Carrying it all on my back during these journeys isn't easy - the aim is to bring all I need and nothing I don't. What I do is essentially a solitary activity - it is extremely specialised and requires precise preparation. I can't leave anything to chance, and I am fortunate to have some expert help from valued sponsors who provide exceptional gear or other forms of support to my river explorations. Just as I am extremely picky about what I carry out there, I am equally selective about the sponsors that I choose to form a relationship with. Their generosity of spirit and belief in what I do are vital to my success. I can't thank them enough for being a part of the greater Remote River Man journey.
Sea to Summit Australia
Sea to Summit were one of my first sponsors, and have been along for the ride for a great many of my trips. Their brilliant Bug Dome tent (made by Wilderness Equipment) is the best tropical shelter I've ever used, and their dry bags are a crucial part of my kit each time I head to the world's most amazing rivers - my video camera lives in one when it's not filming the watery world. Out in the bush, my spare clothing has no better home than their Compression Dry Sacs, made with Event fabric - compressible, but waterproof! One of their coolest bits of kit is the Kitchen Sink, a collapsible container that I've often used to collect rainwater (or edible foods) in rainforests. I like their gear because it works, it lasts, and I can always rely on it to do what it's supposed to do, even in the harshest conditions.
Landwide Satellite Solutions
I don't think there is anyone in Australia who knows more about remote-area communications than John Booth of Landwide Satellite Solutions in Sydney. When I venture into remote, isolated places around the globe, it is a huge load off my mind to know that I have the finest and most reliable satellite communication technology in the world, right there in my pack. From the lightweight and superbly user-friendly Iridium 9555 sat phone to the amazing Solara Field Tracker 2100 GPS Tracker, Landwide has got the goods to give me the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no matter how many hundreds of kilometres I am from the nearest human being, I am not alone - I can communicate with the outside world whenever I need to, let people know exactly where I am, and am able to respond immediately if there's an emergency. Landwide is run by people who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do, and know how to keep doing it right.
What I've always liked about Paddys is their range. They stock some of of the best outdoor brands in the business - Scarpa, Mountain Hardware, ExOfficio, The North Face, MSR, Black Diamond and Icebreaker to name a few, as well as their own awesome Pallin brand. When I'm looking for durable, functional clothing and gear that I can rely on to get me through the harshest expedition, these are the folks I go see. From their Neo Trekker sleep mat (the perfect addition to my jungle hammock) to their Black Diamond Storm headlamps (now that's what I call BRIGHT), Paddys is my pre-expedition one-stop-shop. Their concern for the environment also echoes my own philosophy: try to leave the earth just as beautiful for the next generation.