Distracted Driving is NEVER Cool

This post is sponsored by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

A couple years ago we were sitting in the car in a middle turn lane on a busy street, waiting to turn left. Out of nowhere we were hit from behind by a 3500 truck going full speed. The driver was distracted with her cell phone. We are so grateful that we both only suffered whiplash and massive shock, but the car was completely totaled. The worst of all this? Some people aren't as lucky as we were.

This is why we are excited to be working with AT&T to bring awareness to their It Can Wait campaign! Today we are going to give some tips and tricks on how to not be a distracted driver yourself and why you should speak up if you see someone driving distracted.

1. Take the pledge. We both took the pledge at ItCanWait.com and you should too! According to AT&T, over 38 million people have made the pledge to not drive distracted. To celebrate, AT&T's annual It Can Wait Pledge Day will be on September 19! 83% of drivers admit that they drive distracted and 96% of them are aware of the dangers of smartphone use while driving. Taking the pledge is your first step in helping change this.

75% of drivers who have pledged are keeping their commitment to not use their smartphones behind the wheel. This doesn't mean you won't have to do any work after pledging, it's just a step to actually doing something about it!

2. Turn on drive mode. You can either use the Do Not Disturb that is built into your phone or download the AT&T DriveMode app available on Android devices. Either way, there are options to make sure you don't receive texts or calls while driving. This takes away any temptation you may have to answer a text or phone call while operating a vehicle- which is great! You can even set up a message to send automatically when some does try to contact you.

3. Speak Up. If you see someone using their phone while driving, do NOT be afraid to say something. It could save your life and other people's lives around you. 51% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger pressures them to. It may feel awkward, but that's a temporary feeling. We need to start making it cool to be undistracted drivers! Sometimes it won't go over well, but explain why what you are saying is coming from a caring place.

One thing I offer to do in someone else's car is answer a text for them, if they feel like it's a pressing matter. Otherwise, it can wait! It's always better to play it safe and talk your friends into silencing their phones while driving. (And obviously doing the same for yourself.)

In 2019, minutes on mobile phones are expected to exceed minutes spent watching TV! Doesn't that blow your mind? I mean it makes sense, you can get everything you need or want right on your phone. It's our job to make sure that time isn't overlapping when we are driving.

The bottom line? Distracted driving is NOT cool. Speak up. It Can Wait.

To learn more, visit www.ItCanWait.com and follow @ItCanWait on Twitter.

2019 John Muir Trail Gear List

Holy moly batman... we leave to hike the John Muir Trail today. We have been planning for this trip for 6 long months. Honestly, when we decided to do this trip I had no idea how much planning and research was going to be involved. I will confess thought that I'm an over-researcher. I spend entirely too much time reading about items I want to purchase. However, what you can know is that all of this gear listed here is was heavily researched. When our trip is over, I will report back with how we felt about it all after we used it for a month.

When I was doing research I was looking for gear that was lightweight and comfortable. We are definitely not doing this thru-hike as ultralight backpackers. In the backpacking community there is a lot of debate about the weight of your pack because there is a balance between comfort and weight. Some people feel like having the lightest pack is the best way to comfort but others will carry more weight in order to have things with them that help them to be more comfortable. Another factor is the cost of ultralight gear. The lighter the gear is the more expensive it is. So we did our very best to choose gear that we could afford and that was lightweight and comfortable.

I want to take this time to give a big shout out to our local retailer Cumberland Transit. Those guys there have been a HUGE help in helping us pick out gear and making sure we had everything we needed. They were also kind enough to make us Cumberland Transit ambassadors which allowed us to get some free gear and discounts. I can say that without their help we would not have been able to take this trip.

For those of you who don't have access to local retailers like Cumberland Transit, we have linked all of our gear below. These are affiliate links and when you make a purchase through one of these links, we receive a teeny tiny portion. Your use of affiliate links helps keeps this blog alive. With that said, again, we highly encourage you to try out your local outfitter and test out gear, ask questions, and figure out what is best for you. And if you are in Nashville, definitely check out Cumberland Transit.
Osprey Aura 65

20 degree sleeping bag
Sleeping Mat
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3

Bear Canister
Cook Pot
Long Spoon
Camp mug

Puffy Down Jacket
Hiking Shorts
Hiking Pants
Short Sleeve Tee
Long Sleeve Tee
Altra Lone Peak 4 trail runners
Topo Ultraventure Trail Running Shoe
Camp Shoes
Rain Jacket
Rain Pants

Solar charger
Power Bank
Canon G7xiii
Garmin inReach Explorer

Homemade First Aid Kit (more info to come)
Female Urinal
Pee rag
Trekking poles
Carhartt Beanie
Stuff Sacks
Collapsible Bucket

We can't wait to come back and tell you all about how our gear worked out. Of course, we will have so many pictures and videos!! See you later!