The Initiative – One man’s trek to initiate the drive within

12,500 miles, 4 trails, 1 adventurer

We’d like to introduce you to Samuel H. Gardner – avid outdoorsman, adventure-seeker and a fellow Michigander!

On January 1, 2011, Samuel began a hiking trek that will truly test his physical stamina. Even though Samuel has battled many challenges in his life, from leg braces as a child to partial hearing loss as an adult, he has set out do complete what few American have ever done before. Samuel is hiking what he calls the ‘All-In Trek’ – an unassisted trek of long distance backpacking of the 4 longest hiking trails in the United States: The North Country Trail, the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide and the Pacific Crest Trail – over 12,500 miles of solo backpacking!

Samuel calls his trek “The Initiative.” A name given to an adventure that is meant to “initiate the drive within.” The rationale for this excursion comes from the idea of challenging oneself to make the most of life. Samuel says, “I am doing this for me. I am doing this for the people who wish they could but physically cannot. I am doing this for the people who are alone and unsupported. I am doing this for those who dream. I am doing this for those who have forgotten their dreams. I am doing this for those who have sacrificed dreams to support others.  I am doing this to share with the ones who cannot be there. I am doing this for the story. I am doing this for the adventure. I am doing this to show what is possible.” [Courtesy of Samuel H. Gardner at]

Top Knotch Gear wishes Samuel the best of luck in his trek and looks forward to reading updates on his adventures!

For more on Samuel and updates on his trek, you definitely want to check out his website at

Categories: Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking, Mountains, Outdoors, Trails, Travel, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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