UP THE CREEK IN LAOS
I/O Crew member and Extreme Kayaker Chris Baer is no stranger to being up the creek/stream/river in all parts of the world, but on his recent trip to Laos in South East Asia he well and truly took himself, and his I/O Merino into uncharted territory. Literally.
After years of traveling the world, Chris admits no matter where he goes, locals always look at downstream waterfalls as dangerous or even deadly, which boosts his intrigue even more. But then, it wasn’t the waterfalls he was worried about.
DODGING BULLETS. AND TIGERS.
“Honestly, it was the talk of us being shot at that bothered me. We had already seen a fair share of young men toting AK47s. Waterfalls I can portage, but I’m not good at dodging bullets yet.” Add to that the chance of running into poisonous snakes, boa constrictors and tigers along the way and you start to get the feeling this was no ordinary adventure. After all, our I/O Merino gear is good, will protect you from the elements, and help keep you comfortable in all kinds of weather conditions, but if a tiger comes at you, you’re going to want more than a layer or two of MicroMerino® to protect you!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GEAR.
Spending up to seven hours a day on the go, no doubt meant gear choice was critical, so it’s little wonder Chris is a big fan of I/O Merino. It’s ideal to travel in, keeps you warm when it’s cool, cool when it’s warm, breaths, wicks moisture and is gloriously odor resistant! (Just not Tiger-poof.)
Tigers aside, the trip dished up it’s fair share of surprizes, including one set of rapids that ended up being a little more than anyone had expected. “Nam Ngiap was supposed to be a class 3 first descent, and turned out to be a 3 day, 36 mile, class 5 adventure dropping 2,500 feet!” Chris said.
All up, Chris rates the trip as being right up there. “This trip goes down as one of my best first descents. The rapids were spectacular and the fact we went in with such little beta and produced a safe, successful trip only lends merit to the paddling crew.”
You can follow more of Chris’s adventures at his Where Is Baer? Blog.