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Eric Jackson’s 2015 Orion Adventures, Part 1- “Whitewater Fun Tour”

2015 marks the birth of Orion Coolers. This is the beginning of many adventures by many people, who, in some way, their Orion will make their adventures even better. I will be sharing some of mine, here, in a multi-part series.


Each year my family embarks on what we call the “Fun Tour”. The name has multiple meanings for us. First, we consider that having Fun is not something we want to leave to chance, but is an integral part of the family tapestry. “Forced Family Fun” is an actual phrase that brings mixed emotions to people hearing it for the first time, but it simply means, “drop what you are doing and let’s go play”


The Fun Tour is made possible by our RV, traveling from one awesome place to another, connecting dots around North America. It is based mostly around whitewater kayaking rivers and events, but also includes fishing, camping and other fun adventures.

This year we spent some quality time in TN, Colorado, and Ontario, Canada.

I got my first Orion 65 cooler while still at home, right before leaving on Tour in April. It became a staple in my truck, providing take out beverages, and an awesome loading platform for tying boats on the roof. It was my “get to know you” period in my relationship with my new tool. I found that having a comfortable sitting, changing, loading platform at put-ins and take-outs of my favorite rivers was no longer a luxury. It was now one of my staple tools. I also found that I could leave it in my truck and not worry about the ice melting, so I would just add ice every week or so and I always had cold drinks and safe food.


By the time we jumped in the RV we had the Orion 25 cooler done and I, of course, got my own immediately. My reason for the Orion 25 was to have a compact cooler that fit easily in the mini and on the back of my fishing kayak (most important reason).


We started with the GoPro Games, a multi-sport outdoor event where whitewater kayaking is the keystone event in Vail, Colorado. Food in Vail isn’t easy on a budget. We kept drinks, and food in my daughter, Emily’s, Orion 25, which helped a lot. Emily came back and won the GoPro games this year, her 9th win, but her first win since giving birth to her son, Tucker.


USA Team Trials were also held in Colorado at the “Glenwood Wave” and my Ninkasi Beer stuffed Orion 25 was quite a hit for after kayaking beverages. The bottle openers on each corner is even more valuable when you are in your kayaking gear and need a way to get such an awesome beer out of the bottle!


From Colorado, we went to the Ottawa River Valley, about 2 hours from the city of Ottawa, Canada. This is a special river for us. I have won the 2007 World Championships on the Ottawa River as well as had a silver medal in the 1997 World Championships. I also spend a good amount of time training, and generally enjoying the Ottawa for its whitewater, fishing, and Camping. Our trip this year was amazing. The World Championships were taking place, again, here and my son Dane and Daughter Emily both won the titles this year. My son-in-law, Nick, was second to Dane creating quite the family affair. I unfortunately didn’t qualify for this year’s team, but I was able to coach the kids and get plenty of time for myself on the water as well!

Join me in part two of the Fun 2 which will focus on some of my epic fishing trips.

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