Thanks for taking the time to visit my page; I'll tell you the plan...
Well, first, my name is Oliver and I'm 30. I work in an office. I have never met a bear. I have spent a total of 40 minutes canoeing on Loch Ness. Which is to say, I have spent 40 minutes canoeing. I learned the J stroke, so should be okay. Anyway, back to the point. I've not done anything like this before, in case you were wondering, I've not wild camped before either. This is both a personal challenge and hopefully a way to raise money and awareness for Mind and mental health. So, on to the plan...
Canoe 490 miles (whats 10 miles between friends?) from Johnson's Crossing to Dawson City. Which is in north west Canada. Yukon, to be more precise. I have given myself 12 days to travel the distance, solo (no guide or partner) in a Canadian canoe (naturally). Someone who has done more canoeing than me, asked how wide the canoe will be: I'm not sure, or how long it is. But it's pretty big. I'll be camping the whole way down, living off rations I bring and maybe a fish if I catch any, which I won't. So just rations. I'm not foraging, because I've seen 'Into the Wild' and that's very sad, indeed. Though, perhaps pertinent to this cause! I digress...
The main challenges here, other than the fact it's almost 500 miles in a canoe in 12 days (if I take any longer than 12 days I will miss my flight home. It's tight) are as follows:
1. Navigation: I know it's a river, so shouldn't be to tricky to navigate, but I'm not so good at reading maps (unless they have a blinking blue dot on them). The river splits on several occasions, and I will need to take the correct one. Failing to do so will mean ruining my trip. It will be over.
2. Cold and wet: The temperatures will be between 6 and -9 centigrade. Which is grim. It will likely be wet and snowy too. But not too bad, as in, it is supposed to be doable. It's the very start of their winter. Getting my belongings and clothes wet at -9 would also be catastrophic and bring a swift end to my trip.
3. Bears and wolves: Enough said? Apparently the way to deal with a huge grisly charging at you 35mph, is to stay calm, stand your ground. I don't know whether I have got this in me. I hope any bears I see to be at a considerable distance and remain there. I'll be keeping food 150m downwind whilst camping. And I will have bear spray. Which, contrary to popular belief, is not for spraying on yourself as a deterrent. Doing this will end in tears. It's for spraying in the charging bears direction, and hope it doesn't like it sufficiently to run away forever. I don't have much to say about Wolves. I haven't seen the Grey or the Revanant, though have been asked many times of late.
I will have no comms with the outside world, other than a satellite emergency rescue beacon thing. Think emergency rescue button. It also has tracking capabilities and you can follow my progress online. (here is the tracker: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0SSym7GzPmmzsyCX2nLqZWl7oWH215hQs )
So, that's it pretty much. I'll post some other details and pics and stuff, plus a load of pics when I'm back.
The charity I've chosen, Mind, is in ever increasing demand. Anything we can raise will be a great help to them and the vital service they provide. Let's help them keep going. Mental health affects (or effects? Argh!) so many of us, maybe even all (?!) at some point, and certainly someone we know and love. I'm pleased it is less of a taboo these days, but there is still some way to go. If you can donate to this cause and show support, I know it will make a difference to someone's life.
Thank you all, and have a smashing day.
The tracker: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0SSym7GzPmmzsyCX2nLqZWl7oWH215hQs