ANNOUNCING the 2016 Badger Sponsorship!!!

Note: Just a couple of notes to aspiring 2016 Badger Sponsored hikers.  1) We highly encourage creative submissions.  Videos of people sitting in front of a camera answering the questions have historically not fared well.  Here’s the winner + runner up’s  entries from last year. This year’s winners will likely be even better.  2) The Badger Sponsorship is available only to AT, PCT, and CDT thru-hikers this year.  

Calling all 2016 AT, PCT, and CDT thru-hikers!!!

Appalachian Trials wants to sponsor YOU!

That’s right- it’s that time of year- where we give away thousands of dollars worth of backpacking gear, resources, and food.  Better known simply as the Badger Sponsorship.

The Badger Sponsorship is my effort to pay forward all the goodwill given to me before and during my thru-hike.   The contest first kicked off in 2012 and each year has proven to be bigger than the previous, this year is no exception.

Put simply, if Godzilla, King Kong, and the Loch Ness Monster had a baby, and that baby had a baby with REI, their baby would be the Badger Sponsorship 2016.  It’s borderline too big.

The winners of this year’s contest will receive:


– Grand Prize Winner –

– Runner Up – 

– Third Place –

– Fourth Place –

– Fifth Place – 

– Sixth Place – 

– Seventh Place –

– 8th – 12th Place – 


For those keeping score at home, that’s more than $10,000 worth of prizes.  Hot damn.

So here’s the $10,000 question…

How can you win?

  1. Record a short video (no more than 90 seconds) explaining a) why you want the Badger Sponsorship b) why you’re embarking on a thru-hike, and c) why you’re going to successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, or Continental Divide Trail in 2016.
  2. Post this video to YouTube. Title it “ Wants to Win The 2016 Badger Sponsorship”. E-mail me the link to this video at [email protected] no later than 7pm EST on Friday, January 22nd.  Any entries sent after this time will not be accepted.
  3. The top 12 videos will be chosen as this year’s finalists and posted on on Monday, January 25th.  The winner will be determined by a combination of the Readers Vote and our Expert Panel, each accounting for 50% of the final score.  The video with the highest combined score will be this year’s winner.  Voting ends at 10:00pm EST on January 31.

Some more notes on the contest:

  • Only the top 12 videos will make it into the voting round.  We received more than 40 videos last year.  This year, we’re anticipating even more.  Bring your A-Game.
  • To ensure that your email doesn’t go to SPAM (which has happened in years past), don’t assume that I have received your email until receiving a response from me, which I will try to do within 24 hours of receiving your message.
  • I have exactly zero say in who wins. A small panel decides the finalists. The readers and our Expert Panel decide the winners. Pandering is always a nice gesture, however, it won’t affect the final outcome.
  • Prizes will only be shipped within the lower 48 states in the US.  International pals, you may want to find a US friend who would be willing to hold your gear for you.

And there you have it.  May the odds be ever in your favor.  May the force be with you.  Cinco de Mayo.  Fannie May.  Call Me, Maybe.


AND A MASSIVE SHOUTOUT TO THIS YEAR’S VERY GENEROUS SPONSORS!!!  Please visit their websites and follow all their social channels.  They <3 Thru-Hikers very much.

big agnes logo thermarest logo gossamer gear logoaltra logokeen logogranite gear logo probar logoClif Bar Logoplatypus logo      bedrock sandals logo sawyer logogaia gps logo 2

the new primal logogood to go logo

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 15

  • kait2333 : Jan 14th

    Is this due on Thursday the 21st or Friday the 22nd?

    • Chris "Cleanshave" Miller : Jan 15th

      I was just about to ask the same thing.

  • Lindsey : Jan 17th

    Hey Badger, looks like I’m not the first person to ask you this, Thursday the 21st or Friday the 22nd? I sent you an email as well but haven’t heard back. Thanks!

  • Taylor : Jan 18th

    If you’re thru-hiking the PCT and not the AT, does that disqualify you from first-third place prizes? (I’m specifically referring to the AT trail prizes)

  • brittle branch : Jan 20th

    thank you for the note update about recommending to not just answer the questions .. 😛

  • Chris Veverka : Jan 21st

    Everyone please watch and like this video to help me get Sponsership to accomplish my thru – hike of the Appalachian Trail! Thank you Gianelle Cardona Posadas, for the pictures, video and awesome editing job!

    For more information about the Sponsership contest, check out

  • Danny : Jan 25th

    Darn! I hate that I only saw this post this morning. I know you would have wanted to sponsor my hike. Doesn’t matter though. I am still going. Just kidding about you wanting to sponsor me. I am sure there are many who are much better candidates for a sponsored hike than I. I have been without internet access for awhile….another step in getting prepared for my hike.

  • Allen Roseman : Jan 25th

    Kyle Shores all the way! Got my vote!

  • kait2333 : Jan 31st

    So the three questions we were told to answer in the “How can you win?” section where just suggestions? There were some finalists that didn’t address any of the three. I realize that it says at the top you favor creative submissions, but maybe make it clearer to next years applicants that it’s not REQUIRED to answer those questions.

  • Randall Carpenter : Feb 1st

    Vote for Gina

  • Edward Miller : Feb 1st

    Vote for Gins

    • Edward Miller : Feb 1st

      Correct ! I mean to vote Gina

  • Sherry Yount : Feb 1st

    I vote for Kyle Shores


What Do You Think?