Nick Caiazza, Member of the Blackwater Drifters 2014 Expedition, photographer, cinematographer, Mountainsmith Ambassador. Pictured with black sunglasses around his neck on the river.

Project Title:

– Blackwater Drifters (Visit our webpage at

Description of Project:

– Joe and Nick paddle the entire Missouri/Mississippi river system exploring how America’s largest waterway evolves from source to sea and better understand how our food production system is altering our waterways.


– Rochester, NY


­- June 5th

What inspires you?

– As a kid I’d watch the boats go by at our little cottage on Keuka Lake in upstate New York. Water has always had a profound influence on me.  This project gives me the opportunity to experience 15 states in our country in a way few people are able to. As a filmmaker I’m inspired by the expansive, fluctuating landscapes and various communities and people we have the fortune of meeting along the way. On these waters there is a new story around every bend.

What is your go to Mountainsmith Product?

– We’re so fortunate to have Mountainsmith provide us with such durable, invaluable gear. In the evenings my Morrison 2 tent and my Kenosha sleeping bag are my sanctuaries but when it comes down to my work the Parallax pack is outstanding. It’s comfortable, strong, efficient and the color coded pockets make my life simple. Over the last ten years I haven’t found a photo/video production bag that can do what the Parallax camera bag can do. It can take on rain, dirt, mud and take a beating from rocks, whatever and at the end of the day it’ll store everything I need and keep it safe. It’s not just my favorite piece of Mountainsmith gear. It’s my favorite piece of gear.

Essential, non-essential camping gear:

– Some might say it’s an essential but after a ten-hour day of paddling I love to unwind listening to some music on my music player. Music has been an integral part of my life and my family since I was a child so to hear music even in the most remote places is such a treat.

Do you have a four-legged friend at home?

– She doesn’t live with me but our family dog back in Eugene, OR is a black and white Border Collie / Australian Shepard mix named Jezie. She’s got a bit of an obsessive-compulsive nature when it comes to playing fetch but she’s still the sweetest dog in the world.

Favorite adventure?

– Road trips and getting outside of the states are often my favorite adventures. Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a life changing experience. It’s not the destination; it’s the journey, although the destination is otherworldly. Our guide made the experience such an adventure with his profound knowledge and connections to the culture, religion and history of the people who built those ancient cities.

Tell us about your dream adventure:

– My next big adventure, which has always been a dream of mine, is to travel to Africa. My girlfriend was born in Ghana and I can’t wait to meet her family, explore the beaches, the coco plantation she grew up on, and visit the castles built during the slave trade. There is so much history in Ghana and to learn this country’s history will hopefully give me a better understanding of the world and myself.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

– My superpower would be to capture film and photographs with my eyes, have that data stored in mind and be able to access it and transcode it to any format for screening. It’d be like using your eyes to shoot entire films without ever having to charge batteries, format memory cards, remember to press record button, have the right lens, etc. The way I see the world could become my film and the only gear I’d need would be myself.

Who makes the cut on your current playlist?

– Right now on my iPod I love “Fly Like an Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band. Considering we see dozens of eagles each day on the river it only makes sense.

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