GoFundMe Americorps

Hello, my name is Travis and I have officially registered with Americorps for a 6 month term of service with the Montana Conservation Corps. 

Your support today will help me gather uniform gear, hiking boots, fuel, and camp fees in the run up to my service. 

I will assist in the successful completion of MCC natural resource and community service projects. This is not a 9-5 job; rather it is an experience where long hours and extended time away from my home base are to be expected.  Crews will camp for most of our terms, oftentimes in remote locations in varied terrain and in all weather conditions. Work may include building or maintaining trails, building fences, operating chainsaws to reduce wildfire risks by thinning trees, being recruited on fire line to combat wildfire.  Crews may be deployed for natural disaster relief, also. States of operation include MT, WY, ID, SD, and ND. 

Backcountry Trails Program: For a fully immersive, remote, Rocky Mountains experience, I have signed up for the Backcountry Trails Program. I’ll clear, build and maintain trails with traditional tools. I’ll camp out every night and spend a lot of time hiking. Backcountry Trails Program participants develop strong connections with project partners and with the land.

Key Requirements for Service: 
Ability to hike 3-12 miles per day in terrain that can be steep, rocky or uneven, often wearing a 45lb backpack while carrying tools and sometimes backpacking with full packs of 60-70lbs

Strong service ethic and desire to serve the community and the environment

Willingness to work long, hard hours in all weather conditions; ability to be away on overnight trips for up to 10 days at a time

While attending EMT school my neighbor totaled my truck, so with the settlement I received, I rescued a neglected ’99 TJ Wrangler. On top of finishing EMT school, I restored the Jeep with everything it was missing: Soft top, frame repair, new radiator, wheels, All Terrain tires, rust treatment on frame, fog lights, rust proof cab, repair extensive rust  holes on body and tub, rear bumper, etc.  To test it all out, I took her to Jeep Jam last August, thumping logs and slinging bud pits.

I threw in a parachute hammock and strapped it diagonally inside, and used my trusty mosquito net over the roll cage. Not only did the Jeep survive its first Jeep Jam, but the camp set up proved itself, also. 

I’ve traveled the country before. After working in Big Bend National Park in 2017, I visited 32 other national parks, a number of national monuments, throughout TX, NM, AZ, UT, CO, WY, ND, & SD. But that was in my proven Chevy. This time around, I’m working with an older engine, carrying gear to sustain me for up to 7 months. 

Below is my projected route to Kalispell, Montana. 

While in Montana and on the road, I will be camping the whole time. I typically camp in national forests via disperse camping, but sometimes a camp ground is the reasonable option.  

With the help of a friend, I built a rear cargo rack to hold fire wood, my Jerry Cans for fuel and water, and strapped on a Trasharoo trash bag to carry my trash back from the campground. 

Protected inside and out, she’s ready. 

The day I got the Jeep, the top was rotted, every tire was dry rotted and had zero traction, wheels were rusted rotted and cracked.

After a few months working on her everyday up to tip top shape, she got me to and from Frisco, Colorado this winter just fine. For a complete tour of the restoration, visit my blog postJeep Rebirth post

But, what do I need your help for? 
Simply, I need your help today with gear, camp fees, and fuel. There will be a few weeks or so before I receive my first living stipend through Americorps. During this time I will be digging deep on my modest tax returns. Your help today will assist in the practical and logistical side of serving my country. 

Luckily, through my extensive traveling, I have accumulated camping gear, but not the specific gear that is required for national service with Americorps. 

With my final check from working a ski resort as a ski lift operator in Colorado on Christmas, I purchased my fire line pack, a COAXSHER FS-1 Ranger, and strapped my medical kit on top. Unfortunately,  I don’t have enough to purchase a new pair of hiking boots that are required to be around 7″ tall on the ankle and 2 pairs of work pants for my uniform. 

Sharing my service experience is important, in the hopes that it will inspire others to get involved and get something done. On this trip I will be painting landscapes on trail, taking plenty of photographs, and capturing some fire busting action on my GoPro5, of which I will be sharing with you. 

I’m looking forward to adding a few more patches to my collection: Americorps Montana, US Forest Service, Wildland Firefighter, Glacier National Park, SARTECHII, WFR, among others. 

I hope you will support this journey and give what you can. Serving comes with hardships, rewards, and low pay. Every bit will go a very long way! 

Thank you for your time and support!
Now, let’s get something done.