On July 21st, I’ll be heading out into North Carolina’s Smoky Mountain Wilderness, as one of 25 adventurists in the #Adventure4Life Challenge. Each adventurist plans their own #Adventure4Life Challenge, and I’ll be backpacking 95 miles across the state, sleeping in a hammock, and it’s going to be awesome (and an good excuse to pick up some bear mace— something I’ve been wanting for a very long time).
An initiative started by OutdoorMindedMag.com, editor Lauren Rains created the event to raise money for EpicExperience, a grassroots nonprofit based in Colorado. We (the adventurists) along with planning our adventures, will raise $25,000 to put on an EpicExperience camp for cancer survivors and fighters, which consists of flights, guides, lodging, food, and outdoor gear. Essentially, it’s combining the love of adventure and the outdoors with fighting cancer.
When I saw the open call for adventurists on Facebook, I was in. My Aunt recently passed away from a rare form of breast cancer after fighting for years. I was in Africa when she died, and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. I grew up on stories of her adventures; almost getting eaten by sharks in Thailand, jumping off balconies and swimming through sewage canals just to skip school, her sneaking out of bathroom windows on bad dates. She was always someone I looked up to— I wanted to be just like her. So I’ll undertake this adventure, in the hopes it will be as crazy and fun as some of my Aunt’s tales. If I’m almost eaten by a bear, it just might be.
Get ready for some crazy posts in the next few weeks!