It’s only been a month since I officially launches #LHX2017 and made it public. The concept to bring a team of outdoor adventurers from across the country as well as Canada to thru-hike the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail to connect in real life, inspire others to get outside, collect donated gear for Scout Troops and faith-based organizations, and bring awareness of Gear Forward was one of excitement as well as an “oh boy, this could get big.”
Our thru-hike of the LHHT won’t start until April 2017, but our #LHX2017 journey has already begun. Team members are already reaching out to organizations in need and collecting gear on behalf of Gear Forward. And our latest news, Gear Forward is now international as our Canadian team members Taiga Adventures and Hiker_Steve have been diligently reaching out and communicating with organizations like Take A Hike Foundation and the Junior Forest Wardens.
Lina Thompson of Off the Face, another #LHX2017 team member, is sending gear for a Scout Troop in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania. We’ve also made contact with two other organizations here in our home state in need of gear to outfit their summer programs.
You can help us equip the next generation for adventure by donating unused camping, hiking and backpacking gear. Simply contact us or Gear Forward. If you’re a Scout Troop, non-profit youth program or faith-based organization in need of gear we want to hear from you. You can also help by spreading the word about Gear Forward and #LHX2017.
I recently received an email from a faith-based organization expressing their needs. Here is what they shared, why Gear Forward exists and why we’ve put together #LHX2017.
Probably my greatest concern is for backpacks and sleeping bags for the boys. I have two families that would not be able to purchase extra gear, so having a few troop backbacks for them to use would be awesome (both are the exact types of boys who we are so happy to minister to as fathers are not in the picture for either family. One family has a single mom with 5 boys! She is trying her best but is so excited for her boys to be around Godly men!
I’m honored to have a great team for #LHX2017. I know their passion for the outdoors, connecting with the outdoor industry to inspiring others, and their hearts to give back. Follow along in our adventure through each team members social media channels. Check out and follow our Instagram and Facebook page; @hikebyfaith