In order to keep perishable food cooled and stored for the extent of the trip, we used dry ice in the bottom of the cooler with some regular ice on top separated by a towel. So, we could enjoy nice meals like steak fajitas, beef vegetable soup, bacons and eggs, fresh fruit, chocolate for the s’mores, the works! Dad could even enjoy an adult beverage with ice on the third evening!
Before you go, knowing the level of the river is important and it can change very quickly, we started with the river rather low and in some sections, there were faster flowing, level one rapids among some rocks that could hang you up if not carefully navigated. One night a significant low front came through with a deluge of rain and thunder and lightning that brought the river up two full feet overnight! It’s a good idea to always store the kayak or canoes on racks upside down high up on the bank. If the river is too high, it can completely overrun the springs and make them hard to detect and not clear to snorkel or swim in.
Coincidentally, for the alligator phobics, the banks are made of primarily white sand or hard limestone rock, not the muddy, marshy habitat gators prefer for nesting and sunning. You do have to watch out for the massive sized sturgeon jump completely out of the water, can reach 4-5 feet in length and have actually killed unfortunate boaters moving at a rapid speed down the river.
Before you go, the Park Service can provide a free and very detailed (water proof) map book of each section of the river, indicating where the springs, boat ramps and camps are, distances with nice descriptions of each spring and campsite facilities etc. The adventure begins when you load in and never stops and hope you can experience it too sometime.