tHarmony provides a chance for ‘Love at First Hike’

Canuck and Happy Hipster on the Appalachian Trail//Photo courtesy tHarmony//Text by Happy Hipster

Below is a real-life testimonial from two hikers who met using tHarmony, a dating service offered in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. To learn more about tHarmony or to sign up to find your Trailmate, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/tharmony.

The timing was perfect. Back in July, a few days before my paid subscription to tHarmony was set to expire, a guy named Canuck who had a beard that melted my soul contacted me and asked if I wanted to go hiking. I thought, “Why not try one last time? Maybe this time I’ll find love.”

I have hiked with a lot of people over the years—including some guys who became my friends and some who became a little bit more. I have no regrets about those past relationships, though, because they helped mold me into a better backpacker and, ultimately, a better person. This means that by the time Canuck came into my life, I was pretty confident about who I was and what I wanted in a trail (and soul) mate. Coming from a good place emotionally allows me to bring more to the proverbial “tent,” so to speak, and enjoy what Canuck has to offer—both on and off the trail.

Canuck and I just fit, and it feels like we’ve been hiking with each other forever. People ask us how long we’ve been together, and it always surprises us to realize it wasn’t too long ago that we met for our first hike near Bear Mountain, New York. We do feel like it took our whole lives to find each other, though, and now we’re sticking together like mac n’ cheese (but not with that pouch of tuna mixed in, because tuna mac is so early 2000s).

Thank you, tHarmony, for matching us. I know we couldn’t have done it without you! On Friday, we’ll celebrate our 9-month anniversary, and we figured we ought to give credit where it’s due. To anyone doubting the site, anyone that is tired or having poor luck dating in the hiker community, don’t give up! Dating can be exhausting and hard work, but tHarmony makes it easier. Just keep on waiting for that little bit of magic to come along.

Canuck and Happy Hipster live in Bear Mountain, New York, and they hit the Trail together almost every weekend. Canuck still rocks the beard that attracted Happy Hipster to him in the first place.

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Reflections from the show floor

Amy McCormick, ATC’s Corporate Relations and Events officer, with The Real Hiking Viking, a 2013 Warrior Hike participant//Donated photo//Text by Amy McCormick

I’ve just returned from another exciting Winter Market Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City—an awesome outdoor gear trade show that features leading industry professionals and all the new products and apparel. Twice a year, I head out to OR to meet up with all of our partners (and chat with prospective partners) in order to share with everyone how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is using their support, as well as figure out how we can all do more to protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

This particular show was huge for the ATC because we were really able to promote new partnerships and show off some great A.T.-themed gear. Here’s the inside scoop on two products that will be available this year that hikers and A.T. enthusiasts will love:

  • A limited edition, American handcrafted blanket by Woolrich that is part of a “Triple Crown” hiking series in honor of the A.T. and its sisters, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. A small number of the blankets were for sale at OR to supporters who understood the value of what the ATC does to preserve and manage the A.T. It was exciting to see people’s enthusiasm for the beautiful blankets, and we can’t wait until they are available in stores at woolrich.com in the fall.
  • ORshow_McCormickPoint6Superior merino wool socks by Point6 that is also part of a “Triple Crown” line of its own! These socks are a must-have for hiking (and walking show floors!), and with each sock purchase, you have the added bonus of knowing that you are giving back to the ATC. Look for them at point6.com in the spring. Socks benefitting the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition will also be available.

During the show, I was also excited to learn that another one of our great partners and ATC hammock manufacturer Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (ENO) was named REI vendor of the year—which in these circles is a huge honor. Since 2010, ENO has donated approximately $70,000 to the ATC and has given A.T. supporters everywhere a chance to hammock in style, all while giving back to the Trail they all love. (It should be mentioned that REI is also an ATC supporter—thank you!)

Overall, my time at OR gave me a chance to meet with so many folks from the outdoor industry who are genuinely interested in giving back to the places we all play, including the world-famous A.T. These companies are keenly aware of the need to support our work. Whether it is land protection, outdoor recreation, volunteerism or encouraging our children to get outside, we all have a role to play, and through partnerships such as these, we can make great things happen!