How do you fund your adventures?
This is a question that I’ve been asked time and time again over recent years. I’ve tried numerous ways to fund my adventures/journeys since 2009, and I've found that certain ways to fund trips more effective than others and I've found others to be a waste of time.
Below are some of the things I’ve tried to get an expedition off the ground.
Having worked with numerous brands and companies through sponsorship over recent years I was fortunate enough to have all sorts of gear donated towards a raffle. The raffle was loaded with lots of bits and bobs valuing from £5-£150+. The hard part was getting people involved. If done correctly I believe this a fun and fantastic way to raise funding for an expedition/trip.
For my timber rafting trip down the Mississippi River I auctioned off advertising space on the canopy to the raft. Each spot up for auction had a different starting bid dependent on size. This auction was done via eBay, but if I were to do this again I would probably create something via my own website so people can bid directly to cut out the middleman (eBay). Also one of the bidders never paid.
Trying to gain sponsorship via businesses or organisations that could be related to your trip isn’t easy. It takes a lot of polite pestering, followed by lots of patience and hope. Be prepared to send out hundreds of emails, and be prepared for few replies. I only approach companies whose products I personally like and trust. Offer them a proposal loaded with tons of enthusiasm and ideas on how you will share their brand.
Kit or equipment sponsorship is relatively easy, but definitely research the brand's you want to represent before reaching out to them.
Customised Original Buff
I've been very fortunate to be associated with Buff (UK), from 2009-2018 with sponsorship and employment. This brand has been with me since day one, so it only made sense to get my very own customised Original Buff designed, printed and sold.
I now have 6 successful Buff designs which i sell via my website or at events. The profits from selling hundreds of Buffs since 2015 has help put food and beer in our bellies while on our trips.
I would highly recommend creating your own customised Buff as this fun and effective brand to help promote/fund your journey. Reach out to Buff UK for all the finer details regarding the process and cost.
Partnered Blog Posts
This is a new area for me that I’ve only discovered in recent months, but getting paid from £25-£75 for 15 minutes work isn’t to shabby. I’ve signed up to a bloggers connect website that allows companies to reach out to you directly so you can publish paid blog posts on your websites. The paid blog post have to be inline with what I want to post, but they do all the hard work and all I do is check, copy, paste, arrange and share... 15 minutes tops.
But the most effective and honest way to fund a trip is Graft hard...
You can’t beat a hard days graft to help fill your pockets to explore the world. We all excel in certain areas and for me it's construction. I will work hard every day for 3-4 months and watch the money pile slowly grow. I'm very good at what I do and to be honest it's the most effective way to fund a trip. Oh and I love my job, yes I love working. Having numerous trades behind me has given me the ability to travel the world since 2006.
Even if you hate your job just stick it out until days before you leave on your big adventure. It will line your pockets quicker than any other way and it will give you less stress and disappointment because someone else didn't answer your email or phone call regarding sponsorship or buy a raffle ticket.