Canoe Outfitters Website Announcement

Canoeing in the BWCA

I’m proud to announce the new Canoe Outfitters website. It’s a website designed to quickly connect paddlers looking for an outfitter with outfitters servicing the area. The goal is to list every canoe outfitter worldwide, so that a paddler can just show up on the website, search the area they want to go and see every outfitter in the area. Outfitters can opt to be rated and reviewed or neither, so there’s a good chance of some social interaction as the website builds.

The reason that I wanted to start a website like this was because it’s really hard to search for outfitters on Google. One day I was paging through the results for the Boundary Waters and realized that it’s almost impossible to see all the outfitters. There are a few websites out there that do something similar to what I’m trying but on a small local scale which often doesn’t cross a state border, so I thought that the paddling community needed something better.

Typically, a website directory like this charges the companies that list there, but I just don’t like the idea that you need to pay $100 to $200 per link per year. If you have to do it, you have to do it, and I’m glad some people can make a living that way, but I’m willing to see if there’s another way. I’m keeping this website free for outfitters and users. I’d like to monetize it (simply because it’s going to cost me a bunch once it hits Google’s front page), but I’m not exactly sure how yet, other than by adding a way that outfitters can sell their trips directly on the website. I’ve added that capacity already. If you have any good ideas, please, pitch them out there. One idea from an outfitter was to add highlighted trips to each state page and charge for the placement. That goes against my free idea though. Getting industry sponsors is another idea.

Anyway, the main work and development is over for now. I still need to develop a search method for each state so you can drill down to individual towns and rivers. I think I’m going to do something similar to what the North Shore Expeditions (see ad in sidebar) does in the Kayak Tours link. Now I just need to get all the canoe outfitters in the world listed. I’m starting with North America.

While I don’t exactly need help, I’d desire some. I haven’t paddled in every state, province or territory, so it has been hard to figure out exactly what paddling there is like. If you have paddled in a state that I haven’t listed yet, adding a paragraph length description of it in the comments would help tremendously. After I see it, I’ll copy it in to the empty state template and then delete it here. I appreciate any help you can give me. So,

  • If you know a canoe outfitter, please, pass along the website to them. If nothing else, it’s a free link.
  • If you know of a canoe event, please, pass along the website to them.
  • If you blog, please, blog about the new directory.
  • If you know a lot about a paddling destination, head over to Canoe Outfitters, check out which locations need descriptions (those without links) and then add a paragraph to the comments here.

Thanks for any help you can give me with this project and thanks for the continued support you give PaddlingLight! I appreciate it.

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