SPRINGFIELD, IL – Gear Forward was recently designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a non-profit organization under IRS Section 501 (c) (3). Gear Forward is an organization focused on collecting gently used and new outdoor gear for donation to youth in need who participate in outdoor themed non-profit organizations. Over the course of the last year and a half, Gear Forward has helped hundreds of youth in need from Portland, Oregon to Pennsylvania and many points in between.
This new designation formalizes Gear Forward and brings about unlimited opportunities for the organization to sustain itself to ensure its mission of outfitting the next generation of adventurers becomes a reality. “This is a game changer for Gear Forward, we are so excited to broaden our reach and work with the outdoor community at large to help kids in need around the United States” Mr. Scott Gauvin, Executive Director, Gear Forward.
Gear Forward is the only organization that works from coast to coast to satisfy outdoor gear needs for youth who have a desire to participate in outdoor activities that may not have the proper resources to do so.
With the continued cooperation of our existing sponsors and potential for new sponsors with this designation, Gear Forward will seek to grow a larger network of giving supported by the outdoor community and its Gear Forward Ambassadors around the United States.
Gear Forward is pleased to announce another partnership with a gear company who has a passion for building great gear and for giving back as well. Multimok is a company who manufactures a very interesting hammock, like nothing you have ever seen before. Based in Utah, Multimok creates hammocks that are both rugged yet comfortable.
Curious about the Multimok? Here is some information from their site to peak your interest.
If you understand the advantages of a multi-tool you'll quickly see why the patent pending multimok is for you. Sure, it can be used like a regular hammock, but the ways it can be configured are too many to count. Use it as a chair, a taut surface, a bed, a double hammock, a canopy, a monkey bridge, a pack, a gear sack, a tree stand, etc. When you realize what a multimok can do, you'll have one in your grab-and-go gear for camping, relaxing or just for wandering the great outdoors.
The multimok is not contending in the lightweight division of hammocks. We're dominating the heavyweights. The multimok for adults will easily hold loads of 2500lbs. This allows the Multimok to be tasked with the most challenging requirements—in any variety of settings—for solo or double occupancy.
Everyone needs a place to hang. With a multimok, almost anywhere can be that place. The Multimok is an upgrade to a parachute hammock and solves many of the traditional challenges of hammocking. Once you have a multimok you'll discover that you can easily remove other gear from your camping and hiking arsenal, like; a camp chair, a tent, a ladder, a bed, a camping pad, an underquilt, a canopy and more.
So… you interested now? Good! Let us explain how the Gear Forward and Multimok partnership works and how it benefits you and kids in need. After taking a peek at the Multimok website and making a decision to purchase a hammock from them, if you visit hammockexchange.com and follow the instructions by sending them your gently used parachute style hammock, Multimok will provide you a $50 dollar credit towards your new Multimok hammock.
After your transaction is completed, Multimok will coordinate with Gear Forward and donate your hammock to us. Gear Forward will work outdoor themed non-profit organizations around the United States to ensure your hammock ends up in the hands of a needy youth. What could be simpler?
For more information visit Multimok.com or hammockexchange.com
So, you have heard about Gear Forward, this is awesome. Now you are wondering what being a Gear Forward Ambassador is all about. Being an ambassador sounds kinda cool doesn't it? The Gear Forward Ambassador Program was established to further the reach of Gear Forward, our mission and goal. Our present Ambassadors are from all around the United States. Gear Forward's goal is to have an Ambassador in each state and maybe more in some states that require more attention based on needs.
So what does a Gear Forward Ambassador (GFA) do? At a minimum a GFA promotes Gear Forward on their social media platforms, websites and blogs if the GFA maintains a public profile and works in their local area to promote awareness of our mission.
In addition to promoting Gear Forward, the GFA is charged with engaging their local outdoor community of which they usually are already heavily engaged. The GFA is encouraged to work within their outdoor community to develop opportunities to generate gear donations and more importantly identify gear needs within organizations that support getting kids outdoors. Gear Forward is all about keeping local gear donations local to help those kids in need where the gear came from.
Creativity and thinking big are definitely encouraged in the GFA Program. Meeting our goal in each state may look different, but as long as kids in need get the gear they need to get outdoors... then we have met our goal.
As GFA's, you will pass along the opportunity to get outdoors and the appreciation for nature and being in the wild. While this is a volunteer opportunity, being able to give back in this way is more then payment for your efforts. From time to time as a GFA you will have the opportunity to personally deliver donated gear to host organizations in need, usually directly to the kids in need. This experience is something very special, that you will remember for a long time. A sleeping bag or tent is something you may use while on a weekend camping trip or hike, but to a child who doesn't have his/her own it is the key to adventure.
In the future, Gear Forward and our partners will be offering ways for GFA's to collaborate together, exchange ideas on how to generate needs and offers of donated gear as well as opportunities to get outdoors ourselves. Yes, we need to have our fun too. Opportunities to get outdoors together like this will remind us all why we are a part of this organization. Constant reflection of the people, organizations and opportunities we had when we were kids that led us to a life of appreciation of the outdoors will keep us motivated to help the next generation.
If this opportunity sounds like something you are interested in, please visit our Gear Forward Ambassadors page to apply.
Executive Director, Gear Forward
Our partners who are a part of the LHX2017 trip are working hard to get ready for thier adventure as well as provide you the outdoor community at large some amazing offers on new gear while helping Gear Forward in the process. Check out these offers from these amazing brands!
Here is a list of all of the great deals:
In addition to these deals LHX crew member Hiker Steve will be donating $0.25 for every “Summit Selfie” that is submitted to his site from now until April. How simple is this? You probably take tons of pics everyday! Send one to Steve and help Gear Forward at the same time. Want more of an incentive to send Steve your pic? Several people have offered to match his donation to Gear Forward if he reachs $100.00. If you send a pic to Steve you also will be entered into a contest to win a hammock package.
To learn more visit Hiker Steve’s website.
Another great offer is from our Board Member Mr. Adam Nutting aka HikingTheTrail. Adam will be donating $5 out of his own pocket every time that someone uses the LHX2017 discount code to purchase gear on the Teton Sports website. Talk about a win, win! You purchase some amazing gear from Teton Sports at a discount and Gear Forward gets funds to help us equip our next generation out outdoor adventurers. Shop Teton Gear Now!
Thanks for all your support!
Growing up in Scouts we had plenty of time to go camping, but in Tiger Cubs we did not do a lot of camping as a group. We might have gone on a couple overnights but I do not think there were many. We did use it for “Cub Weekend” at Camp Geiger our local Boy Scout camp for one night.
I remember the first tent my parents purchased for the family. It was a normal family tent. It was grey in color had windows that you could unzip and we mostly pitched it in the backyard for “camping”. I am sure my first campout ended up with everyone back in the basement before the sun came up the next morning.
That tent was a spaceship, a fort, a jail, just a tent on occasion, and so many other fantastic things the imagination of a 6 year old could dream up. To this day when I smell that musty dusty old tent smell I am instantly transported back to my parents back yard to that tent.
As the years progressed I continued to camp and use either the Troop’s tents or we had switched to smaller two or three person tents for scout outings. Without my first tent I would not have fell in love with listening to the crickets chirp on a muggy hot Missouri nights, falling asleep to the locusts (cicadas) buzzing, and telling stories around the campfire.
Adam is the owner of Hiking The Trail, Co-Founder of Epic Social Adventures and a Member of the Board of Directors of Gear Forward.
Gear Forward is proud to annouce a new partnership with UST - Ultimate Survival Technologies and is humbled to recently have recieved a large cache of outdoor items that will be soon donated to youth in need. We are truly grateful for the continued support of the outdoor community, retailers and manufacturers like UST who give to help those in need. UST donated the following items to Gear Forward in the past week:
5 UST All Weather Tarps
12 Survival Reflect Tents
12 PackWare Mess Kits
12 Watertight First Aid Kits
20 UST WayPoint Compasses
60 Splash Flash Lights
60 Emergency Ponchos
We are very thankful for these items, as they are the first of thier kind to be donated to Gear Forward and will be put to good use by the youngsters who recieve them.
Just a little over a year ago the Gear Forward was just a concept, without a name, a online presence or a Facebook page. A year later, with your support we have made a huge impact in the lives of the youngsters we have donated outdoor items to.
While we may have not met every goal we set out over the course of our first year, we are still fullfilling every need that is presented to us via the relationships we have and the new relationships we are making every day in the outdoor community. 2016 was a proof of concept that Gear Forward is needed and works. Today, because of generous donations and out network kids who didn't have the resources to get outdoors now do. This what keeps us at Gear Forward going, simply making a difference in the lives of those that want to get outside.
In 2016 (our first year of operation) Gear Forward Recieved and Donated:
22 Sleeping Bags
In 2016 (our first year of operation) Gear Forward Recieved:
24 Hiking Sticks
5 UST All Weather Tarps
12 Survival Reflect Tents
12 PackWare Mess Kits
12 Watertight First Aid Kits
20 UST WayPoint Compasses
60 Splash Flights
60 Emergency Ponchos
In 2016 (our first year of operation) Gear Forward made donations to or recieved (gear of fianancial donations) from 16 states.
Gear Forward would not have been able to accomplish the above with the outdoor community at large who donates a singular piece of gear at a time or the retailers or manufacturers who offer up additional gear in times of great need. In addtion to these groups there are some amazing people and organazations that need to be recognized for their continued support, guidance and hard work on behalf of Gear Forward in 2016.
A huge and humble thank you to:
Mr. Adam Nutting - Gear Forward Board Member / Hikingthetrail.com
Mr. Brian Ford - Gear Forward Board Member / Hikebyfaith.com
Mr. Shawn Parry and Teton Sports
The LHX2017 Crew
Brush Mountain Outdoors
The Backpacker TV
Finally, a huge thank you to my wife and family for supporting me in this endeavor to give back and execute my adult Eage Project.
Thanks for an amazing year, Happy New Year and see you in 2017!
In an effort to ensure that Gear Forward meets our goal of accepting donations from or providing donations to all fifty states by the end of 2016 and stock our shelves for the rush of donations requests we anticipate in early 2017 we have created the Gear Forward Giving Tree. Our giving tree program is all about providing a multitude of options for people to donate to Gear Forward and help support youth in need around the country who desire to be outside.
So, how can you help? Our traditional methods of assistance still apply, so if you have a sleeping bag, tent or backpack that is still in good and usable condition we will be happy to accept it by simply filling out the form here.
Another option for donating to Gear Forward while out and about this season is to simply pick up a gift card to an outdoor retailer or even a department store that sells outdoor gear items. If you purchase a gift card please contact us to let us to arrange for shipping. The gift card will be utilized to purchase gear to then be shipped to youth in need who are a part of an outdoor themed organization.
The Gear Forward Giving Tree allows people who wish to directly impact youth in need two ways to donate. You can financially donate an amount to allow Gear Forward to purchase a new sleeping bag, tent or backpack to help youth in need or purchase a piece of gear for donation while out and about shopping.
If you wish to help Gear Forward financially to purchase gear:
Tent - $100.00
Sleeping Bag - $30.00
Backpack - $60.00
To donate to Gear Forward as part of our Giving Tree Program click here.
If you have purchased new gear to donate to Gear Forward please fill out the form to donate the new gear.
Watch the Gear Forward website and Facebook page to monitor our progress.
Thank you for your continued support!
Less then a month ago, we announced the goal to reach donations from or to all fifty states in the United States prior to our first anniversary at the end of the calendar year. Since the announcement, our partner Hike By Faith who is spearheading the #LHX2017 event in April 2017 to support Gear Forward has broadened Gear Forward's reach into Canada.
We are happy to annouce that while we are still striving to reach our fifty state goal we are now also working with our Canadian partners from #LHX2017 to support worthy organizations who are in need of outdoor gear to assist in getting at-risk youth in need, outdoors.
Our first organization that we are hoping to support in Canada is the Take a Hike Youth At-Risk Foundation. The following is the present need identified by the foundation:
20 Backpacks of at least 65 litres in size.
20 Down or Quality Sync Sleeping Bags of at least 0 Degrees, long length is preferred.
22 Sleeping Pads
In order to keep costs ofshipping down, we are looking specifically for donations from Canada to assist this foundation. Please let us know if you would like to assist Gear Forward in outfitting the Take a Hike Youth At-Risk Foundation in Canada.
What does #LHX2017 stand for? Good question. It stands for Laurel Highlands Experience 2017.
When: April 23-29, 2017
Where: Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, Pennsylvania
What is it: A five day backpacking trip beginning on the north end of the trail and ending at Ohiopyle, the south end.
Distance: Seventy Miles
We are bringing a diverse team from all over the U.S. and Canada from the outdoor community known for their social media interaction to connect in person on the trail sharing our experiences, skills, and ideas to inspire others to get outside, connect with nature, and connect with others.
Through this event it is our goal to encourage people to donate gear to Gear Forward to help equip the next generation for adventure. Each team member is giving back in their own way as well as reaching out to collect donated gear.
Do you have a tent or sleeping bags in storage not being used? Will you consider helping us by donating your unused or new gear?
Do you know an non-profit organization, Scout Troop, or faith-based organization that is in need of camping gear for their programs? Then we want to know who the are, where they are located and what they need.
Each member has been hand picked for their various outdoor skills, but the main reason…they all have a desire to giveback and pay it forward.
In the months to come leading up to #LHX2017 we’ll post updates here on our website. You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter
The #LHX2017 Team
Hiking the Trail
Epic Social Adventures
Off The Face
Hikes Across America
As a Executive Director of Gear Forward I get the privilege to work with some amazing, selfless and unbelievably giving people around the country. These people come from all walks of life, from all around the country and give of their time, talent and energy for the betterment of our youth in need. I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have taken time over the course of the past nine months to bring Gear Forward to the very positive posture it is presently in. Without these existing friends, newly made friends and colleagues Gear Forward would not be a present and a continuing reality.
Cold calling concerning a new idea and explaining that we (Gear Forward) are simply here to help and we want nothing in return can be quite the trick. Every person at a Boy Scout Council office we have called has been extremely receptive, thankful, honest and open to our concept and idea and I thank them for that.
The support of our partners who help spread the word about Gear Forward through their online presences are a vital life line to the outdoor community at large, as Gear Forward is truly a labor of love and dependent on this link.
Our partner retailers and manufacturers of outdoor gear who continually give of themselves, their time, staff and products in the face of themselves needing to stay afloat is continually appreciated by Gear Forward.
And finally you, the outdoor community who cares so much about the youth in need, the environment in which we are leaving them and the understanding of the need for new stewards of that environment, we thank you for your continued support.
Nine quick months have transpired of Gear Forward being in existence, since then our community and reach has grow from coast to coast. I wanted to detail who has benefited from your donations over the past many months and who our continued focus will be. Gear Forward is aimed at providing outdoor gear to youth, but we are keening focused on ensuring that the donations get to the most needy of youth. Here are just a few examples of the youth in need that have been or will be recipients soon of outdoor gear donated by Gear Forward:
These are just a few examples of the donations we have been a part of over the past few months. Many of the people who donate a piece of their unneeded or unused gear don't care to know where it ends up, just as long as it ends up in the hands of youth who needs it. We honor that trust and appreciate each donation along with your continued support. We want current and future supporters of Gear Forward to know the immense difference you are all making in these young peoples lives with donation of a used sleeping bag or tent. You truly are changing their lives and we thank you for that.
As we move forward towards our first anniversary of Gear Forward we wish to reach more youth around the rest of the United States and beyond. We have launched our 50 States in 1 Year Campaign to spur donations from or to all 50 States in the country. Help us reach our goal by donating to Gear Forward by the end of 2016. For more information click here.
Gear Forward has recieved it's first request for gear from a Cub Scout Pack in Martinsburg, PA. The Pack is looking for some cooking equipment and lanterns. In addition to the overall need for the pack, a few of the boys do not have the proper outdoor gear for the activities the pack undertakes. The boys are in need of packs and sleeping bags. Presently we have a need for 3-4 packs and sleeping bags to fulfill the need in Pennsylvania. Remember these are Cub Scouts the pack needs to be smaller to properly fit the young boys. If you have any of the gear mentioned please contact us via this link. You may make a financial contribution to Gear Forward in lieu of gear. The donation will help to mail donated gear or potentially offset the cost of gear. This can be done below.
Thank You for your consideration.