Do you backpack? This way of exploring nature has grown in popularity over the years. In fact, there’s a bit of debate over the question, “Is backpacking a sport?” Whether it’s a sport or not, a love for backpacking is one thing many of our Get Out(fitted) Gear Giveaway winners have in common. Whether embarking on a trip with the Girl Scouts or hiking the Appalachian Trail, many entrants are seeking the gear to be prepared for the elements on (or off) the trail.
Brenda C, went on her first backpacking trip to Yosemite in 2011 and was hooked. She saved for a long time to pay for a guided trip and wanted the gear to go on her own.
Here’s an excerpt from her winning entry:
“Luckily, I’ve recently become ‘social media savvy’ and found that there are people out there looking to go on group hiking and backpacking trips. So, I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to have backpacking companions. Now, I just need to start working on my gear piece by piece and set a date. I don’t know why I never noticed this contest, but the idea is awesome, and I’m superexcited. Happy Birthday – and thanks, L.L.Bean!”
Another entry, from Abi L., reminds us how the outdoors can serve as a great motivator for folks who work indoors. Abi is a teacher, but as soon as summer hit, she headed west for a big backpacking trek with her friends. We think her picture speaks to the feeling of triumph many share after finally reaching the summit.
“Each day at school brings new challenges. I love every student inside the four cinderblock walls of my classroom. I love to see them grow and change, and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to serve in this way. But the moments outside are what sustain me. The days of exploring and the nights of camping by a stream with friends refresh my spirit and give me the energy for a new week. Looking forward to the little adventures motivates every part of my life.”
Douglas P. entered to win gear needed to celebrate his 35th wedding anniversary. His entry inspires us and reminds us that the outdoors is not only a place to find solace, but also a place to create shared memories. He and his wife plan to hike the rim of the Grand Canyon in 2015.
He writes about his family’s love for the outdoors:
“I am blessed to have a great wife and five children who have been reared with a love for natural settings and outdoor activities, the way they’ve spent most of our annual vacation time over thirty years. With limited financial resources, camping is all this family could afford. But camping is all they wanted. There was no interest in resorts or Disney World. Hiking and cycling Acadia and foraging along the Maine coast; canoeing in the Adirondacks, NY; hiking in Arches N.P. in Utah, as well as the Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO, are highlights from a list of sweet memories. This is a list I’d like to continue, transferring experiences from the dreams column to the memory list.”
Though all entries are different in content, they communicate the same message – backpacking is a way to immerse yourself in nature, whether it’s with family, friends or simply on your own. Need the gear to do it? L.L.Bean has the gear for your next backpacking trip.
Have you entered our Gear Giveaway yet? Visit our entry page to tell us about an outdoor experience you want to have and the gear you need to do it.