On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, renowned polar adventurer Eric Larsen will set out to attempt a human-powered traverse of the entire state of Wisconsin. Starting at the state’s western border near St. Croix Falls and making his way to the eastern border in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan, Eric will hike, bike and kayak 500-miles across Wisconsin in 9 straight days, both celebrating and creating a dialogue around the value of outdoor adventure in our lives, while showcasing his diverse home state.
Larsen is partnering with Riveredge Nature Center, a Wisconsin-based non-profit environmental center in Newburg, and hopes to raise $5,000 for the organization's summer camps.
An accomplished polar adventurer and mountaineer, Larsen has completed more North and South Pole expeditions than any other American in history and in 2010 was the first person in history to successfully complete expeditions to the South Pole, North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest in a continuous 365-day period. In 2014, he completed what will most likely be the last ever fully human-powered North Pole expedition in history.
Despite these high-level achievements, Larsen believes, “You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to have a unique and challenging adventure. There are a lot of great opportunities in your own backyard.” This is why Eric is heading out on the back roads, trails, and waterways of Wisconsin in less than a week. "I love my home state of Wisconsin and am excited to highlight the region’s incredible natural resources and adventure opportunities."
Giving back is also a primary goal. "A big part of my adventuring spirit came from Riveredge Summer Camps," added Larsen. He hopes to raise $5,000 to support Riveredge Summer Camps. Donations will go directly to Riveredge’s summer programming and can be made through their online fundraising page.
Donors have the option of receiving one of several ‘thank you’ product packages with outdoor gear provided by several of Eric's sponsors and partners, including Citizen Watch, Therm-a-Rest, Granite Gear, and Stanley. Additiionally, Eric's kayak, provided by Old Town Canoe, a subsidiary of Racine-based Johnson Outdoors, will be raffled by Riveredge as well.
“Eric is one of the ultimate examples of what we like to call a Riveredge Kid," says Jessica Jens, Riveredge's Executive Director. "We are excited to follow and support Eric on his journey as he seeks to inspire the next generation of Riveredge Kids while raising critical funds for our summer programming."
Like most of his trips, Larsen’s mission is to connect with people in real-time during his adventures, allowing anyone to follow the team’s progress with live GPS tracking via Garmin’s inReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator. Daily audio podcasts, blog posts, social media content, and photos will be available on Larsen’s website. Eric will be self-filming the entire journey and plans to produce a documentary short as well.
Eric hopes that his 9-day adventure will plant the seeds for others to embark on their own unique journeys not only in Wisconsin but around the world. As Larsen reminds us, “adventure is everywhere and it has the power to teach valuable lessons about our ourselves, and equally important, our planet.”
Larsen’s adventures are sponsored by Citizen Watch with major support from Garmin. Additional expedition support is provided by Seirus, Mountain Safety Research, Therm-A-Rest, Stanley, Granite Gear, Nite Ize, SOLE, Oberto, Wigwam, Ripcord, and Iridium. The WiscsonsATHON also received product support from Trek Bicycles, Old Town Canoe, Pearl Izumi, Topeak, Lizard Skins, and TIME.
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