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Ct Trip Beginning November 14

Post By:hurricanecamille on 9/26/2016 8:04am
Replies:8, Views: 567

I have been somewhat stalking this site in others getting as much information as I can about the CT trip. I am on a countdown to my launch date on November 14, 2016 from Big Lagoon in Pensacola. Although I wish I could do a through paddle, I will only be able to do 2 to 4 week increments over the next three years. I picked up my boat this weekend. It's a Current Design Extreme, Kevlar composite. I am a moderately advanced paddler with safety skills and lots of camping experience. I will be doing the trip solo, for the most part, with friends and family joining me for a day or two along the way. I also have family in the area with a trawler and a sailboat that will be stationed nearby as needed I welcome other CT paddlers as well for company, tips, and comerodery.
I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could help me with:
1- how did you start to get support for your trip? I am doing this to raise money for the adult congenital heart Association (ACHA) and they are helping me with a fundraiser website (https://achavolunteerfundraisers.causevox.com/hurricane-Camille or www.bit.do/Kayak4ACHA). But I also need support for the trip so that all donations can go to my cause. I have a sponsor form as well as a letter created, I just don't know how to get in touch with the people who make the decisions for sponsorship in companies such as current design, epic, astral, etc.
2- this is the tough one: Tent versus Hammock? I am a die diehard hanger (hammock user) and detest sleeping on the ground. I have been on many forums and think that I can work out a system to support the hammock even without trees. With that being said, I'm not going to be stupid about it if experienced people recommend against it.
3- are there other suggestions for camping besides those on the CT trail map text? Because I have a limited time, there are days that I will be paddling in excess of what is mapped and just want to be prepared.
I'll have more questions coming up, but I'll start with these. Thank you so much for your advice, time, and experience. I'm looking forward to this great adventure.
Camille A.k.a. Hurricane Camille

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 Reply #1   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: kpjredfish on 9/30/2016 12:16pm

Congratulations, and good luck! I'll get you some additional camping recommendations for the Apalachicola Bay portion, which is what I mostly know.

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 Reply #2   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: tommy on 10/3/2016 9:35am

I, too, am a hanger. The Big Bend section of the CT is perfect for hammock . However, when I am traveling in unfamiliar areas I also carry a bivy bag. My hammock also serves as a bivy bug net when trees/posts are not available. I am happy to discuss specifics with you. 850.445.3236. I am also a Trail Angel and happy to help you once you are on your way.

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 Reply #3   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: icantsleep on 10/3/2016 11:20am

Hi Camille and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on prepping for the CT! It's a marvelous and challenging paddle route. You'll find a lot of folks to help as you make your way around too.

Here's my 2 cents on your questions.

1- I think the best way to gain support and a "following" is to have a website or Facebook page people can go to to get information about you and your trip. Most long distance paddlers also carry a Spot Personal Locator or Delorme InReach device linked so folks can track your progress. Potential sponsors love this sort of thing. Having a webpage or dedicated Facebook page also tells sponsors your serious. The value to them is advertising and to show customers their gear, kayak, or whatever can stand up to a 1515 mile paddle. I've talked to several paddlers who've gotten sponsorships and they've all told me it's just a matter of getting in touch with the company, locating the right person, and asking. A good place to start is the front office and ask if there's anyone over sponsorships. Usually the marketing department will know. They can direct you from there. Of course, have your "elevator pitch" ready.

2- Having completed the entire CT, I can tell you there's more available tent camping spots than hammock spots. I toyed around with the idea of taking a hammock on my thru- paddle and am glad I took a tent. State Parks, BIg Bend, the Everglades, and Flamingo just to name a few- a tent will serve you better.

3- The CT Guidebook lists a lot of camping options and there are a bunch of spoil islands along the east coast to choose from. You do have to be careful about who's land your on. The great thing about doing section paddles is you have the luxury of researching camp locations in advance with tools like Google Earth.

Hope This helps.


Marc DeLuca
FPTA Life Member

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 Reply #4   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14icon
Post By: joefabitz on 10/3/2016 2:11pm

Hi Camille: I, too have completed the CT. Over a period of 6 years. I agree with the things that Mark said (and his 2 cents is worth a lot more!!). Never had a sponsor. Just did it mostly in long weekends of about 100 miles at a time.
My usual days when I started out were 30-35 miles and didn't fit in well with the trail guide as far as lengths each day. I combined some, did some partial, etc. Followed the guide as much as I could as far as places to camp, stay, etc. but also did my own homework to fit in with my mileage. I, too, am a trail angel and am in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. email is R_W_Wood@msn.com and phone is 941-749-0411. Would love to share more with you on your journey. Feel free to call or write. Richard Wood

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 Reply #5   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: bowers06 on 10/3/2016 8:38pm

The trail and guide book is meant for tent camping. There are some places that a hammock would have been nice when the ground was wet, but at the same time there are spots where there is nowhere to hang a hammock. i would recommend taking a tent, but heck... hammocks are so lite and compressable, you would hardly know the difference if you brought one along as well, so just bring both if you like hanging that much.

You can usually find extra hotels and rv resorts that are not in the guidebook if you research it. Then there is always stealth camping where you just pull up somewhere on the fly that appears hidden and safe. Just post what segments you are planning on doing on this forum before you go and you will get some feedback, and GPS coordinates of additional camping spots not in the guidebook.

Just remember that some days you will only be able to paddle half of your mileage and others you can double the mileage all depending on the weather. I had to wait 6 days just to do 4 pesky miles to cross Tampa Bay because of dangerous swells. Be patient and safe.

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 Reply #6   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: jakep9791 on 10/4/2016 7:46am

Hey Camille,
Great to hear another person is looking to take on the CT! Myself and friend Nicho R. thru-paddled the trail earlier this year. If you ever have any other questions or need help w/ anything feel free to get in touch. (850) 321-1387 or parkerjakeg@gmail.com
Now to your questions..
1. We both found it quite difficult to lock down funding for the trip. We raised over $1500 for The Surfrider Foundation from a funding page they set up for us. I'd say we received the majority of our donations from friends and family by posting the page on social media. We also played with the idea of gaining sponsors/funding for ourselves but struggled to gain any ground with this. I think your best bet for raising money and awareness for your cause would be just to do a scattershot approach and get in touch w/ any and every newspaper/ magazine who would be interested.
2. I brought both. But I slept in my tent far more often than I did my hammock. My only concern with strictly hammocking is the fact that you're going to run into some wicked storms which are often electrical nightmares. I was fearful enough just laying on the ground much less being attached to two posts/trees/etc. I would still plan for a few nights on the ground just in case.
3. We became experts at "stealth camping". Your advantage of not thru paddling is the fact that you can really lock down and plan out your sections separately. Half the time we were just pulling up google earth on my phone and looking for places to sleep that way. I'd just suggest having multiple potential spots planned out for each day. So, yes, to answer your question but I think it'd be easier to just ask about which spots are causing you concern. Also I still have all of our campsites (legal and non-legal) plotted on my phone if you're interested. "Marine: Florida GPS tracks and nautical charts" is an app I had on my iPhone which became a godsend.
-Hope this helps out some,
Jake P.

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 Reply #7   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: hurricanecamille on 10/6/2016 2:12pm

I am honored and grateful for all of the replies. I have been studying most of you from your posts, blogs, and trip details for some time and really appreciate your help. I plan to complete segments 1-5 on this first trip (going on the inside route) and I think I have most of my camping areas figured out. My dad will be nearby in his sailboat for the first 4-5 nights and I plan on hooking up with him instead of diverting to some of the campsites on the map.
I think I have decided to tent camp and forgo the hammock at least for this trip.
One more question:
I know there will be some dangerous crossings in areas that access the gulf. Between wind and boat traffic, I thought that crossing would be safer in the early morning. Any thoughts or advice on these areas? I have heard of some using outriggers in these areas but I don't think I can outfit my boat for outriggers without a lot of effort and some holes. I think I will be fine, but have some friends who thought it would be worth asking.
Thanks again!!

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 Reply #8   
RE: Ct Trip Beginning November 14
Post By: kpjredfish on 10/6/2016 3:12pm

The other people who have responded have full CT experience; I just know from Port St. Joe to Alligator Point - Segment 4. I can join you for some of that paddle if need be. Many of the "official" camp spots are on the outside - Cape San Blas or St. George Island. You shouldn't have a lot of boat traffic in late November - this is not South FL. Serious crossings are East and West Pass, or the mouth of the Apalachicola River. Wind and tides are usually more of a concern than boat traffic. If you go along the InnerCoastal Waterway it's mostly small boats of hunters on the weekend. Remember to consider duck hunting season - Nov. 19-27! Lots of people shooting in the woods then, but just shotguns.
But you could go all the way from Indian Pass to Alligator Point (70 miles or so) just hugging the coast.

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