I made a mistake by limiting entry to the Pick Your Pack Raffle to just AT, CDT, and PCT section hikers, so I'm going to modify the eligibility requirements so anyone section hiking any trail 200 miles or longer, anywhere in the world can enter.
Why the change? The raffles I hold on section hiker are meant to be fun, a bit thought provoking, and community building. Limiting the raffle to AT, CDT, and PCT hikers didn't satisfy that last goal. You told me, my wife told me, but it took a few days to sink in.
Section hiker raffles are also designed to give smaller cottage industry manufacturers, like Gossamer Gear, wider visibility in the hiking community. These smaller companies don't have any advertising budget and they rely on word-of-mouth to market their products. Limiting the number of people who can enter the raffle reduces the impact of their participation, so I've changed the rules on the raffle announcement and they're now current. I did this without GG's input, but I know they'd support this change.
Here are some other reasons for the eligibility rule change, if you're interested.
- I came to the conclusion that section hikers are a lot less organized than thru-hikers. They're much harder to reach on the web than thru-hikers. Obvious now. There's no whiteblaze.net (AT) or postholer.com (PCT) for section hikers. Even if there was, it'd probably fail because of the regional dispersion of trails.
- The section hikers who hike the AT, CDT, and PCT don't make up the majority of section hikers out there, but are a minority of section hikers when you factor in all of the trails in the US or more broadly the world. I suspect that that the number of section hikers hiking the AT also vastly out numbers the number on the CDT and PCT, due to access issues and regional population concentrations. This raffle was never intended to be Appalachian Trail specific.
For those of you who've already sent in your raffle entries, I thank you for your participation and beg your forgiveness for diluting your chances to win the backpack. Please contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
In parting, I want to thank you all for reading section hiker. This blog in a journey and I appreciate you tagging along and helping me find the trail now and then.