Editor's note: As of Monday, Jan. 16, the final applicant for the program has been selected and Granite Gear is no longer accepting submissions.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — If you’re an avid hiker, there’s a good chance you don’t like seeing litter when you’re exploring nature. And if you happen to be the kind of person who picks up trash when you see it, then Granite Gear may be interested in sponsoring you.
The company, based in Minnesota, has organized a team called the Grounds Keepers. Members of the team are committed to Leave No Trace ethics and remove garbage as they traverse the country’s many thru-hiking trails.
Through an application process that has already ended, 14 members of the team were chosen. But Granite Gear announced at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City this week that they’ll be adding one more person to the Grounds Keepers.
If you’re interested, send an email to Shelly Smith at Shelly@darbycommunications.com with a link to your Instagram account, your hiking experience and why you want to join the team. To qualify, you’ll need to have plans to attempt a thru hike on a long trail this year. For example, other members of team will be hiking epic trails like the PCT, AT, AZT and PNT.
You have until Jan. 20 to apply. Once the final team member is selected, he or she will be outfitted with their very own Grounds Keeper kit. Each kit includes the new Granite Gear Crown2 multi-day backpack, a Granite Gear Dump Trunk (tactical line), a Granite Gear 7L Air Bag, two Granite Gear 16L Air Zippsacks, a scale and a trash grabber.
Team members will share photos and stories during their hikes, as well as check in with the support team at Granite Gear. The hope is that not only will the Grounds Keepers make a difference in the areas they’re exploring, but they’ll also inspire other hikers to do the same.
For those who are interested in this opportunity, be sure to apply before Jan. 20. And if you need a little reminder about how fun trash cleanup can be, watch this classic video.
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