Announcing the 2020 Badger Sponsorship

Calling all 2020 thru-hikers.  The Trek wants to sponsor you!

Each year, we get in the holiday spirit by lavishing a handful of soon-to-be thru-hikers with some best gear, food, and resources available to backpackers.

The Badger Sponsorship

Since the inception of this site, we’ve put on a giveaway aimed at helping aspiring thru-hikers complete their missions, in an effort to pay forward the goodwill I received prior to my first thru-hike. At first, the prize package was modest, some stuff sacks, a signed book, and my phone number, which was in very low demand at the time (source: single women). Fast forward a few years and the prizes had grown to more than $10,000 worth of backpacking goods. Unsurprisingly, the interest from hikers followed suit.

Although the scope of the prizes and community interest had changed drastically, the overall format of the Badger Sponsorship did not.

It’s Time For a Change.

No longer are applicants required to submit a video. No longer is there a public voting component. And no longer will this giveaway simply reward the most clever entry.

Moving forward, The Badger Sponsorship will reward thru-hikers who will be giving back to the trail and/or be a force for positivity in the thru-hiking community.

The Prize Package

Before we get to nitty gritty of how to enter, let’s gawk at this incredible prize package. This year, eight 2020 thru-hikers will win this complete prize package. Holy poo emoji is right, Batman.

So what does the runner up receive?  There is no runner up. Only the eight winners.

How You Can Win

As previously mentioned, this year’s winners will be selected on the basis of how they’re giving back to the trail and/or acting as a force for positivity for the hiking community.

Applicants will be required to submit a written, audio, or video entry explaining how they intend to achieve this end.

We’re also looking for hikers who will be showcasing this, whether that be through a blog, on YouTube, Instagram channel, or some combination of the aforementioned. We want others to be inspired to follow your lead.

You must also have some way to verify that you’ve publicly announced your intentions to thru-hike.  We feel strongly that stating your intentions goes a long ways toward holding you accountable to your goal.

The application is open to anyone thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, or long-distance trail of at least 1,000 miles in length in 2020.  Prizes will only ship within the United States.

Winners will be selected by a small panel comprised of one member from each of the participating brands, along with a few members of The Trek team.

The application will close at 11:59pm EST on January 13th, 2020.  Winners will be selected and notified by January 24th, 2020.

To enter into this year’s gear giveaway, please fill out the application below.

| Fill out the application here (application closed) |

Subscribe to The Trek’s Newsletter to Get Updates on Future Badger Sponsorship Giveaways


The Details

-The selected winners are expected to post a minimum of two posts (Instagram or blog) and/or videos (YouTube or Instagram) per month demonstrating how they’re giving back / being a force for positivity.

-The selected winners will be expected to allow participating brands of the Badger Sponsorship to re-share their photos and/or videos on their own social media channels.

-The selected winners will be expected to provide a blog post or video at the conclusion of their hike highlighting their experience.

-The selected winners are expected to include #BadgerSponsorship in their Instagram posts during their 2020 thru-hikes. By submitting an application, you consent to allowing the below participating brands to reach you via email.

The Sponsors

Last but not least, a GINORMOUS thank you to this year’s participating brands, who <3 thru-hikers very much. Without you, there is no Badger Sponsorship.  Please take a minute to visit the below websites and consider buying their high-quality products.





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Comments 7

  • Teej : Dec 17th

    Have you ever sponsored a southbounder? Are you reaching out to southbounders?

    • Rocket : Dec 31st

      SOBO lives matter Badger!

  • BUFF® : Dec 17th

    Good luck entrants and all thru-hikers!

  • Naomi Brown : Jan 8th


    No one featured in ads looks like me. What? Why?

    We have in the U.S. at least addressed sexism, gender-ism, racism; the new, insidious “ism” is age-ism, and it sucks.

    Discrimination against “older” people is real.

    There are LOTS of us out here with snow on the roof but fire in the hearth. Do i have to explain?

    We have the disposable $$, yet are ignored.

    As a minority female athlete, discrimination has been a life long burden; we expect better.

    Time to cycle another 100 miles. And you?

    Time to showcase “older” athletes…. we buy stuff too. I’d support any vendors who cater to us… like yeah….

  • michael vernon : Jan 10th

    yeah i don’t qualify for this offer because as a 70 year old vet i’m a hiker not a techy

  • kaleanna : Feb 2nd

    I think it needs more, if different opinions, I will learn more. run 3

  • Billy Mitchell : Oct 26th

    I am planning to through hike the Continental Divide Trail beginning in March 2021. Is there going to be a 2021 Badger Sponsorship contest?


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