Grand Prize Winner!

This year, when I decided to thru-hike the PCT, I mostly borrowed gear or obtained hand-me-downs, and some of it didn’t fit me well, caused me pain, was too heavy, didn’t work as well as it should, etc. I knew I had to go out there this year instead of waiting for next year when maybe I could acquire better gear, so I thought I’d make do with what I had as best as I could.

A week before my start date, I entered a raffle that was part of a charity fundraiser hosted by GearRat Outdoors, a backpacking gear swap page on Facebook. I never win anything, and I’m surprised I even chose to enter this raffle, so I was obviously incredibly taken aback to find out that, a week into my hike, I was announced as the grand prize winner and would be equipped with all brand new gear–some of the best, most ultralight, gear there is–and it’s 100% free for me to keep.

I made a video of my reaction and my gratitude when I first found out. You can see it here:

After it was mailed out to me, the organizer of the event asked me to make a video of me opening the box and revealing its contents. Here is that video:

And here is a photo of everything that I won!


I opted out of taking the sleeping bag as it was a men’s long, and besides, I already have one that (I hope) will serve me well.

Isn’t this the most amazing thing ever?! I’m the luckiest girl in the world.


About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 27-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I move every year or two, backpack for months at a time, and occasionally live and travel in a motorhome--and I (usually) love every minute of my (somewhat) nomadic lifestyle. Feel free to follow along on my journey by reading my blog!
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10 Responses to Grand Prize Winner!

  1. Joshua says:

    What a great moral boost for your PCT through hike. Now you definitely have take it with you and test it out! Congrats!! Bummer it wasn’t a woman’s bag but hey, no complaints for free gear right? Looking forward to more updates on your progress. Imo, when you get to Walker’s Pass and northbound, its going to be a whole new world 😊


  2. Patricia Shoupe says:

    I am so glad for you. You are really lucky to get all that stuff when you are on the PCT no less.
    If you don’t mind a question, where are you from? I was just wondering. I hope your leg and feet problems are better.


  3. Buddy says:

    Congrats on your win. Good luck on your PCT journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your video made me smile :). Congratulations and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Craig Rowe says:

    See how you have it all sorted on that blue tarp? Open up that TripTarp® for a much more organized way to do it. Have a great, life-changing hike and be safe out there. I’m in Truckee should you need some help along the trail as you reach the area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • elinatravels says:

      This blue tarp photo was one Christian Millet sent me as a glimpse of what’s coming in the mail for me. Oh, just you wait and see all of my photos with the trip tarp! Stay tuned 🙂
      And thank you!


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