Crowdfunded: Empowering Women To Backpack The Appalachian Trail
Jessica Georgia will thru-hike the Appalachian Trail (AT) this year. She has the funds to hike it, but she needs your help to fund a photo-book project that will tell the story of other women hiking the AT. Her hope is that by shedding light on other women’s backpacking pursuits of this trail, she will inspire others to take on similar challenges.
Jessica announced her project to a flood of emails from like-minded women. One, a 56 year old woman with Multiple Sclerosis, is making her second attempt at the AT this year. There are more of these stories to be found on the “updates” section of her kickstarter page.
With 12 days to go, Jessica is 30% funded to her $1,500 goal. All things considered, that’s not a lot of money. Let’s help get her there.
In Jessica’s Words:
My inspiration for this project was sparked when I started conducting research this year for my own personal Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The first thing that struck me was this statistic from the AT conservatory:
The Appalachian Trail Conservatory recorded 2,000 milers by decade. From 1930s until 2010, a total of 15,524 hikers have completed the trail. Women made up just 25% of the total hike-completions reported.
My next thought was why are so few women hitting the trail? Personally, I think most women do not backpack due to lack of experience. Of course, fear plays a significant role and family commitments also play a role in deterring women from backpacking.
I started thinking about what I might be able to do to begin to help empower more women to hit the trial. I decided instead of solely focusing on documenting my own personal thru-hike, why not document the women on the trail this year? You will find a plethora of Appalachian trail thru-hikers personal videos and/or books of the experience. I want to tell these powerful women’s stories through my passion for photography and writing.
Overall, I want this to be a photo story that can educate and inspire other women to get out on the trail. I want women to be able to flip through the pages of this photo story and feel like they were right there with us. To feel the pain or the joy we were experiencing in that given moment.
Jessica Georgia is an outdoors woman, marketer, and mother.