The results for the 2019 HikerFeed Thru-Hiker Giveaway are in! We had an incredible turn out and hundreds of you entered with amazing, inspiring, thoughtful, and witty entries. Our judges went through multiple rounds of voting and came up with the list below. We can't thank you all enough for sharing your stories with us! It truly means the world to us. If your name isn't below, don't worry. We're soon announcing another giveaway where we're going to give away some magic to hikers each month during thru-hiking season!
I’ve had the worst year of my entire life. Lost my sister to drug overdose and almost died in a car accident. I’m hiking this trail for her, because she always wanted to but couldn’t.
I should win because I just retired as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I have listened to people's pain, and given my heart and mind to help people crawl out of their personal black holes. Now, I am ready to listen to trees, the wind, the birds and feel the freedom of the trail. I lost my oldest son in Afghanistan in 2010 . He'll be with me every step of the way, this I am sure of. Winning this contest and getting an equipment boost would be like his gift to us and what I call a "God Wink".
I'm currently serving in the Navy and it's been great, but at times taken its toll. I'd like to tell you that I've been hiking my whole life or am an inspiration to others and that's why you should pick me, but really, I'm neither of those. Hiking helped in a time when I really needed it. I get out of the military in June and am going to hike the trail a week later. This has been my dream and the time has finally come. Please help me HikerFeed to be as prepared as I can for my first thru-hike.
I didn't grow up hiking or in the outdoors, my family had little understanding of a healthy lifestyle. I came across the activity as an adult, 2012 in Colorado, since then my life has been changed. It is my happy place, I have found a way of self love and care. I grew up low income, spending the money on gear with these dollar tags is hard for me accept. I'm currently a masters student and working part time at a food bank to make ends meet. Winning gear would truly be a meaningful gift.
I am a retired disabled USAF vet whose hiking after loosing 100 pounds and I have had four spine fusions. I used to live near the trail in Marion, VA and was a trail angel for several years. It’s my turn to use the trail to heal my invisible wounds.
Time for a shower, then working from home as I may
Emails, and pings, and phone calls, all day!
What’s that you say? There’s something more?
A life that doesn’t feel like such a chore?
Nonsense! You see, for retirement I must save,
And therefore, at 29, I am but a corporate slave.
The AT, what is that? Why is a smile moving upon your face?
Wow! Oh my! I can hardly imagine such a magnificent place!
So many wonders, so much beauty to amaze
I can hardly wait until I see that first white blaze.
As a fresh college dropout, now is the perfect window of my life to hike the Appalachian Trail. I’ve wanted to take on the trek ever since I was 10 and have always been enamored with the culture of thru-hiking. College was a rough time for me. My depression became impossible to manage and horrible panic attacks plagued me every day. I had no motivation to live and came close to taking my life. I decided to take the year off, and I figure that in this time I can accomplish my lifelong goal.
I'm a Iraq veteran that has been looking at hiking the AT as a way to heal. I suffer from PTSD and life after my time over seas has been hard to adjust. I feel like through hiking will fulfill my hearts yearn for adventure and hopefully find myself.
For all those times my mom took us camping as kids
For every summer she dropped me off at summer camp
For each ride she gave me to the camping store
For early morning fishing adventures
For being the inspiration behind a lifetime of outdoor adventure
For passing on the love of nature to me, and for me to pass it on to my children.
To win is for her. My mom.
I am hiking the AT to save my life. I have spent the majority of my adulthood battling depression. Feelings of hopelessness have poisoned my relationships and ability to hold onto a job. The only place I have ever felt the fog of depression lift has been the woods. I am hiking the AT to face down my demons and conquer depression once and for all. I decided to hike even though I am not quite prepared for it financially. Winning this contest would bring me a long way toward beating this thing.
Seriously, we are beyond thankful for all of the amazing entries that were submitted. We sincerely wish you all an amazing year on-trail. And again, if your name wasn't on this list, don't stress it. We're soon announcing another giveaway where we're going to give away some magic to hikers each month during thru-hiking season!