One of the most common questions I’m asked at slideshows, either directly or implied, is “How much did this trip cost, and how did you pay for it?” This is a fully legitimate question which I’ve often wondered myself while watching other shows.
To begin with, I try to go on trips that are relatively inexpensive, like in the sub $4,000 range. Holy Crap you say, that’s not cheap! Well, yes and no. The average cost of week-long ski vacation for a family of four to Park City is over $10,000, so 4k to spend a month in Baffin Island, Alaska, or Patagonia is a screaming deal. First you have to have the dream, then you can figure out the details. I always go into trips figuring that I will have to pay for them myself, then once I’m committed, try to figure out a way to raise cash to help defray the costs.
This is where grants come in. I’ve been on both sides of the grant program, both asking for cash and deciding who gets it. In general, if you have a good project and present it well, you have a very good chance of winning a grant. Really. Having reviewed grants, I’m first amazed at how few people apply for them, and then how off-base at least 50-70% them are. If it is a skiing grant, the project should involve skiing, not ice climbing. Duh.
Applying for grants has two hidden benefits; first it forces you to organize a trip (people, costs, details, logistics) way ahead of time, and second, if you are serious about the sport, it is a good stepping-stone towards eventual sponsorship.
It just so happens that my all time favorite gear company on earth, Mountain Hardwear, is offering an expedition sponsorship, with a deadline of November 15th. It may not pay for first tracks on Mars, but you never know…
Click here for details: Mountain Hardwear Expedition Sponsorship
Help support StraightChuter.com and get a warm & toasty Mountain Hardwear Wraith -20 degree Down Sleeping Bag from Backcountry.com! Click on the photo below…