GoLite's "Forty Days and Forty Nights" AT Hike without Re-supply
At sunset on March 21, 2008, Demetri Coupounas, President & Co-Founder of outdoor apparel and gear manufacturer GoLite, began hiking the Appalachian Trail northbound from Springer Mountain, Georgia, carrying over 120 pounds on his back. By sunset on April 30, 2008, he hopes to have set a new world “alpine style” backpacking distance hiking record, while personally commemorating the 10th anniversary of the company that he co-founded with his wife and father almost a decade ago.
An avid backpacker and athlete, Coupounas founded GoLite in 1998 to help others experience the joy and simplicity of backpacking without unnecessary, overbuilt gear. An expert in ultra light backpacking, Coupounas popularized “alpine style” backpacking in 2004 when he walked the 480+ mile Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver with no re-supply of food or gear and water replenishment only from natural sources.
“Call me a masochist,” says Coupounas, “but I think this trip will be a lot of fun! It will call forth the very best physical, mental and spiritual effort I can put forth, and I am a firm believer that we need to test and measure ourselves on a deep level from time to time.”
Andy Burgess, GoLite Vice President for Product commented, “This is great product field testing – sick, but great! It’s useful to know how both equipment and technical apparel perform when pushed well beyond their design criteria.”
Asked about the seeming contradiction between co-founding a company named “GoLite” and carrying a 120 pound load onto a trail, Coupounas paraphrased Winston Churchill: “Never have so few carried so much to help so many carry so little.”
Coupounas has no idea how far he’ll get claiming “That’s part of the adventure!” but has targeted more than 620 miles, the current distance record. He added, “I’m carrying maps for over 1000 miles and considering that weight is an issue on this trip, it would be tragic to have carried something that far that didn’t get used!”
“Forty Days & Forty Nights” is dedicated to the memory of George Coupounas, Coupounas’ father, who co-founded GoLite with the couple. The trip will highlight the 10th Anniversary of GoLite, which will occur on April 13th, when Coupounas hopes to be closing fast on Damascus, Virginia. For more information, or to follow “Forty Days and Forty Nights”, visit www.golite.com.