There are two things that all thru hikers love: Gear and Free Stuff! And while free gear may seem like the pinnacle of thru hiker existence, there is actually something else, something even better than free gear, that all hikers eventually need and always love. A free fix!
When you live out of a pack, or in a tent or inside a jacket on trail, you come to love it so much that when it fails, it nearly breaks your heart. Replacing it is not only financially painful, but emotionally painful, as if you are giving up a good friend. Thankfully, there is a man for this sort of thing and this man has a trailer and a mission. Fix It Man, with his Flying Pig Trailer, aims to repair any piece of gear a hiker may have and do it FOR FREE!
Allyn Morton unknowingly began laying the ground work for his lifelong hobby and service of fixing gear when he was only 15 years old. He began working with leather; creating custom pieces and repairing leather goods. Thirty years ago, at the first annual Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia, Allyn set up a small operation doing small fixes for hikers like replacing broken buckles and sewing fraying straps back together.
Three decades later, he travels a circuit of trail festivals and fixes gear out of his Flying Pig Trailer that he can both live and work out of. Dubbed Fit It Man by hikers in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Allyn now has a heavy duty industrial sewing machine that can stitch through tough fabrics like they are butter. His current day armory consists of gear parts like buckles and zippers and fabric types for gear such tents, jackets and packs.
When asked why and how he commits so much time and energy to providing s free service like this to hikers, Allyn simply replies that he does it for the hikers, for the dealers/outfitters who host him and for the several gear companies he represents. It’s a gift he realizes he has and enjoys, so why not share the joy and benefit of it?!
Give Fix It Man five minutes to evaluate the damage of your gear and then he will get to work on repairing it, for FREE! If you don’t have anything that needs mending, just stop by the trailer for a chat. His advice is as free as his sewing skills and he’s got lots of it, having worked for decades in the outdoor industry as a rep for companies like Big Agnes, Helinox, Anti Gravity Gear, Granite Gear, Garmont and Point6 Socks. He has a wealth of knowledge about some of long distance backpacking’s greatest gear companies.
You can catch Fix It Man and his Flying Pig Trailer at Mountain Crossings Thru Hiker Kick Off Party on Saturday Feb. 27th and he will be staying until Monday Feb. 29th. Then further up trail at later days at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Uncle Johnny’s in Erwin, TN and finally at the 30th Annual Trail Days in Damascus, VA!