Dan Dan…… the Kayak Man
A year from now…….
I, Dan will be embarking on one of the biggest physical and mental challenges of my life, (other than living with Caroline, my wife!)
Since being a young lad I have always had adventure in my veins; building camps, tree houses, flying machines, making traps, exploring and continually searching for the next excitement.
As I approached 18, still uncertain of my career path, I made a decision I certainly don’t regret and signed up to join the Armed Forces.
The Army opened the door to as much adventure as I wanted (in-between being a soldier of course) including rock climbing, diving, adventure racing, skiing and kayaking in Norway, Belize and Germany, trekking through mountain ranges world-wide and learning survival skills that I now love to test.
However, after 13 years of soldiering, leading and learning I made a decision to leave, back in 2011. Utilising all the skills and experience, combined with my passion for fitness and training, I set up a business alongside my wife Caroline and together we created Northern Bootcamp.
The journey of Bootcamp has been incredible, enabling us to do what we love for a living. More importantly we get to help so many people find what they love and make a positive difference to their lives, which is far more special than any adventure.
So 6 years down the line, I have asked myself, why do I still want to challenge my body and mind like this and do something that has never been done before?
My answer is simply, the quest for adventure is still in my veins and I do hope it always will be. I feel so fortunate to have had such a positive experience from the army and I 100% appreciate that this has not been the case for everyone. Therefore, the chance to contribute towards a charity that are at the forefront of welfare and aftercare of our armed forces, both past and present and the chance to give something back is one of the key driving forces behind this.
I have always wanted to challenge both my body in mind in a solo event, but something a little different from the commercial events that many people undertake. This had to be something different, something where I can use my skills and hopefully set a new challenge that nobody has done before. I am really hoping this will inspire other people to get out and try a new activity and become part of the great outdoors.
My final reason for this undertaking, is that I want to make my children proud (or prouder) and feel like if Daddy can do this, then I will be able to do whatever I want to (within reason Fearne and Rowan!)
The charity I have chosen is the Royal British legion and my sponsorship page can be found by clicking here: JUST GIVING KAYAK CHALLANGE
The challenge: Get to the border!
In September 2018, I will kayak and walk solo from the most northerly point in Scotland (Dunnet head) to the England /Scotland border near Coldstream. The total distance of the journey is around 420 mile, a pretty long endurance event
How I am going to tackle it?
I will paddle on water whenever I find a body of water, or river that is suitable and whoever I can’t paddle I will haul my boat and my kit overland using a trolley system for support. There will be no beds or showers and I will sleep when I can and where I can, wild camping only.
- The route must be fully inland, no sea kayaking allowed.
- There will be a maximum of five re-supplies of food during the challenge.
- There is a cut off time of 5 weeks (I hope to complete it much sooner)
- No hotels allowed! Bothys are permitted, if I find any!
- The clock will start at Dunnet head and finish at Coldstream
What will this achieve?
- To raise as much money as humanly possible for the Royal British legion a fantastic charity
- To inspire and encourage others to appreciate the worth of our body and the satisfaction in adventure.
I would like to thank my family and friends for their continued support through training and for the event. Finally, thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that the great army of loyal Northern Bootcamp supporters can help spread my event to raise monies for this worthwhile cause.
I will endeavor to keep you updated with my training.
Over and Out for now, Dan.