To inspire people to be active, Ben Guinter, of Lock Haven, will walk and run 4,834 miles from Delaware to California, starting Feb. 23.
"What I'm going to be doing is be by myself the whole time," Guinter said. "No support. I'll be out roughing it, recording daily videos to show what's out there, how I'm progressing and what I'm experiencing."
He will put his trip report on his website, INeedToGoOutside.com. He wants to so people will want to visit the places he went.
"As I'm going across the country, I can show other people in different states what's out there," Guinter said. "(I want to) bring awareness to childhood obesity being a problem. You can blame the food, and I understand where that's coming from, but obesity is rising in every country."
He researched the problem and found people, on average, spend a lot longer playing video games or going on the computer. Some children as young as 6 years old have cellphones, he said.
"If you're doing that stuff, you're not getting out as much," Guinter said.
He planned on posting daily videos but since he has not yet received the donations he wanted, he probably will stay in a hotel once a week to post them.
Guinter began his website in 2009 when he started noticing his friends asked him about his trips, saying they would like to accompany him next time.
Children in Nature Network contacted him to write an article about how it sets up events for children to get in touch with animals and trees.
He began planning more trips for himself. He knew the Appalachian Trail would take him from north to south, but he wanted a trail to go coast to coast.
"I thought about doing that someday," Guinter said. "Someone in the fitness industry up in Canada roller-skied from coast to coast. He was way older. If he's doing it, why aren't I?"
He researched more about what kept children in their homes, rather than outside playing, and decided to do the trip to raise awareness.
Originally he wanted to go today, New Year's Day, but he had to plan around Mother Nature.
"Whenever you get outside in Colorado and the Rockies, if you're not in there at the right time, there's still snow on the mountains," Guinter said. "I shifted to Feb. 23 so I'd be crossing at the right time."
The entire time he walks and runs, he will wear an external frame backpack. He will have with him a tent, a sleeping bag, a laptop for uploading and creating videos, a camera, water, food in a bear canister, a knife and some bear pepper spray.
"It's not too much," he said.
He had to keep it light so he can accomplish his goal of 20 to 60 miles a day.
To prepare for his trip, he has been doing training runs with a 30-pound vest and backpack with water to get used to the weight.
One goal of Guinter's for the future is to hike the highest mountain in every state.
"It's always in the back of my mind," he said. "It's the ultimate goal. It's something you only do once. You have to do it before you get too old."
He always has been into challenging his body to see what he can do.
"I've never been an endurance runner," Guinter said. "I never even liked running before. If you train yourself, you can pretty much do whatever you want to do."