Up Close: Kevin Callan, A Really Happy Camper

It's tough to pin Kevin Callan down. If you've ever checked out his YouTube channel, you'll know why. It seems like he's always on a new trip—pointing his canoe down a river and seeing where it will take him. And, lucky for us, he takes us with him on his Happy Camper show, guiding us to new places and showing us the secrets to the good life outdoors. Whether it's sharing tips for how to properly handle an axe or breaking down the best sleep systems, he's full of useful tricks. We asked Kevin to share his favorite OR gear and let us in on what he's up to now.

Whenever I e-mail you, I always wonder where in the world you'll be when you get it! What have you been up to lately?

I just finished a North American tour on my film of paddling Scotland's Spey River - and doing a whisky tour along the way. It was an absolutely amazing adventure. 

What OR items are on your don't-leave-home-without list?

For warmth during shoulder season, and even mid summer in the north, I always pack a Transcendant Sweater. This jacket was my introduction to OR clothing. I loved it back then, and still love it now. So much so I was being mugged in Toronto. One guy grabbed for my lab top and the other grabbed for my Transcendant Sweater. I went to save my Transcendant Sweater. How weird is that?

For bush pants and wandering around town I've become happily addicted to OR's Ferrosi Pants. For comfort, style and durable I doubt you can get anything better.

What's next for you?

Next couple of projects are paddling Nova Scotia's legendary 1908 route that highlighted the book the Tent Dwellers. The cool part is that we are filming it all in 360-degree virtual reality. This is going to be amazing. And I'll be paddling the voyageur route from Ely to the Grande Portage, sharing the trail with U.S. and Canadian paddlers in a hope to show some good news connection between to the two countries/neighbours.

Also, my 12-year-old daughter and I are paddling Algonquin's Brent Run. Why? Well, she heard a bunch of enthusiastic men trying to attempt it and ... failed. To her, it's an easy trip and she wants to show how their macho attitude is the wrong way to take on such an adventure.