You may have noticed a new section in my sidebar called “Sponsored By.” Yes, I do indeed have some sponsors for my upcoming adventures! They are gear companies that I already know and love, and I am proud to be representing them as an athlete ambassador.
Those of you who have known me for a long time might find it hilarious that I am a sponsored athlete considering I’ve broken my left arm two and a half times from walking (half = sprain), but hey, hiking is easy! Just take it one step at a time. Like walking. Wait… that’s not helping my argument. Either way, aside from my left arm and my right big toe, which I’ve also broken twice, I figure I’m pretty indestructible.*
On to the sponsors!
Gregory Mountain Products
Gregory has made its thirty seven years in business all about fit – “a properly designed pack is not carried, but worn.” They sure helped me out! Now that my shoulder pain is gone, I can’t imagine wearing any other pack. The company is very supportive of hikers and provides great customer service.
Vasque is known more for their boots, but I’m a proponent of hiking in trail runners. After being in business for fifty years, they definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to footwear, and the company itself is very tuned in to long distance hikers and their needs. I have the Pendulum trail runners for the majority of my hikes, and the Lotic performance hikers for wet environments.
Darn Tough Vermont
My father instilled a love of wool in me a long time ago, at first out of a desire to stop his random discourses on how cotton kills, but then because it really is amazing! Darn Tough socks are made right in Vermont, one of my favorite places, and carry a lifetime guarantee, which I know they back up. They are comfortable, durable, and I’ve never gotten a blister when wearing them.
An insole company started by a podiatrist has to be good! I still am not exactly clear on how putting thousands of miles on my feet last year was possible without any ill effects to speak of, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the Superfeet I was wearing. I use the women’s specific Berry insoles, which are a great comfort to my high arches.
Dirty Girl Gaiters
I wore Dirty Girl Gaiters every day on my Appalachian Trail thru hike and they were by far my most complimented piece of equipment. But aside from being stylish, they’re also quite functional! I went on a hike recently where I forgot them, and I could not believe how much crap got into my shoes and socks! I was stopping constantly to pull stuff out. Maybe my tolerance is low since I’m used to wearing gaiters and nothing ever gets in, but hey, I’ll stick to the Dirty Girls! Xy runs a solid, fun company that I am happy to represent.
Thank you to all of my sponsors for your support!
*A list of injuries to prove that I wasn’t really just walking along and bam! broken arm! like my family/friends like to tell it (get over it, guys, it’s been forever!):
– Fell during backward sprints at tennis practice in high school – broken left radius just below wrist
– Slipped on wet tile wearing flip flops in high school, fell on both elbows – broken left elbow
– Slipped on icy sidewalk in college, fell on my right side – sprained left elbow (makes sense)
– Dropped table I was folding up on my toes in middle school – fractured right big toe
– Slipped on rock and smashed toes on AT thru hike – fractured right big toe