Minnesota man kayaks down the entire Mississippi River across the United States

A man on TikTok records his kayak trip on the Mississippi River. On July 23, 2022, he set out to paddle from a northern Minnesota lake for a 2,318 mile journey until he reached the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, LA.

The man, who goes by the handle @notwaitingtolive, posts content, like the peaceful sounds of nature he sees as well as weekly recaps of his trip.

It started from Lake Itasca, which is considered the main source of the 2,552-mile-long river. He kayaked 50 miles his first week and about 50 more the following week.

Now, three weeks later, he has only arrived in Aitkin, MN.


In response to @black_boot_soldier, here are just the sights and sounds of the first 50 miles of the #mississippiriver @notwaitingtolive — #mississippisourcetosea #notwaitingtolive #foryoupage #kayakingadventures #offgridlife #campinglife #campingideas #foryourpage @notwaitingtolive #naturelovers #naturesounds

The long trek takes him through all sorts of conditions like deep, murky swamps, expansive lake waters, and even dry spots on the river that require him to drag his boat through.

“I stayed a few days without seeing anyone,” he mentioned in a video, noting that there are many parts of the expedition where he is in the middle of great waters, far from civilization.

So he bought a marine radio.


In response to @sydneyschissel, I’m on a fairly isolated and winding stretch of the #mississippiriver south of Grand Rapids. I haven’t had cell service for the past 3 days, but I got to the small town of Palisade which has wifi at the restaurant in town. Aitkin is about 30 miles from the river. #mississippisourcetosea — #kayakingadventures #canoetrip #campingideas #wildernessculture #travelamerica #notwaitingtolive #foryoupage

He goes through towns, however, sometimes he will pack his bags where he is, hide his kayak in some brush, and walk to the nearest town for a visit.

As for accommodations, the TikToker says he sometimes camps in state-provided shelters that are scattered along the creek or pitches a tent in a clearing.


Quick tour of the kayak I use to travel the #mississippiriver from its source to the Gulf of Mexico coast. #mississippisourcetosea #kayakadventures #wildernessculture #kayakfishing #boatlife #notwaitingtolive #offgrid #optoutside #kayaking #foryoupage

The man is ready. Really. He revealed in a video that he was traveling in a 12ft kayak with a chair back. The watercraft also has a small, solar-powered pedal motor that it uses when it needs more power to get through stronger waters and waves.

He also has food and water. The paddle expert travels with several bags including a “water treatment bag” with a filter which he uses to keep two 10 liter bags full of liquids each day.

He also has a few smaller bags with camping gear, clothing, and “about 30 days worth of food,” including Clif bars, boxed mac and cheese, and junk food.

He hopes to cover a few hundred more kilometers next week.

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