Malcolm Reed

Senior guide

Where do you call home?

I am originally from Washington DC, however spent many years with family in New Orleans, and am proud to call the bayou my second home!

What do you love most about multi-day trips?

What’s not to love about multi-day trips! Whether going to sleep under the stars, waking up to the sound of the river, cooking dessert on a campfire, or just hanging out in the bush, multi-day trips allow you to let go of your life outside of the river and truly live in the moment!

When did you start working for Water By Nature?

In March I will head to Morocco on my first trip with Water By Nature!! So stoked!!!

Your best river meal you like to prepare?

Going to have to go with my Creole roots on this one and say that nothing beats a steaming pot of New Orleans Gumbo and freshly baked pecan pie after a day out on the water!

Most important piece of equipment you take on every adventure?

Nothing beats a lightweight and reliable rain jacket. Whether a small day trip or multi-day expedition it’s never nice to get caught out on a storm unprepared!

Biggest achievement to date?

In 2015 a friend and I paddled a canoe down the length of the Mississippi River from source to sea, a 3,778 kilometer expedition that took us 4 months to complete. During this trip we explored the true artery of America, while raising money for an inner city outdoor outreach program in New Orleans. Through our fundraising efforts down the course of the river we were able to raise enough funding for a huge canoe trip for the kids and bayou cleanup day! Nothing like sharing your passion and knowledge with the next generation of adventurers and paddlers!

Favourite Band?

So hard to pick just one! I love all types of music but am definitely a sucker for old time jazz, soul, and blues. Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett just to name a few!

Best River story?

While on the Mississippi River in Missouri I noticed on the map a massive riverbend that extends for 29  river miles with only a mile gap of land at the base of the bend. The soft sediment of the Mississippi Delta is notorious for these large riverbends, whereby after a day of paddling one is only a couple miles from their original starting point! My friend and I decided to portage this section of river to save a half day of paddling by strapping the canoe fully laden with about 200 pounds of gear on top of our two skateboards and rolling it  a mile down the highway! It goes to show that you never know what miscellaneous gear might come in handy during an expedition trip!

Favourite rafting trips?

My favorite rafting trip would have to be the the Tully River in Australia! 14 Kilometers of rapids that range from Grade 2 to steep Grade 4 through the misty old growth rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park. The immense and deep canyon of the Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River is another absolutely incredible day trip with some pretty killer rapids as well!

Favourite rapid?

Theater rapid on the Tully River in Australia at 88 megs (dam release). Such a fun and technical rapid that really tests your skill and quick thinking under pressure.

What would you like to do when you ‘grow up’?

I love the work that I do, and want to stay in the adventure tourism industry for as long as I can. Ultimately i would like own an adventure tourism company that organizes and carries out expedition trips of all types around the world, much like Water By Nature!

Anywhere still on the rafting ‘bucket list’?

So many places to go with culture and rivers to experience! The North Johnstone River in North Queensland, Australia, a remote jungle river that cuts straight through the dense old growth rainforest of Wooroonooran National park looks absolutely amazing. I would also love to get down to Chile to raft the cool blue waters of the mighty Futalefu, Nepal, the Grand Canyon, Costa Rica, the list goes on…

Tell us something people may not know about you?

I have a degree in Marine Biology and lived in Fiji for 6 months studying marine invertebrates at the University of the South Pacific!