Full blown thru hiker season is roughly six months away. That means many hikers attempting a thru in 2017 are readying themselves for the trail now. At least, if they’re smart they are! They are researching gear, building up their perfect gear combination and getting out on practice hikes. Some may be reading Trail Tested to learn more about different backpacking scenarios, gear, and how to use that gear in those scenarios. Others may already be reading Appalachian Trials to get their head in the right place for the life changing experience ahead of them. Regardless, the time for preperation for an Appalachian Trial thru hike is here! So consider taking your preperation even one step further and getting a Virtual Shakedown from Mountain Crossings.
What is a Virtual Shakedown, you may be asking? A virtual shakedown is your best bet at saving yourself a lot of hassle throughout the first stretch of your thru hike!!
Many people find that they learn a lot (the hard way, unfortunately) about backpacking and what not to carry during the first three days of their trip. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect when you are embarking on a 6 month hike unless you are fortunate enough to have the guidance of a former thru hiker to assist you. Of course, each person if different in their needs, but the virtual shakedown is designed to help people who would like to avoid carrying extra weight and avoid paying shipping on sending items home to do just that. Why carry 10lbs. of gear you are going to spend $30 to send home on day three or four when you can avoid it all together?
Just as with a regular shakedown in store at Mountain Crossings, an experienced backpacker assists you in culling through your items and choosing what to keep, what to pitch and what to add, if needed. But with a Virtual Shakedown, you can do this process from your own home using a simple video conference technology called Google Hangout. The cost of a Virtual Shakedown is $100, but that is merely a rebate, meaning each and every piece of gear you scoop up from Mountain Crossings during your shakedown is free up to $100.
Whether you already have all your gear or need everything, the virtual shakedown is a wonderful way to make sure you are set for the trail before you leave. Say you have everything but a sleeping bag. Think of the virtual shakedown as a personal crash course on thru hiking the Appalachian Trail and $100 towards a sleeping bag. If you have nothing, you not only get a chance to pick the brain of a gear guru and former thru hiker about what to purchase, you also get $100 towards those purchases!
A Bit of Info on the Virtual Shake Down
- Anyone of any experience level or preparedness can participate in a Virtual Shake Down. (Whether you’re a former thru hiker looking to shed some pack weight or only have three pieces of gear, all are welcome!)
2. A computer with video chat capabilities (built in or attached video camera and microphone) is needed for a Virtual Shakedown.
3. Virtual Shake Downs happen over an application called Google Hangout. We will provide you with a dummy G-Mail account for use during the shake down.
4. A Virtual Shake Down costs $100, but that cost is a 100% (absolutely full and total) rebate!!
5. During the shake down you will have access to all the entire inventory of Mountain Crossings and we will help you locate the exact items you need to complete or update your gear set.
6. After you have chosen what you need from the shop, you will have 48 hours to purchase these items and apply your $100 rebate towards your gear.