Asheville native hopes to battle water insecurity by dogsledding

Amalia Rowan's 478 votes as of Dec. 8, put her in tenth place among 88 US applicants to participate in the Fjällräven Polar 2015. She must move into first place to secure her dogsledding dream. Image from Rowan's profile page

Asheville native Amalia Rowan doesn’t know the first thing about dog sledding, but if her crowdsourcing plan works, she’ll be flown overseas to participate in a guided 300-kilometer expedition through Norway and Sweden next April.

“I have to try new things, test myself, get dirt (or snow) under my fingernails,” reads her event application profile. Rowan’s best shot at qualifying to participate in the Fjällräven Polar involves gaining the highest number of votes among all U.S.-based entrants for her video submission by Friday, Dec. 12. Organizers will also pick a second representative from each country using unspecified criteria.

Created and organized by Swedish outfitter Fjällräven, this winter journey aims to send “regular people from all over the world on the adventure of a lifetime.” No experience or equipment is required other than a serious sense of wanderlust.

But for Rowan, a New York-based global studies student (currently studying abroad in Morocco), the outdoor adventure aspect is only half of the equation. Rowan hopes to become a better citizen of the world in the process of traversing it, and so created a crowdfunding campaign to coincide with her voter drive.

“Although [Fjällräven Polar] sounds amazing enough, I would like to contribute something to the experience myself,” says Rowan. “I am asking that people not only vote for me, but also donate to an amazing project — The Drinkable Book.”

The Drinkable Book educates readers on best practices for water safety and also provides enough water filters (the book’s pages) to last one person four years. Rowan’s goal of $1,500 toward the project would cover the cost of manufacturing and distributing 75 copies of the book to individuals in at-risk countries.

“Help me achieve my dream, as well as fund a much more lasting, fundamental dream for others — access to clean drinking water,” says Rowan in her campaign video. “Please vote!”

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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