If you dream of thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but are a little uneasy about the proposition of hiking 2,660 some miles from Mexico to Canada, the mYAMAdventure program may be just what you need to make it happen. With this program, we aim to help aspiring long-distance hikers while giving back to those protecting our trail systems.
mYAMAdventure connects participating hikers with mentors experienced in long-distance hikes. Mentors share advice during the planning process, and will address broader concerns such as trail etiquette. Some gear will be provided by gear makers who have teamed up with mYAMAdventure. In return, each hiker is asked to fundraise for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), with a group goal to raise $10,000 ($2,000 each). The hikers will also share photos and stories from their journey on their blogs, in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their own dreams, perhaps even embark on their own long hike someday. We’re seeking five people to hike in 2015. If you think you’d be a good match, please read the details below and submit your application!
How it Works
We’re looking for hikers who are in-tune with what we’re trying to do, who will benefit from mentorship, and who will be able to provide value to the sponsors and the PCTA. We’d love to work with everyone who applies, unfortunately, we can only select five.
What do hikers get?
Hikers receive mentorship during the planning process and some gear. They do not receive any monetary support through the program and are responsible for financing their trip. While gear donations will help to offset the cost of the hike, on trail costs and remaining gear needs will be substantial and should be considered.
We’re working to arrange sponsorship for as many of the items that you’ll need as we can (gear/food/clothing), but cannot make any promises. Here’s what was provided / offered in 2014:
- Shelter (YAMA)
(for 2015, silnylon shelters will be free and cuben fiber shelters will be offered at a steep discount)
- Backpack (ULA)
- Trekking Poles (Leki)
- Jerky (Paramount Fit Foods)
- Socks – 6 pair (Darn Tough)
- Camp Shoes (Bedrock Sandals)
- Fleece Hats (The Mouse Works)
- Cuben Fiber Stuff Sacks (YAMA)
- Cuben Fiber Dry Bag (YAMA)
- Bear Bag Throw Line Kit (YAMA)
- Icebreaker Prodeal
- Marmot Prodeal
We’re assembling a group of experienced long-distance hikers to offer guidance and answer your questions as you plan your hike. Many of the mentors will likely remain from the 2014 list (see them here).
Mentors will field questions as you plan your hike. They will not be planning your hike for your or hiking with you. Mentors will also discuss trail etiquette and how to hike responsibly. We feel that these topics are becoming increasingly important as the popularity of the PCT grows.
Last year we established a private forum for communication and some mentors spoke by phone with some of the hikers. We’ll be getting feedback from the 2014 participants so we can improve the mentoring process. We’ll also consider suggestions presented by the 2015 Class to establish the best lines of communication.
What’s required of hikers?
The last thing we want is for this program to become a burden for a participant. Please understand what your reponsibities are before applying!
Hikers will fundraise to benefit the Pacific Crest Trail Association. We’ve set a group goal of $10,000. That means that each hiker needs to try to raise $2,000. We have a fundraising team set up on Razoo.com and will add each hiker to the team. All the money goes to the PCTA (minus a small fee to Razoo). None of the donations ever pass through the hands of YAMA Mountain Gear or mYAMAdventure.
Share your story
Each hiker is asked to maintain a blog (with photos) leading up to and during their hike. We’ll try to aggregate each blog to the mYAMAdventure.com website. We’ll also be posting updates and your photos to our social media platforms and may provide you access to post directly to these accounts.
The Sponsors and PCTA are encouraged to share the content that hikers produce. Hikers should be comfortable having their photos and content shared to the public by the Sponsors and PCTA.
Use donated gear
When a hiker accepts gear from a sponsor, they are expected to use it. We know, however, that sometimes gear doesn’t work out as expected. In such a case, hikers don’t need to continue using the item, and will contact us and/or the sponsor to see what to do with it. We may pass it on to another hiker, return it to the sponsor, or leave it’s future up to the hiker.
Hike Your Own Hike!
In the end, this is ‘YOUR’ hike. Not ours, not the Sponsors’, not anyone else’s. We expect hikers to make an honest effort to complete a true thru-hike, but not at the expense of their well-being. Hikers are responsible for their decisions, actions, and safety.
The application deadline for 2015 has passed. We will announce our Class of 2015 in December.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions
Note: If we extend an invitation to you, and you accept, we expect a commitment from you to actually go hike! In the unfortunate event that you need to cancel your hike before you’ve started, you’ll be expected to return all donated gear to us or the sponsor at your expense. Any funds raised in your fundraised will still go to the PCTA.