On June 27th, James Leitner, David Shyloski, and Arrow the Dog began their 100-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail while carrying 45lbs of water to symbolize what children have to go through to get water. They did not expect the challenges that would occur with elevation, weather, and mental will.
James and David, both enthusiastic outdoorsman, were out of their comfort zone. Day 1 started with good conditions but they did not plan for the constant squeeze and climbing of boulders. Being 3 miles short of their destination, James and David camped close to the side of the trail doing their best to stay dry and safe from bears. By Day 3 the humidity and heat began to spike. With highs reaching 98 with 80% humidity. Their overall safety and well being became a concern as they fought dehydration and heat exhaustion. Their entire upper body became sore from carrying the water. Their pace has slowed down to a crawl forcing them to have to hike from sun up to sun down, many times not making it to their destination by 10 pm.
Even with the unbearable heat and constant dehydration, James and David were able to finish their hike. After reflection, they both consider themselves lucky. They get to stop after 5 days while communities without water have to walk every day. To save on weight, James and David were able to collect water and treat it using Iodine tablets instead of what most communities have to do which is to boil the water for a long time. They also had people constantly checking up and looking after them while many girls will walk only at night to avoid being attacked.
James and David want to see a world where everyone has access to clean drinking water.