Pack Rat in the Sky - While at first, my colorful pile of nylon, plastic and down may seem like an eyesore of excessive baggage and consumerism, take a second look and consider that these are only items I will have access to for the next, indefinite period of time. What you see here includes a shelter, sleeping and cooking equipment, several cameras, a phone, inReach, solar panels, repair stuff, food, water and, oh yeah ..a freaking aircraft!
Looking at it that way, its life stripped of luxury, designed for survival and a representation of how far the paragliding and outdoor industries have refined their gear to make unsupported, ambitious goals like this a reality.
I will provide a complete list of my equipment in an article released this year.
Expedition Gear List
Safe Space - As a child, I was a professional fort builder. A combination of bed sheets, kitchen tables and cutlery-based catapults kept me safe from homework and other outrageous offences. These days, I'm doing my best to appear adult and have opted for the Tiger Wall 2 from the folks at Big Agnes. Weighing just 500 grams, this ingenious wedding of Dynema and carbon fiber is large enough for two people, or just one person who farts a lot.
Camera & Electronics
Staying in-Charge - Making a bad-ass documentary while trying to execute a world-class expedition is tougher than I could have imagined. Rigging cameras, managing storage and getting the shots is tough enough. Fortunately, the one thing I never need to worry about is power.
So far, the silver lining to the stable weather I've seen is the seemingly limitless hours of sun I have to charge all the items that matter most.
Navigation & Communication
A whole new world - Never having flown, or ever having been, in the desert before, I often felt like I was stepping foot on an entirely new planet. Similar to the earth I knew in terms of gravity and oxygen, the heat, lack of water and strange formations told me that this was something completely 'Other.'
This feeling was only intensified upon taking the skies. Floating above the matte, brown and red landscape, my childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut had finally come true.
Desert Cold - Though scorching hot throughout the day, the mid-April mornings would remain frosty cold until about an hour after sunrise. While brief, these 60-minute episodes reminded me of my home in the great white north and motivated me to make the most of each day so that I may finally return to its crisp, cold, mountain air.
Food (Typical 14-day Ration)
Counting Calories - Long waits between flights in these remote parts means; 1. Making sure I don't eat more than my daily food ration and 2: I'm losing weight like it was going out of style.
Striking a balance between unsupported expeditions like this one and proper nutrition has never been straightforward, but in cases like these, I just feel lucky to be camped beside a lake, not having to worry about water on top of everything else.
Check out this captivating nature documentary about the majestic Monarch Butterfly. There are many more out there, but this is a great place to start your journey of amazement. (NOTE: Low resolution, but High awesome-factor! See HQ version below if outside US) [show:video:511] [b]NOVA/PBS:[/b] The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies Higher Quality Version of same Documentary (Not viewable in the US and possibly elsewhere. Tested in Mexico.) [show:video:512] [b]NOVA/PBS:[/b] The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies Reference:[url=https://www.pbs.org/video/nova-the-incredible-journey-of-the-butterflies/]PBS[/url] (Official Page)
[b]Saturday, May 22nd at 6 PM Pacific Time[/b] ([url=https://web.facebook.com/events/545529433115041/]Event Link[/url]) Benjamin Jordan and Lyndsay Nicole will be going live on Facebook for the very first time. Come hang out and ask anything you want about the Fly Monarca Expedition and Film. Expect to laugh, learn and get inspired for your next great adventure! [url=https://web.facebook.com/events/545529433115041/]Click here[/url] to join the event. Join ahead of time and you'll get a reminder beforehand. See you there!
Adventuring into the heart of Africa, a paraglider instigates a young man's potentially deadly quest to release the weight of poverty, social taboos and self doubt, and take to the skies. In doing so, the traveler is confronted with unsettling truths about his own racial and cultural identity.
In a country where no one flies, two friends can inspire a nation by putting everything on the line.
Fly along as Benjamin Jordan sets a new World Distance Record (10,000 km) as he crosses Canada by Powered Paraglider. Along the way, you will land at summer camps and inspire thousands of children, while raising funds to send less fortunate ones to summer camp next year! The 71 minute, Documentary Feature contains 15 chapters chronicling the epic successes and failures of this unprecedented journey. Each chapter focuses on a unique aspect of Canadian geography, culture and the exact mix of team-work and blind optimism required to pull off such a daring stunt. Since it's release in 2010, A Canadian Dream (formerly "DREAM") has screened in theatres world-wide and, through it's proceeds, has allowed almost 100 children, from low-income homes, the opportunity to attend summer camp.Watch Now..