Congratulations to community member Rick-Pittsburgh, author of February's most helpful gear review. The Trailspace community voted Rick's review of his Outdoor Research Prismatic Cap February's most useful review. He wins a Trailspace goodie pack for his efforts.*
Rick also tied for second place with his review of his Osprey Stratos 26 pack, along with Pillowthread's review of the SmartWool Midweight Funnel Zip and TheRambler's review of the Open Country Mors Bush Pot 1.8L.
Write your own helpful gear reviews with Trailspace's redesigned and enhanced "write a review" form, and you might be next month's most helpful reviewer.
Rick backpacking on Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
When and how did you get interested in going outside?
The outdoors were an important part of my life growing up. Hiking, fishing, hunting, though I'm not much of a hunter anymore. I was also in the BSA (Boy Scouts of America).
Around the age of 4 I was drug away from my toys (kicking and screaming) and began my journeys into the great outdoors. I credit the whole hiking thing to my uncle. He spent a lot of time on trail (Appalachian Trail, etc.) in his tent and would let me tag along to various destinations from time to time. Even if it was an expedition into the inhospitable conditions of our backyard. :)
People don't often think of Pittsburgh as an outdoor mecca. Where are your favorite places to get out around the "Iron City?"
We have a plethora of state parks that are a short drive from the city. I spend the most part of my trail time solo on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT), which runs 70 miles along the Laurel Ridge from Ohiopyle State Park north to Seward. I have completed this trail too many times for me to count and have a bunch of trip reports for anyone interested (most recently, A late February stroll in the white stuff on the LHHT).
I also like to spend time at Ohiopyle State Park. This area is beautiful. One can also kayak/raft the Youghiogheny River (class 3 and 4 rapids), bike the many miles of trail, fish, swim (the natural water slides rock), or just browse the shops in the small community (my wife likes the wineries.) There are also quite a few outfitters up there that can provide equipment, guided tours, etc. to get you where you want to be.
The OR cap that earned Rick the glory
Why were you motivated to review this piece of gear?
I have a goal set for myself to review every item of gear that I use. This could take some time though. I have quite a bit of gear. Just wait until my 5,000 word review on these awesome boot laces that I acquired!
I just like to hammer on things for awhile before I actually put fingers to keyboard, if ya know what I mean. Anything can look great on a box or in a store ad. It's real world use that makes or breaks a product.
What are some of your other favorite pieces of equipment?
Reviewed gear that I am really fond of: Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent, Leki Aergon XL anti-shock poles (w/photo adapter), Osprey Stratos 26 daypack, and Victorinox Swiss Army Soldier knife.
Gear I have yet to review that I am fond of so far: Hilleberg Soulo (this thing is a bomb shelter), Scarpa M3s (just a great pair of no-nonsense boots), Osprey Argon 85 (my go-to pack for multi-day trips), Dahlgren backpacker socks (alpaca and wool). I could go on and on. I suppose I have quite a few reviews to write!
Rick on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in February.
What is one of your favorite outdoors destinations?
Without a doubt the LHHT, due to the amount of time I spend on trail. I have a goal to get in 1,000 miles a year on-trail, not just on the LHHT alone though. No matter how much time I spend up there I always find myself seeing something new that I didn't notice on previous trips. The experience is always rewarding and has never been a disappointment.
Anything else you'd like to share with the Trailspace community?
My main objective when I write a review is to do the best I possibly can in regards to putting the product into the reader's hands without actually doing so. If my reviews help one person, then I accomplished my goal. Helping others is my sole purpose for writing them.
I would also like to add that if anyone out there has any type of question in regards to any of the gear that I have reviewed that I may not have covered in the review itself, please, by all means feel free to contact me via private message. I will be more than happy to answer any questions I possibly can based on my experiences.
I would like to end with a John Muir quote:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
Great job, Rick!
*Besides Trailspace glory, Rick gets a goodie pack with an Ibex Zepher Skull Cap with Trailspace logo, a Trailspace Trail Runner Cap, a Trailspace pint glass (for après-backcountry use), stickers, an array of energy bars from Clif and ProBar to power him down the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, and a Stanley thermos.
Help recognize the best reviews on Trailspace by clicking that "Yes" button after "Was this review helpful?" whenever you read a truly helpful review. You'll not only recognize good reviewers, you'll help highlight the best reviews of a product.
Wondering how you can be as lucky as Rick? Write a great gear review of your own with Trailspace's redesigned and enhanced "write a review" form. Next month someone else will be recognized by the community, and it could be you and your review.