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After months of waiting for this day to arrive, it's finally here. Today we will leave the United States and fly to Iquitos, Peru. This is the trip of a lifetime, and we're really excited to share it with you.
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All of our gear, food, and supplies get packed and un-packed each day. Each canoe can carry two people, three waterproof backpacks, and two waterproof boxes.

Everyone on the expedition team has been researching the Amazon and physically preparing for the trip. Dave, Amy, and Eric have skied all winter long to keep their bodies in good physical condition. Ruben, Carol, and Warren have been working in the rainforest to get their bodies adapted to the hot climate and getting in tune with the sounds, sights, and smells of the forest.
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Amy, Eric, and Dave spent all winter skiing to stay in shape. Here, Amy skis across a frozen lake in northern Minnesota. Behind her, Moon a polar husky helps a friend by pulling him.

How would you prepare for an expedition? What type of physical fitness plan would you have to have in order to physically prepare your body?

Before we leave the United States, each of us had to get several vaccinations to ensure we stay healthy during the Trans-Amazon Expedition. Our vaccines include: typhoid, hepatitis B, rubella, rabies, Yellow Fever, and booster shots for many vaccines we got as children. Fortunately for us, we had gotten most of the vaccines last year, and didn't need too many new ones for this leg of the expedition. For the next seven weeks, we will be traveling down the Amazon River in three canoes. During this time we will pass through three countries: Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. What languages do the people of these countries speak? How do you think we'll communicate?

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Warren and Ruben spent the year in the Peruvian rainforest in preparation for the second stage of the Trans-Amazon Expedition.

The Amazon River is the largest river on Earth. In fact, the Amazon makes up about 20% of all the Earth's water that flows in rivers. The river's length is still unknown by scientists even today. However, most scientists agree that it is about 4,000 miles long! During the next seven weeks, we will travel about 1,300 miles, and we'll be in some of the most remote sections of the river.
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During the Trans-Amazon Expedition, we'll have to pack all of our gear into three canoes. We need to be careful not to bring too much, because of limited space.

In addition to being the largest river on Earth, the Amazon rain forest is home to a huge amount of life. More plant and animals species are found in the Amazon rainforest than anywhere else on the planet. Almost 1/3 of all the plant and animal species on Earth call the Amazon home. The people, plants, and animals we pass along the way are what make canoing so interesting. Everyday we encounter animals that we've never seen before, and scientists are uncovering new species all the time.

Many students ask us why we want to canoe the Amazon. The answer is simple: learning about the rainforest is something we've all been interested in since we were in first or second grade. And being able to actually be in the rainforest is a dream come true. True, there are lots of things that make canoing the Amazon difficult, uncomfortable, and a little scary. But sometimes it takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams. Through preparing our bodies, learning about the Amazon before we go, and making the right decisions, we'll keep ourselves safe and healthy.
WHAT WILL THEY BRING?

PERSONAL ITEMS

2 pairs of quick-drying pants
2-3 shirts (short and long-sleeved), lightweight
2 - 3 pairs of socks and underwear
Baseball hat and rain hat
Rain jacket
Mosquito Netting
Sleeping bag or blanket
Hammock
Sandals
Rubber Boots
Pocket Knife
Flashlight or Headlamp
iPod
Passport
Water Bottles
Notebook and Pens
Binoculars

FOOD ITEMS

Rice
Dry peas
Dry Lentils
Oatmeal
Hundreds of bananas
Hard candy
Cookies
Canned Tuna Fish
Pasta
Tomato Sauce
Macaroni and Cheese
Spices
Tang
Coffee and Tea

 

GROUP GEAR

3 canoes and 6 paddles
First Aid Kit
3 laptop computers
1 satellite terminal
1 handheld satellite phone
CD-Rs and DVD-Rs
6 waterproof backpacks
5-gallon water jug with water purification tablets
3-4 digital cameras
1 video camera
6 waterproof boxes
Batteries
Solar Panels and marine battery
Pots, pans, and other items for cooking
2 portable camping stoves
4 liters of fuel for cooking
Insect repellent
Sunscreen
Maps, compasses, GPS
Machettes (one per canoe)
Soap for dishes, laundry, and body
Lots of Zip-Lock bags to keep everything dry
Candles
Lighters and waterproof matches

 


Is your school or classroom looking for ways that they can help the rainforest? Click Here! to learn about the Wilderness Classroom's Amazon Pen Pals fundraising opportunity.
Please join us in the Chat Room on Tuesday, April 1 from 9:00 - 10:00 AM CST. Teachers, please log your class in as a single user using an LCD projector. We'll be chatting with you from Iquitos, Peru!

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