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Retracing the historic 350-mile Arnold Expedition in a 400-pound bateau--upstream, over mountains and down perilous whitewater
110 backers pledged $11,932 to help bring this project to life.

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Benedict Arnold Expedition 2017--the adventure and the story project video thumbnail
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On September 25, 2017, five would-be experiential historians led by writer Hodding Carter will attempt to paddle, pole, and carry their 400-pound bateau ( a replica of an 18th-century, flat-bottomed river boat) up the Kennebec River, through and over bogs, swamps, and rocky carapaces, and then down Quebec's Chaudiere River to retrace Benedict Arnold's 1775 campaign to take Quebec City from the British. It is considered to be one of the greatest and most difficult campaigns on American soil and afterward, Arnold was regaled as America's Hannibal--as in the elephants over the Alps to fight the Romans, that is, not fava beans. Our crew will not only be using the same type of boat but also eating the same type of food and wearing the same type of clothing. Arnold set off with 1100 soldiers and arrived at Quebec seven weeks later with  little more than 600 thanks to sickness, death and desertion. The Benedict Arnold Expedition 2017 should take about the same amount of time but they do not plan on losing any member of the team. 

They will also be making a documentary about the expedition and Hodding will also be writing about the project.The funds raised here will go toward outfitting everyone in period clothing, purchasing food supplies and safety and communications gear, and traveling back from Quebec after the journey is complete. Hodding has already raised $5000 for building the boat. Any funds raised that exceed the Kickstarter goal will be used toward making the documentary.

Risks and challenges

This is a difficult undertaking given the bateau's weight and that much of the route is upstream and over land. Some days they will only make 1-2 miles although they'll labor all day. Arnold's soldiers resorted to eating the camp dogs, their leather clothing, and even cartridge boxes. Our adventurers will not.

Hodding has spent his entire adult life writing about both the outdoors and history for national magazines and his own books. He has successfully retraced a number of historic expeditions--from the Lewis and Clark expedition to Leif Eriksson's voyage from Greenland to Newfoundland--and does not give up until the project is complete.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Wrought-head nail

    Replica wrougt-head nail dipped in pine tar, just like the nails used to build the expedition bateau, with note signed by Hodding verifying it went on the journey.

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    Signed Written Account of Journey

    Donor will receive a signed, magazine-article-length account by Hodding Carter with artwork and graphics.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Expedition Photo by Russell Kaye

    Limited-Edition, museum-quality 11" x 14" print of expedition scene by award-winning photographer Russell Kaye with frame. Check out his work at russellkaye.com.

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    Pledge US$ 900 or more About US$ 900

    Overnight Experience in a Replica Bateau

    Hodding Carter will guide you and up to two friends on a two-day adventure in a replica 18th-century bateau on the Arnold Expedition Trail in Maine, all meals and stories included. Journey will begin mid-morning and end the following late afternoon. Start date will depend on scheduling.

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Funding period

- (24 days)