Ground Truth Trekking

GroundTruthTrekking Sponsors

Alpacka Raft

Alpacka Raft

4,000 miles of being paddled through gale-force winds, rammed into rocks, dragged through bushes and over snow, chewed on by a bear... And our Alpacka packrafts from the Journey on the Wild Coast are still going strong (the bear chewing did require a field repair). In a place with a lot of big water and not many bridges, packrafts make a lot of Alaska wilderness travel possible.

We've been sponsored by Alpacka Raft since 2005, and have been sharing photos with the founder, Sheri Tingey, since our 2003 trip to the arctic. In that time we've seen the rafts improve and evolve, and have accumulated a small fleet of experimental craft. Now they're helping support Journey on the Wild Coast - the Movie!

Alpacka raft sponsors a packrafting forum that provides a connection to the people who are exploring the expanding limits of this new sport. Hig of Ground Truth Trekking is a moderator there.

Titanium Goat

Titanium Goat

Camping for two months where driving, near-freezing rain will be the norm, we decided we needed more than body heat. Titanium Goat's amazing stove system seemed like the only way to go, and now they're sponsoring us! They provide what are to our knowledge the lightest heated tents out there, combining a titanium wood stove and chimney with a pyramid-style conic tent and liner. We'll be using their 12.5 x 13.5 foot 'Vertex 7.5' shelter, and when you add in the liner, wood stove, and chimney the whole system is just 6.3 lbs.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Often adventurers get places where few others go. When they do, they can bring back critical information for scientists. Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation acts as a match-maker, finding scientists who need the data only adventurers can collect.

Erin and Hig have worked with ASC to identify coastal marmot colonies, sample water from remote glacial rives, and to look for ice worms on Malaspina Glacier. Each time it's a new reason to observe, learn, and contribute.

Mountain Laurel Designs

Mountain Laurel Designs

Being buried under hundreds of pounds of snow is a bit too much for a Mountain Laurel Designs tent. So are the claws of a marauding grizzly bear. But it can handle pretty much anything else.

Our sponsorship by Mountain Laurel Designs began in 2007 and is ongoing. Packages from Ron Bell, who runs MLD, always include not only his ultralight gear, but spare bits of fabric and hardware for constructing our own stuff, and even occasional chocolate.

MLD's largest contribution to our trips have been pyramid-style shelters weighing just over a pound. They've sheltered us through all manner of harsh conditions, and more than one has payed the ultimate price. We've also used MLD's rain-mitts, and a sleeping bag and pack.

Surly Bikes

Surly Bikes

Surly Bikes donated fat tires for Bjorn and Kim's upcoming Donlin Expedition. Surly is known for solid steel-frame bikes that are affordable, but perform in challenging conditions. It was Surly that first mass-manufactured tires wide enough for serious winter biking. Thanks Surly!

Backpacking Light

Backpacking Light

After keeping us warm through months of neverending snow, we have a fond and long standing attachment to our wonderful "poofy coats" provided by Backpacking Light. A sponsor of our Journey on the Wild Coast, Backpacking Light also provided other synthetic insulating clothing, a pack, and a small wood stove. Along the way, they provided an outlet for photos of the journey, and kept track of us via a regular podcast.

Teko Socks

Teko Socks

Subjected to a constant battery of water, grit, and abrasion, hiking socks are destined for a short and brutal life. So we were thrilled when Teko Socks agreed to provide the many pairs of socks we wore through on our Journey on the Wild Coast. In addition to being eco-friendly, we found that their mid-weight synthetic socks dealt better with being soaking wet than any others we've tried.

Montrail

Montrail

What kind of a shoe is good for cold glacial rivers, slippery rocks, thick brush, and ankle-deep mud? They had to be tough enough to last a month or two of hard use, but light enough not to bog our feet down. Solid enough that our toes would survive the rocks and thorns, but allowing the pools of cold water to drain out through mesh patches as we walked. We've had very good luck with Montrail's trail runners over the years, and were happy recipients of a supply of their shoes for our Journey on the Wild Coast.

Tuffo

Tuffo Tuffo makes full-body "Muddy Buddy" rainsuits for babies and toddlers. We're excited to try them out and hope they'll work for our Life on Ice expedition.

gDiapers

gDiapers

gDiapers' burnable/compostable diaper inserts make long treks feasible with the little ones. The system is composed of cloth outsides, plastic liners, and paper inserts. Once soiled, the inserts can be buried, or dealt with just like adult waste. No pack full of dirty diapers! No hand-washing each diaper in glacially cold water! (though the reusable pieces need occasional washing).

gDiaper sponsored us in 2011 for our Life on Ice expedition.