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Press Releases

Granite Gear Announces the 2018 Grounds Keepers Roster and Altra Footwear Running as Supporting Sponsor

For Immediate Release

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Two Harbors, MN – February 28 2018 

Granite Gear 2018
2018 Grounds Keepers Program

When trash is in our wild places, it’s everyone’s responsibility! That’s the motto of Granite Gear’s Grounds Keepers program. After its successful inaugural year, Granite Gear is thrilled to launch the 2018 Grounds Keepers Program ( with new supporting sponsor Altra Running. The 2018 team includes 25 experienced hikers with diverse backgrounds who are committed to cleaning up a minimum of 7,500 miles of trails and parks around the country in 2018.

Out of hundreds of applicants, the following team members were chosen based on their hiking experience, their passion for taking care of the planet and the trails and parks they will be cleaning. With the collective goal to remove as much trash as possible, team members include: Jenny Bruso of Unlikely Hikers, Eli Boschetto of PCT Oregon, Steve Jewett of Clean Trails, Jennifer Anne Shorr of Section Surfer, JJ Brooks, Connor “Bard” Devane, Avy “Lost N’ Found” Harris, Alyssa Hei, Brock Johnson, Amanda Kincaid, Michelle Macy, Jacob “Zen” Mattson, Gary Nelson, Tania Parra, Kat Rumbly, Alexis Rodriguez, Luke “Poncho” Scazzero, Steven “Bangarang” Snyder, Liz “Yellow Bird” Snyder, Emma Vigers, Holly Walker, Rob “Legs” Weilbacher, Dustin Whyte, Rachel Wood, and another hiker who cannot be announced until the end of March.

“Our inspiration for the Grounds Keepers program came from our athletes, the Packing It Out team, and they were the ones who connected us with Altra Running – so that feels like a very natural fit,” said Granite Gear’s VP of Marketing, Rob Coughlin. “With Altra’s sponsorship, we’ll be able to better further support these 25 Grounds Keepers as they do their best to clean up trails and parks and inspire others to do the same.”

Each Grounds Keeper is outfitted with one of four ultralight Granite Gear backpacks, two stuff sacks, a dump trunk, a scale and gloves and two pairs of Altra Running shoes. The foot-shaped toe box and fully balanced level cushioned zero-drop design of Altra’s shoes have made them a popular choice for long distance hiking.

“I was stoked to hear that Granite Gear and Altra Running would be collaborating together,” said Seth Orme of Packing It Out. “Both are forerunners in their own right – Granite Gear and Altra set the tone by striving to build products the right way and by giving back to the communities they represent in the field. I’ve been a dedicated fan of both companies long before working with them during our Packing It Out endeavors. I plan to continue that trend.”

To keep up with the Grounds Keepers, and learn about the 2017 and 2018 Grounds Keepers teams (#GroundsKeeper4Life), visit and follow along on Instagram @TheGroundsKeepers. Granite Gear (@GraniteGear) and Altra Running (@AltraRunning) will also be sharing content about the Grounds Keepers often.

For more information, or to set up an interview with a member from Granite Gear, Altra Running or The Grounds Keepers, please email Shelly at

About Granite Gear

For 32 years, Granite Gear has brought cutting-edge products to the outdoor marketplace. Their award-winning backpacks, adventure travel gear, extensive variety of storage sacks, lifestyle accessories, and canoe gear offer excellence in design and construction. Granite Gear’s desire is for all outdoor enthusiasts and travelers to experience the incredible durability and comfort of their products. Located in Northern Minnesota, just minutes from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Superior Hiking Trail, they have a rugged and beautiful testing ground for their products. You can find out more about Granite Gear on their site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

About Altra

While working at a running store, Altra founder Golden Harper was frustrated that modern running shoe technology caused poor running form, but had not decreased running injuries. His passion to create a shoe that followed the science produced Altra’s distinctive FootShape™ toe box and Zero Drop™ platform. Since its founding in 2011, Harper and co-founder Brian Beckstead have grown Altra from one to 25 shoe styles, winning multiple Editor’s Choice awards and distribution in more than 60 countries. Join the conversation @AltraRunning and #ZeroLimits, #EmbraceTheSpace on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Media Contact: Colleen Logan, VP Marketing,


Shelly Smith