Help Replace Michael's Camping Gear

$1,865 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 21 months
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Jimmy Swanbeck
on behalf of Michael Swanbeck
 NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA
Hey everyone, I don't know how many of you keep up with what my brother is up to, but he's been hitchhiking and backpacking through South America for almost two months now. For the past week he's been bushwhacking a trail through Peru, but yesterday he was forced to abandon his trip when his backpack was carried away during a river crossing. I understand that he found his way back to town freezing, hungry, and homeless.

I'm relieved that he's safe, but this is still a very serious setback for him since his backpack contained more or less everything he owned. My brother works seasonal jobs and saves up for half the year to be able to afford not to work during the off-season, but I also know him to be extremely frugal and during this time of the year he lives out of his tent and carries everything on his back. This isn't a vacation, this is just how he lives; sacrificing comfort in exchange for a cheap (but different / interesting) lifestyle. Personally I think it's really brave.

In addition to his (very sentimental) backpack, he also lost his tent, sleeping bag & pad, laptop, passport, wallet, and DSLR camera full of pictures, as well as innumerable little things that are necessary for surviving out of one's backpack (water filter, camp stove, first aid kit, etc). My mom and I are trying to keep him fed and housed while he's still abroad, but without the four essentials (pack, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad) he won't be able to continue with his current plans to camp out while looking for a seasonal job in Kauai (an area far away from any friends, family, or other resources). He already has the plane ticket, but after yesterday he's lacking every other tool he needs to make this happen.

I'm really proud of my brother and don't want him to have to bail, and I know he has a great network of friends who feel the same way. I've started this fundraiser to try to replace his essentials:

Backpack - ULA Circuit ($235)
Tent - MSR Hubba NX ($350)
Sleeping bag - Sea to Summit Trek TkI  ($250)
Sleeping pad - Therm-a-rest NeoAir XTherm ($200)

Please consider donating (or sharing this link) if you're a friend of my brother's, he can make a small amount go a long way.

Thanks!
Jimmy Swanbeck
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Hey all! I want to give a huge THANK YOU one more time for the incredible amount of attention this has received!! It's been less than 24 hours and we've gone well beyond the goal of just replacing Mike's essentials. As a result I've decided to close donations, since this will also make a huge dent in replacing his camera and cell phone. In the future he'll be able to look back at this as just a hiccup.

I'd just like to say that I'm really proud of you all. I've always been thankful that I can be associated with my brother, but I'm realizing now just how lucky I am to be associated with his friends as well. My brother has been traveling for years now with no major incidents, and if you're like me you've been watching his progress and quietly wishing him well. After the events of the past 48 hours it has become clear just how many other people have been out there waiting for a chance to show their support substantively, and I'm blown away.

I haven't heard from Mike since last night, but I know that he did receive some money that my mom sent to a police officer in Huaraz yesterday morning and he was able to get a room for the night and breakfast this morning. His next destination is Lima where he's going to be for another week or two, so once the funds (and replacement debit card) reach him there he'll be able to replace his equipment. I expect he's going to want to write his own update about all of this, but I can say that he was very moved by this show of support. I was as well, for that matter. Thank you again.

-Jimmy
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You guys, I'm completely speechless. This is the most amazing show of support for my brother. In 3 hours we hit our goal of $1000. Thank you all so so much for bolstering my faith in humanity!!

I'm going to leave the campaign open a little longer in the hopes of recuperating some additional (but less crucial) losses (e.g. cell phone, camera, surprisingly expensive emergency passport), but this will cover ALL the essentials and make sure Michael doesn't need to drastically re-organize his life over this simple accident. I am so amazed at how supportive my brother's friends are.
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$1,865 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 21 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created January 3, 2017
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KM
$40
Kelsey McNally
21 months ago
1
1

From a lover of adventure to another this was so disheartening to hear! Not sure if you got any new gear yet but I'm sure you can put this towards something. Keep on keeping on Mike!

$500
Anonymous
21 months ago
1
1
MP
$50
Mag Pie
21 months ago

Stay safe on this adventure. Use your best judgement. Thinking of you.

SB
$50
Sara Bergeron
21 months ago

Stay safe, chelmsford kids gotta stick together.

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