Ten months from now
Early last year I, Dan set myself a challenge for September 2018. I decided to Kayak from the top of Scotland to the border of England. The main reason being, to raise money for a charity close to my heart, The Royal British Legion. Alongside this, I hoped to motivate and inspire others to do something different, challenging or simply just be a little more active.
While working full time at the helm of Northern Bootcamp (our family business), I have been slowly putting the pieces together for the preparation of this huge challenge.
However, during this process, there was a slight, well in fact, huge adaptation…
Upon receiving information that my original route (Scotland North to South) had been done before, I was hugely disappointed. I wanted to do something new, unique that I designed, planned, developed and executed. I have found out that these days that is very hard to find!
So, after a long chat with my (mostly) very understanding wife Caroline we decided to extend the route and to go the whole hog continuing to the bottom of England
As a result the overall distance has doubled from 450 miles to 900 miles. Yikes!
The (mammoth) route:
Starting from the central Northern tip of Scotland – from a very small bay called Skerray. From there I will complete approximately 900 miles of paddling, walking and most likely crawling to finish at Little Hampton on the South coast of England near Brighton.
From the start I will turn West and head around into the Tounge bay where his journey heads South following water ways as much as I can, using mainly Lochs for the Scottish phase of the journey.
From the borders I will head West in the direction of the lake district which will involve some big portages along the way, before picking up the river Annan to cross a large estuary.. After walking and paddling through the lake district I’ll head for Kendal. From there I will hit the first canal system (and breath a huge sigh of relief) as I can start to link canal systems together.
A GPS tracker will be with me all the way so anyone who is interested can follow my progress and pain…
- There will be re-supply stops every 5 days for food
- The majority of the stop overs entail wild camping and being as self-sufficient as possible. However due to the scale and duration, I am allowing a total of 8 overnight admin stops with a hot shower and real bed.
- The vast majority of the route will be inland, however there are 2 sea crossings and estuary paddles.
Social media/PR and sponsors
I am delighted and feel very lucky and privileged to have Social Communications PR company from Manchester http://www.social-communications.co.uk/ promoting the challenge and working closely with me.
We have already started the ball rolling in creating a name for me and the challenge.
As soon as we have decided on a name then it all will go live in the next coming months.
Social PR will also be busy approaching sponsors to get on board with the challenge and supply the kit I need to give me the best possible chance in completing this challenge safely and successfully.
Interested in being involved?
If this sounds like something you may want to be involved in, promoting your company or simply offering services, time or money, then we would love to hear from you. There will be a range of sponsorship opportunities from displaying your logo, to promoting your kit.
I will require the very best products on the market to give me the best chance of completing this. So if you think you may be able to help in someway, here is an idea of what I will need:
- Kayak and accessories
- Specialist clothing
- GPS tracking system
- Safety equipment
- Dry bags
- Sleeping system
At this point I also have to say a huge thanks to our first official sponsor Tim at Mobile Solar Chargers https://www.mobilesolarchargers.co.uk/ for sending me lots of technical goodies like battery packs and a solar panel that will help power me though my journey. I am already training with this kit and can highly recommend it, particularly the solar power waterproof charge. A must have on any adventurers kit list.
The next steps..
Conditioning myself physically and mentally will be key for this challenge, therefore a specific and progressive training plan is in order focusing on strength and endurance.
I to start pulling my kayak on the trolley fully loaded as soon as possible. This will be for long periods of time – any supporters welcome to join me in training.
I will be also spending lots of time on the river Tweed (my favourite river), getting used to the kayak. I have paddled a variety of vessels but spent very little time in a touring kayak, so I have a good few months to learn some new skills and toughen up my hands!
There is also a high probability that adverse weather may come my way. Battling against the wind, rain and choppy waves which is pretty much a guaranteed experience I will endure on open, exposed lochs and lakes.
I also plan a few trips over to the Farne Islands as they are literally on my doorstep (Lucky me).
I am so ready for this and feeling extremely grateful to have this opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of taking my body and mind to its limits. A huge thank you for all of the donations so far and a bigger thanks in advance for the support that I know will be behind me. I will give it everything I’ve got to make sure I finish this.
Please see the link below if you would like to donate to the Royal British Legion and support my challenge or if you would like to get involved with sponsorship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org