Aric (owner) here.
After seeing a documentary about the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) about 15-20 years ago, it went on the bucket-list as a to-do item "some day" after military service.
I'm retired from the Navy now, the business is going well, and I'm in a position where I trust the people I leave in charge. If I keep kicking the A.T. hike down the road, I fear it'll be one of those things that never gets done.
For those that do not know, the A.T. crosses 14 states over approximately 2200 miles. It takes between 4 and 6 months to complete, depending on individual pace. About 4000 people attempt it every year, and about 20-25% make it all the way. Those that don't finish are typically due to lack of preparedness, injury, or life events back home. About 20,000 people have completed the entire trail since it began after WWII.
I start the trail on February, 20th 2022 and hope to be finished by August 15th.
For the business, this means (new) pre-orders are on hold, we won't run any pre-order deals until August.
For those with current pre-orders (March and May deliveries) in the system, they'll be processed as promised and for now, everything is tracking as expected.
From the customer perspective, the only real change is that the phone number is being taken off the website and all customer service will go through email until I get back.
Most questions will get answered in a timely manner by the people I'm leaving in charge, any elevated support questions will be answered by me as service is available on the trail (which is pretty frequent and reliable). We use a support ticket system (Gorgias) that has the ability to assign incoming messages from the website chat box, email, and social media to various support personnel. You should never have to go more than 24 hours without a response, less is my goal to keep the customer service 5-stars.
Thank you to everyone that has supported my boot-strapped business! It has meant the world to me and an extremely humbling experience.
Thank you so much for your patience while I check this item off the bucket-list!