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Looking Back, Looking Ahead:

5 Adventurers Share Their Goals for 2022

The start of a new year always brings a sense of reflection, as well as a chance to look ahead and set new goals. For so many people, including the team here at App Gear Co, these past two years have brought seemingly endless challenges, but also new opportunities to evaluate how we can better serve our families, communities, and customers. As we look back at 2021 and ahead to 2022, we wanted to hear what a few of our favorite adventurers are ready to leave behind, and what they’re most looking forward to in the coming year. We hope their responses inspire you to dream big in 2022! Happy New Year from all of us at App Gear Co!


Jeff Garmire, Calendar Year Triple Crowner/Mountain Athlete/Author

  • What are you the happiest to leave behind in 2021?
    • 2021 was the year of everything. The lack of focus found its way into every facet of life in 2021, and I hope the new year finds me more centered.
  • What’s one thing you checked off your “bucket list” in 2021?
    • I got to run the Barkley Marathons! Every runner failed this year, but even so I got to find all my pages and didn't quit. Laz [Lazarus Lake, creator of the Barkley Marathons] had to tell me that I could not go on. The no-quit attitude! 
  • What are you the most excited about in 2022?
    • After over a year of producing a movie, I get to share with the world all the fun that goes into an FKT. Mostly the misery, but also the unique experience that pushing hard on a trail all alone can bring. Also, I am working to launch a series of virtual 5ks where we all get to wear a costume and cover 5k in the most fun way possible, complete with photo contests, raffles, and all the fun that SHOULD come with fun runs. It is a growing site at


Heather Anderson, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year/Three-Time Triple Crowner/Author

  • What are you the happiest to leave behind in 2021?
    • Unhealthy relationships.
  • What’s one thing you checked off your “bucket list” in 2021?
    • Completing my lifelong goal of visiting all 50 U.S. states!
  • What are you the most excited about in 2022?
    • On the personal and professional side: continued personal growth, a new book release, and some new business endeavors. On the adventure side: an opportunity to travel internationally (I hope!), time spent exploring some more off-the-beaten-track routes and peaks in the U.S., and possibly completing my highpoints of the Lower 48 list.
  • How can people follow along with you in the coming year?


Benny Braden, Thru-Hiker/Public Lands Advocate

It’s that time of year where we look back and reflect on this past year, but also set a few goals for the coming year. It’s good for us to look back on these events to gauge in which direction our life is headed. 

So to begin, let’s look back at 2021. What am I happiest to leave behind in 2021? To be honest, the chaos of the world around me was a struggle to deal with at times. The uncertainty and division created such a negative environment. My hope is that 2022 will be more positive as a whole.  

2021 wasn’t all bad though. I was able to knock a few things off my bucket list. Earlier in the year I traveled to the southwest United States and got to explore four states and 11 different National Parks, Monuments, and Recreation Areas with a really good friend of mine. Then, during the summer I traveled to Alaska to help with a filming project. Alaska was definitely one of those “bucket list” items I got to check off, which was nice! 

But 2022 I feel is gonna be a big year. For starters, I’m turning Responsible Stewardship into a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Our mission is to “Educate Through Action” the importance of caring for our public lands and public spaces. We can do this TOGETHER using a set of ethics we developed as a guide to proper responsible stewardship. 

Also, I plan to return to Scotland for The Great Outdoor Challenge. It’s a challenge where people hike across the country from west to east. It’s typically around 200ish miles, depending on the route you choose. But as we do this challenge, my team will be picking up litter and fostering stewardship along the way.

In addition, we are also planning a large event with Save Our Smokies to do a park-wide cleanup. This will be on April 23 at the Tremont Institute in the Smokies. We expect this to be a 100+ volunteer event. The goal for this event is to remove litter from the whole park in a single day. There will be food, drinks, and live music afterwards. 

I’m certainly a man with many hats. Here are the various accounts and websites where you can follow along or better yet get connected and get involved: 


Karina Ray, All Terrain Runner/Art Therapist

  • What are you the happiest to leave behind in 2021? 
    • I am happiest to leave behind the long commute I was doing from one county to the other. I have transferred to REI Tacoma, where I am an all terrain running expert, and now national level run fit training facilitator. 
  • What’s one thing you checked off your “bucket list” in 2021? 
    • I survived getting the delta virus, which was never on my bucket list, but now I've survived a pandemic just like my grandfather survived the last great pandemic. Aside from that, I was able to get on the leaderboard on Strava for a local alpine winter climb that I wasn't even trying very hard on! My favorite part of 2021 was going after objectives with my mountain partner and friend Isabel. 
  • What are you the most excited about in 2022? 
    • I'm excited to be fully recovered from 2021 and consistently train toward my dream goals again. I'm very much looking forward to repping Appalachian Gear Company in all seasons and terrains, and getting the word out to more of the female outdoor community. Hopefully I'll be able to remain a team member with ON running brand as well, since they are also doing excellent work making athletic performance and athleisure gear that is planet-friendly. 
  • How can people follow along with you in the coming year? 
    • Please follow along on my Instagram page @star3rising or I can be found on Strava, as well. 


Luke Pearsall, Photographer/Adventurer

  • What are you the happiest to leave behind in 2021?
    • I am the happiest to leave behind another year without being able to recreate with the people I love and care about due to the pandemic and travel limitations (of course when it’s safe to do so again).
  • What’s one thing you checked off your “bucket list” in 2021?
    • This year I was able to cross two new National Parks off my list! White Sands and Saguaro National Forest! I wore my App Gear Co Hoodie the whole trip! 
  • What are you the most excited about in 2022? 
    • I’m most excited for the pandemic to get under control enough that I can safely plan some international travel again! 
  • How can people follow along with you in the coming year? 
    • I have two Instagram accounts where I post all my adventures @lukepearsallphoto @lukepstudio. Happy New Year Everyone! Stay safe and healthy! 

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