put together ziplocks of oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc. with fruit and nuts to have for breakfast in the morning. I take three packets of hot cereal from the grocery store, combine them with brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruit (raisins) to make one breakfast. Add boiling water and you’ve started the day with 700 calories. Some people prefer MRE sausage and single Spam packets which work well too. Believe it or not, a few members of our group actually enjoyed some sausage and eggs for the first few days of the trip. The weather was cool enough that it worked, but I wouldn’t recommend this for any trip where temps are much above freezing at night. Bagels and english muffins are also a welcome break from the monotony of oatmeal. You may have other suggestions for breakfast, so please chime in.

A slightly more unorthodox, but entirely more delicious breakfest option.


Lunch is simple: Sandwiches, either peanut butter and jelly or hard salami with condiments. For the first few days, I use English muffins for sandwiches, and later in the trip use flour tortillas. I’ve been able to find squeeze bottles for the PB&J, and I raid local fast food establishments for the individual packets of mustard, mayonnaise, relish, etc. In addition to sandwiches, I have different type of energy bars as an extra: Cliff Bars, Power Bars, Big Sur Bars, Pro Bars, you name it.

Oohhh, looks like we've got some red beans and rice tonight! Yum!

The evening meal:

For most of the days I combine a prepackaged pasta with either chicken or tuna. The reason I’m specifying chicken or tuna is that these are the only options I’ve been able find in vacuumed packed pouches. If any one knows of any beef or pork options in pouches let us know. One option that I enjoy are Annie’s noodles: I add boiling water to the noodles, the cheese sauce package that comes with the noodles, and a chicken/tuna pouch and you’ve got around 1500 calories. I’ve also found some flavored pasta packets by Knorr which work really well: again, add boiling water, chicken/tuna, and you have a good calorie fix. As an alternative, I’ve found Ortega Mexican packets as an option: Spanish rice, black beans, and chicken/tuna. Makes my sleeping bag warm all night long. No doubt others have better ideas, and I’m eager to hear suggestions for dinner options. The vacuum packets are much more preferable to cans because they are easier to pack, and they account for no volume or weight after they are used. You might have noticed that only the “cooking” being done is to boil a few cups of water at breakfast and dinner. The pre packaged pasta or rice just requires boiling water to cook. Once cooked all I’m doing is adding the chicken or tuna to the pasta/rice mixture, and possibly heating it a bit more.

These little coffee presses are a must for you caffeine aficionados!


I’m bringing instant coffee and Swiss Mocha for after breakfast and after dinner. I like to add some bourbon to Swiss mocha in the evenings for a little after dinner drink. Many folks are coffee aficionados, and bring by-the-cup presses or single-cup strainers which seem to work fine. I also have tea bags and instant soup packets as other options. A few packets of powdered electrolytes or Gatorade are handy to have, also.


The only filtered water that I drank was from a filtered water bottle, which I would fill directly from the river or side streams. Otherwise, I was drinking boiled river water at breakfast and in the evening. I had no problem staying hydrated.  We had a few water filters on our trip as well, which was nice, and necessary if the river you’re on has much sediment.  Collapsible water buckets are also nice for settling out the sediment so your filters can go longer between cleanings.

Food is a highly personal aspect to any camping trip.  There are many thoughts, theories, and preferences out there, so please feel free to share yours with us!

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You’ve got your gear selected, your boat packed, and you’re on the water. After a great day on your favorite waterway, it’s time to find a camp and relax. This is fairly intuitive, however depending on where you’re at there may be some rules and regulations to follow.

Setting up camp

A lot of national parks have camping regulations regarding human waste and water use. Make sure you’re up to date on these and know everything you can and cannot do before you put on so you don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

The main thing to look for is enough flat space for your group, freshwater source (which is usually easy depending on the cleanliness of the river), firewood (if you’re permitted to burn fires), and a good view. Be sure you’re above the natural ebb and flow of the water so you don’t get wet and your gear doesn’t wash away. This all seems pretty straight forward, but you’d be amazed at how many experienced kayakers have been caught off guard by a rising river at night only to find their boat and gear gone in the morning.

Make sure your boats are away from the river.

Once you have your camp site selected it’s time to get set up. The main component to your survival, or lack thereof is a shelter. In some places, it’s fine to sleep under the stars, but in the words of an ancient Chinese sage, Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst. On the Grand Canyon trip, Will Lyons managed to forget his sleeping pad at the put-in, but luckily was able to find a substitute a third of the way down the river.

Luxury comes at a price.

Shelters are an often debated topic and in the end it’s up to you what you are comfortable sleeping in. Your options are tent, tarp, or bivy. Each have their pros and cons, so let’s discuss this momentarily. Obviously, tents are the most robust shelter option. If it looks like there’s a good chance you’ll be experiencing bad weather or are camping in a cold environment, this is probably the way to go. Tents have gotten light and compact as technology has progressed, some even boasting inflatable poles, making packing them in your boat less of a hassle. They are easy to set up, and often it’s best to split the tent pieces up between various members of the group. However, they’re heavier than the other two options, and poles can be a hassle to deal with in the boat. If one breaks, your structure is compromised.

Tom Sherbourn getting all "tenty."

Tarps are simple, light, and also highly effective. Entire books have been devoted to living under a tarp, and this is generally the preferred method for the light and fast crowd. If set up correctly, they can protect you from the nastiest of weather, but they require more time, thought, and effort to get to that point. Campsite selection is more important as well, as you’ll need to think about tiedowns and supports for your tarp. Paddles, either full or breakdown, can make excellent tarp supports, coupled with a few heavy boulders so this isn’t always a problem. Tarps also pack easily and are light so they are great for trips in smaller boats.

Boyce "Tarp Master" Greer's setup. Notice the nice paddle A-Frame.

Finally, bivies are somewhat in between tents and tarps. Bivies are small, one person shelters which are basically designed to hold one occupant in their sleeping bag. There’s no room to store gear, and if you are at all claustrophobic, this is not a good option. However, they are extremely light and compact and, like a tarp, are great for short trips in small boats where size and weight are more of an issue. There are several types of bivies as well, some use no poles, some have poles, and some have inflatable poles. In the end, it’s best to try out your options if you can at a local retailer, and see what will work best for you. In the end, they’ll all provide the shelter you need if you need it.


Jameson's sold separately .

Once you have your shelter set, go ahead and get settled in to your beautiful, new, expansive outdoor home. Other than that, make sure you have your water set and the next thing we like to do is get the kitchen going. Kitchens can take all forms, but they involve two things, fire and a cooking service. It’s up to you to decide how you’re going to get that done. Canister stoves are popular on because of their compact size and light weight. Open fire cooking can be a good activity as well, but make sure you comply with local rules and regulations depending on where you are. Some places ban fires completely, while others allow them with the use of a firepan. If you have the room for it, it’s always good to use a firepan to minimize your impact on the environment. Turkey roasting pans work great, or for the more industrious you can come up with your own.

Boyce's ingenious firepan. Notice the Kloberdanz'z getting all Hell's Kitchen in the background.

When you’re ready to move on, make sure you leave as little of an impact on your campsite as possible. Even if you arrived to a dirty campsite, try to take the time to spruce the place up a little, and if you have the room, cart out some trash. This helps keep everyone’s experience more pleasant, and while someone may not have had the respect to do it for you, you could help enrich the next person’s trip, as well as help protect the area from degradation. Feel free to post your thoughts and stories in the comments here with some of your own personal experiences.

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Colorado Border to Rio Aribba State Line in New Mexico. 65 miles of class 2-5 kayaking self support on the Rio Grande River. Sections paddled, Ute Mountain, Razorblades, Upper Box, La Hunta, lower Box, State Park, Racecourse. An awesome adventure with a great group of friends. Atom Crawford

Thanks for sharing Atom, looks like a great place to be!


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