Born to be Wild: On the Road with Nick Troutman & Family
GoPro athlete and world freestyle kayak champion Nick Troutman is living life on the road, traveling for 10 months across North America documenting his travels, adventures and competitions. His co-pilots – wife, Emily Jackson, and their kids and dogs – make up the ensemble cast of Troutman’s “Wild & Free” weekly video series which captures the highlights of RV living.
We caught up with Nick to ask him a few questions about this year’s competition season, his travels and who he’ll let crash the RV party.
GoPro: What kind of rig are you driving? Does it have a name?
Nick Troutman: We are rolling around in a 24-foot Itasca Navion with a tow trailer for our six kayaks. And it does have a name! We call it home.
We hear you roll with a solid passenger list. Who’s on the RV?
Myself; my wife, Emily Jackson; our 3-year-old son, Tucker; and 7-month-old daughter, Parker. Our four-legged companions are Rio, a black lab mix who we adopted, and our French bulldog, Rupert.
What is your go-to road trip Pandora station/artist/playlist?
We have been listening to a lot of Spotify, and I put on the “Wild + Free” playlist of course!
What is your favorite road trip snack?
A hand full of nuts, some blueberries, or a Picky Bar.
What’s one thing you never travel without?
My passport and my GoPro.
What’s the very best part of living the Van Life? What’s the hardest part?
The best is easy - the fact that we are all together and doing what we love. The hardest part is definitely lack of bathing and laundry!
What city/location/sight are you most excited to see on the Wild & Free tour?
I am most excited for Vail, Colorado and the GoPro Mountain Games. It has something for the whole family - Em and I get to compete in the river events and do what we love, Tucker gets to watch some cool sports like the slack line, Dock Dogs and even participate in the mud run as well. As for Parker, well, she is just along for the ride.
What’s the most gourmet meal you’ve cooked in the RV?
Oh, lots. Em cooks up tons of epic food. My favorite is one of her breakfasts - eggs with kale, brussels sprouts and cauliflower, with a homemade mustard/hollandaise sauce drizzled over top.
When you get to a hotel/resort or otherwise non-van location, are you most excited to: a) sleep in a “real” bed, b.) do laundry, c.) take a super long hot shower?
(D) All of the above.
FINAL Q: Fellow kayakers, GoPro athletes and motley crew Dane Jackson, Rafa Ortiz and Rush Sturges have all been out for a night on the town. There is room for only one of them to sleep in your RV. Who do you let in?
Whoever rolls in first, they are all welcome!