ARCATA, CALIFORNIA (August 20, 2014) – Kokatat brand ambassador Daniel Fox knows the power of wilderness immersion, and his new venture – The W.I.L.D. Image Project (wilderness immersion for leadership and discovery) – aims to share those benefits with urban teens who feel the call of the wild.
With support from Kokatat and other sponsors, Fox will launch a 1,000-mile expedition from Victoria, British Columbia to San Francisco with the goal of funding month-long Alaskan paddling trips for disadvantaged youth through National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). An avid solo adventurer, storyteller and photographer, Fox knows the formative and therapeutic rewards of disconnecting from technology and spending time immersed in nature.
“Humans have always been connected with nature,” said Fox. “The technological world that we are immersed in now is just a blink of the eye in the course of human evolution. Our psychological underpinnings are still entrenched in the natural environment.”
Fox’s goal is to raise $14,500, enough for two NOLS scholarships. His fundraising efforts have been driven by face-to-face and a broad social media campaign targeted at business leaders and the public. Visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/w-i-l-d-youth-wilderness-camp to donate to the project.
“Engaging with nature has been proven to lower stress levels and make people healthier – the Japanese government has been studying this for years,” said Fox. “The support of Kokatat and my other sponsors makes it possible for me to share that experience with underprivileged urban kids and hopefully change their lives for the better.”
Relying on Kokatat’s GORE-TEX® Meridian dry suit to keep him dry and comfortable over the 1,000-mile journey, Fox will paddle and camp his way through constantly varying weather conditions and the sometimes wild surf and torrential downpours of the Pacific Northwest coastline.
The selection process for the NOLS scholarships will initially target urban under-privileged young people ages 16-20. Applicants will be asked to describe in writing what they think it would be like to break free from their everyday life and experience the challenges and rewards of living in a non-urban environment for an extended time.
Fox hopes to expand W.I.L.D. Image Project over time to include college students and business leaders.
Fox will be documenting his two-and-a-half-month expedition and will be sharing his experience through in person presentations, social media and on his website www.wildimageproject.com.
About Kokatat Inc.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook, Twitter “@kokatat” and on Instagram “@kokatatusa”.