SARATOGA SPRINGS — This unique hiking adventure challenges the community to partake in a hike, walk or jog with an unusual partner: a roll of toilet paper.
Local David Kelley designed the challenge around the time toilet paper couldn’t be found on shopping shelves. Trying to add humor to the sold-out toilet paper dilemma, Kelley created the toilet paper trio hike, challenging the community to partake in three different hikes with a roll of toilet paper.
“Every time I went down that aisle, I couldn’t find toilet paper and it was what everyone was talking about. I think everyone needs a little bit of fun and a smile right now and when I went out and did it the first few times, I couldn’t stop laughing,” Kelley said.
Kelley wanted the challenge to include any local trails, bike paths and nature preserves to discourage distance travelling. He also encourages hiking solo or with immediate household family members to stay socially distant.
“I thought it would be a fun way to get people out and get them staying within those two parameters. To also have some fun,” Kelley said.
While encouraging social distancing, Kelley designed the challenge to mimic other known challenges, such as the Adirondack 46, fire tower challenge and the Saranac 6. Participants can sign up for the challenge and once completed, Kelley will add their name to the roster and they will receive a patch and a sticker. Registration is $20 and Kelley said 50 percent of the proceeds would be donated to NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund.
“I always wanted to find a way to help the workers on the front line. The challenged was a good way to combine everything,” Kelley said.
So far, 20 people have completed the challenge. His Facebook group has over 75 members as of early this week, some of who went hiking this past weekend. Although photos are not required to complete the challenge, Kelley encourages them.
“You’re not required to take photos of you and your toilet paper, but it is fun and the idea is to get a few smiles. The folks that are hiking have fun and so can the people you’re sharing the photos with,” Kelley said.
Kelley’s feeling to give back started when he was 8-years-old. He would collect “change for the children in need” for Make a Difference Day to benefit the Saratoga Center for the Family. Ten years later, the effort grew to include a multitude of friends who collected over $10,000 for the Center for the Family.
“It’s great to be back home connecting folks, having a little fun and doing something good for New York,” Kelley said.
Above all, Kelley hopes participants in the challenge have fun and smile. To find out more about the challenge, visit their Facebook page.
“Even though we are hiking by ourselves, we are all in this together. Share your photos and videos on social media with #ToiletPaperTrio and #HikeLocalHikeSolo,” Kelley said