1100 mile trip for Education - Need Boat

I’m beginning to plan a solo trip following the Little Tennessee River system to Mobile and need some help finding a boat. The idea is to complete this trip next summer as a project to raise money and awareness for scholarships directed to teaching as a profession. After a career of paddling/guiding and teaching paddling I’m now a teacher. Our area is one of the poorest in NC and I’m hoping that through sponsorships and pledges for donations that I can raise money in support of scholarships for those students who want to pursue teaching as a profession.

My problem is that there is no way that I can afford a Kruger, but that is the ideal boat for me to complete this challenging trip.

If there is anyone out there that has one to loan, or a direction to point me, please let me know.

Might as well ask for a lamborghini
to get you to the put in as well. I wish you luck in your pursuit but I doubt you will find a lot of people loaning $4000 canoes to strangers.

GK would do it
in his 12 footer.

If you can’t afford the boat

– Last Updated: Aug-07-08 9:19 AM EST –

then you can't afford to do what you want. You are in for a financial shocker.

...and this is the voice of experience talking.

Do you really have any idea how expensive this project is going to be? Are you prepared for the publicity? If you don't get publicity then the only money you raise will be money you garner by contact. Publicity is hard to get and it takes an enormous amount of time. Each writer will want to interview you and each will consume at least half an hour. Hundreds of hours will go into interviews but you have to work to get the interviews by generating a colorful public interesting story.

What makes this a public interest? Are you doing something that hasn't been done before? Paddling 1,000 miles on the Tennessee River to Mobile in a Kruger Seawind isn't that big of a deal so you'll need something catchy.

First: You need to set up a corporation and preferably a 501(c)3 for donations. Grants are available but they require a 501(c)3.

I know you have good intentions but everyone wants to start something for a good cause. The only thing is that you will be up to your ass in debt before you realize it. Planning the trip will take a lot of time and expense. Doing the trip will also take money and more than you imagine if you do it and get a lot of publicity. Just wait until you realize how much time is involved to get a company to donate in-kind gifts.

I did a 512 mile 30 day kayak trip for diabetes and it cost me.

I'm not saying your goal cannot be obtained and I'm not trying to burst your bubble. I am only fore warning you of the time and money it will take to organize. When you get down to real planning on paper you'll see what I mean. It will turn into a monster rapidly.

The other thing is "Don't borrow a boat". This trip should take 250+ paddling hours and 30+ days. Landing and launching this many times plus being tired and having to haul it above high water points each night will be hard on it or extremely hard on you.

Good luck,

Paddlin' on

Sea Wind loaner
Why don’t you contact Mark Przedwojewski at Kruger and see if he will loan you a canoe for the trip? Make sure to let us know what he says!

1100 miles…challenging…understood
Thanks for the info and thoughts as it’s all appreciated. I understand that this won’t be easy…heck, it may not get started, or be the same animal by the time I start, but as I said, I have worked as a guide, instructor and led trips and expeditions for over 20 years. I have put together expeditions from South America to Vietnam and many points between. I understand what a trip of this nature entails and the challenge ahead. The more that I can anticipate, the better prepared I’ll be.

As for the publicity and organization side, the school system I work for already has a scholarship foundation in place for this purpose. However, understandably fund raising is difficult in a low-socioeconomic area. This summer, a colleague and friend of mine in the school system did raise a substantial amount and essentially doubled the fund through a trans-America bike trip.


I’m hoping that the momentum gained through his efforts can be somewhat sustained and built upon through this challenge.

About boats…I could use other boats but feel the Kruger is the best possible. I raced marathon boats before my switch to the whitewater and touring. I’m most comfortable when making miles with the canoe paddle and feel the Kruger will work best for me. The cost…sure it’s high and worth it. However, as a fund raising adventure on a school teachers salary, its price is out of my range. Wish I could as I’d buy one in a minute. It’s also hard to justify the expense of one since this is a fundraising endeavor.

So…maybe there’s someone who has a boat…is captivated by the idea…and who might help. Either way, thanks for your advice and assistance. As this is just in the planning and feasibility stage right now, I’m appreciative of the constructive advice and assistance., posts or emails are appreciated. If your telling me how impossible this is…you may be right, but thats not what I’m looking for right now. Thanks anyway. I’d rather know what the challenges are and work out how to get around them.

So you are already

– Last Updated: Aug-08-08 11:55 PM EST –

a step ahead if you already have a scholarship fund in place.

Maybe this info is old news to you but I'm posting for others who may plan something simililar.

If it is a 501(c)3 then you can get sponsors to donate in-kind gifts to support you but you'll need a letter from the fund. Possibly Kruger would consider it a worthy venture and benefit from the publicity. Publicity will get you more than you can afford to do on your own and helped me raise $9,400 for Diabetes on my first fund raiser.

It will be time consuming from the day you start planning and it won't be easy paddling to the Gulf of Mexico but if this old man can paddle a 12' rec kayak 851 miles then you can paddle 1,000 miles. Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Paddlin' on

Good idea
A 12 ft rec boat…wow. Good idea on the letter for In-kind. As for the planning…thats part of the fun. My big worry about all this (besides the boat) is the heat. Heading south toward Mobile in mid-late summer will be interesting. Early morning…late afternoon to evening paddling with breaks in between should help. Camp some and find cool shelter other times will be a goal.

thanks for again for the suggestion

You can do it
but the level of commitment is going to determine your out come. I received very little support, but pushed forward and finished.


not easy but go for it.
The world needs more people like you, just go for it. It will evolve into its own thing and your plans will constantly be changing. Be open for adaptations and modifications. Like the one poster mentioned find something catchy.

There are plenty of people on the internet making a lot of money off of supbscriptions to follow updates of expeditions and other things… Do your research and see what others are doing.

In 2004 I retraced the Lewis and Clark Expedition and brought a laptop and did updates from my tent every few days for a 6-month solo trip. I too paddled a Kruger. Its to me the best expedtion high volume boat around and Ive paddled plenty of expedition sea kayaks and they just dont cut it FOR ME. The kruger holds plenty of big gear…laptops/with pelican case etc etc.

WHat you should do is:

COntact Mark at Kruger and see what he can do. He has loaned and or given other Krugers I beleive for other paddle expedtions.

There was a Kruger for sale on this site not too long ago for about 3k which is a steal. 3k is nothing when you think about what you will spend.

I spent about 10k in 6-months on my own trip a lot was food etc. It adds up. I obtained about 6k in sponsorship from $ to free gear. You need to start now if your seeking support. It helps to have a website too since there is soooooo much advertsizing that companies rely on the internet.

Look for an old post maybe three months ago about “expeditions this summer” that are online. I posted a link to about 7 groups doing major paddling trips like you and it will give you a template to see what they are doing, whats unique, who’s their sponsors, etc etc. You should use these ideas for yours etc. check out and search the archives here for that post etc…

Get your local media, radio stations, tv, newspapers involved NOW. I also had _t-shirts made of my trip and made about 1k in money which paid for a lot of food!.

Get schools involved is good, as well and local environmental organizations etc. Find out and define your objective too. Like the one poster said, its not that unique of a trip you’re doing compared to others. For example, Roz Savage is currently rowing a boat across the pacific solo to raise awareness for Ocean pollution and other environ. concerns. Shes gone high tech and does live updates from the middle of the Pacific. You can check out here web site at http://www.rozsavage.com and see what type of media she has used and some of the unique things to give you some ideas.

Belive me your not going to be too excited after paddling a cold wet rainy 10-hour paddle day to get on your PC inside your tent when the wind is blowing and all that going on. It will be the most frustrating thing you may ever do and may wish you had just gone paddling for a few months without all the hype.

Email me if you want more details and other info.



update, and thanks to all of your advice
Just an update on this…I’ll start a new thread later when other questions come up.

First, it looks like I’ve got some help on the boat. Clipper Canoe and the Nantahala Outdoor Center are going to help out with the boat. I’ll be paddling a Sea-1 and appreciate very much the use of it by the folks at Clipper Canoe. I’ve got a blog up and a brochure about the project that you can download from the blog. I’m still working on other sponsors and looking for others who can help make this endeavor successful.

Here’s a link to the blog if your interested in reading how the trip is coming together and where it’s heading.


Blog Site

– Last Updated: Oct-01-08 8:48 AM EST –

Get it on as many message boards as possible -- not just kayaking ones. This will help get the word out. I'll email this to all of our outdoor friends at meetup.com. I would email all corporations as well. It will take a lot of your time getting the word out, but you'll find it time well spent.

I started a project with Buckner International called Shoes for Orphans 4 years ago in my small town of Houma, LA. We collected about 200 shoes the first year. Now other's have taken it over and they collect close to 1,000 shoes each year.

Someone has to start somewhere and you are doing it right. Just keep contacting and posting as much as possible and anyone who reads this post should email his blog to all your contact lists - that is how we can help.


what might really help

– Last Updated: Oct-15-08 1:24 PM EST –

is if you told the public more about your paddling background, what you hope to accomplish with this trip and the trips you have completed in the past---I've seen plenty of people announce very ambitious plans on the net, get sponsers, money, and equipment all in place and then only complete a fraction of the journey before dropping out---usually for unspecified "personal reasons" if they bother to say anything at all--

I'm not saying that you would do that but maybe a letting people know more about your previous trips, paddling accomplishments etc would be helpful in persuading them to give you money, equipment and the like.

Good idea…more bio on the blog and
brochure which can be downloaded from the blog.


Here’s some of my paddling background.

  • started racing marathon canoe while living in Louisiana at age 14. Raced USCA nationals placing 5th in Aluminum and Cruising class - youth.

    *Started working at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in 1982 as guide, instructor and trip leader. Later became ACA instructor trainer and led adventure travel trips to Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Vietnam, as well as US based trips. Several first descents in the US, including Tallulah Falls in northeast GA, Chile and Vietnam.

    I’ve put together many whitewater and touring based trips through my 20 plus years at NOC and continue to paddle with my family.

    There are lots of other parts to my paddling resume, but for now this might help let people know my experience and how it might relate to the success of this project.

    I haven’t put together a solo trip of this length before and look forward to the advice I’ll get here. I’ve already gained a lot just reading. Looking forward to more.

    Email me if any of you have other questions…I probably should start another thread?

Don’t Be Discouraged …
Don’t be discouraged and your blog write was great - keep it up. He has a lot more information on his blog if you go read it.