Student and alumnus to take on 3100 mile trek across the USA

Two amateur hikers from our University are daring to take on a gruelling walk across the diverse landscape of the United States, documenting the extraordinary environments that they travel through.

Aiming to tackle the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail, Engineering student Joel Strickland and Geography graduate Joe Boot will travel through five states, twenty-five national forests and three national parks in their journey from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. A trip that would normally take six months, they aim to complete it in five months at an average of 20 miles a day.

They hope to raise £5000 for the University of Leicester’s Widening Participation programme, inspiring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise their educational aspirations, and MQ, who help fund ground-breaking mental health research. They set out from the UK on 28 March, starting their journey on 1 April.

Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, most of them USA citizens, and this once-in-a-lifetime trip will see them travel through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. They will be recording their travels on their their Facebook page, their blog, their Twitter page and with photographs on their Instagram site, capturing whatever interesting events occur on their journey and offering a uniquely British perspective on current events in the USA.

Joel and Joe have set up JustGiving pages for those who wish to support their efforts: