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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

My Backpacking Trip to the Colombian Andes from A to Z - Post #1

The Colombian Andes...Google it and you will find some of the most beautiful outdoor adventures in the world. The thought of backpacking for several days in the Andes mountains sounds amazing, but also a little intimidating, especially since I have ZERO backpacking experience! Until now, I wouldn’t even call myself an avid hiker. I had not hiked even one of the San Diego trails until recently!

In this series of posts, I’m going to take you on my journey from ZERO experience on the trail, to an actual backpacking adventure in the Colombian Andes with Backpacker Magazine. Here’s the deal...I’m not sure how this whole thing is going to turn out.

So how in the world did a backpacking trip to the Andes even come up? Well, it started at last years Outdoor Retailer Convention in Denver. This is the ultimate outdoor conference with every outdoor company you’ve ever heard of, and hundreds you’ve never heard of. I was a kid in a candy store. I was in the Sawyer Products booth talking with different people along the way, sharing some of our great clean water stories around the world, and somewhere in the mix was a crew from Backpacker Magazine. 

Backpacker Magazine often features Sawyer gear like Insect Repellents and Water Filters in their articles, but the idea of doing a feature article on Sawyer’s philanthropic clean water work around the world became a topic of exploration. The question came up of where we could go around the world where we could participate in Sawyer’s clean water mission to change the world, and combine that with a backpacking adventure in a place where backpackers would want to go?

After a few phone calls we all decided that a trip with our great NGO (non-profit) partner Waves for Water, would allow us a clean water adventure in Colombia, and provide an awesome backpacking experience in the Northern Andes mountain range.

All of this sounds amazing, except that little detail of “I’m a total novice at backpacking starting from ground ZERO!“

Follow me on this series of posts and I’ll take you through my discovery, learning, failures, and wins on my way to this amazing adventure in the Andes! We’ll talk gear, fitness, prep, meal planning, water, and more! Then you can follow me live on the trail in May!

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