Meet TheRambler, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to community member TheRambler (aka Ken Strayer). Ken's Killer Review of Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Insights Into Hiking and Backpacking by Justin Lichter was voted one of July's most helpful reviews. He wins a Trailspace goodie pack for his efforts.*

Write your own helpful gear review and you might be next month's most helpful reviewer.

TheRambler on the Tunxis Trail, Barkhamstead, Conn. 
(All Photos: Ken Strayer)

Meet TheRambler (Ken)

How did you get started exploring outdoors?

I got started exploring the outdoors when I was a young lad with my neighborhood friend. We had a several thousand acre forest right behind our houses and we would spend countless hour after hour there building forts, catching frogs and snakes, slaying stumps with our bows and .22s and just enjoying the great outdoors and all it had to offer. My love for the outdoors started there and has continued to grow ever since.

What do you enjoy doing outdoors?

I enjoy relaxing. I find the whole experience relaxing. No matter if I am hiking mile after mile, lounging in my hammock, or knee deep in a river fly-fishing, the serenity of it all just completely relaxes me. Just being out there is what it is all about to me, no matter the activity. If I had to pick two activities that I enjoyed the most I would say stump shooting with my bow and fly-fishing.

Why did you want to review Trail Tested, which you did as a member of Trailspace's Review Corps?

On the Nipmuck Trail, Bigelow Hollow State Park, Conn.

As some of you may know, my wife and I just had a baby boy, Aiden, and so my time has been someone limited as actually getting out there the last 13 weeks. I wanted to still find a way to contribute to the community and I felt by reviewing this book it was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Reviewing an outdoor related book was a first for me, but it was definitely a fun and challenging experience that forces you to think outside of the normal gear testing viewpoints.

What are your favorite pieces of outdoor equipment? Why?

My absolute favorite piece of equipment is my hammock, a Warbonnet Blackbird, a very versatile and super comfortable shelter. It takes lounging around camp to a whole new level!

My next favorite piece of gear would have to be my Cammenga compass. It's been with me from early in my military career. I love to veer off the beaten path and really go exploring, and my trusty compass makes that possible.

Tell us about your favorite outdoor destinations.

West Mountain Shelter, Harriman State Park, N.Y.

My favorite destination is anywhere where the crowds are not. I tend to seek out less traveled locales or off-trail peaks, lakes, brooks, etc. It's hard for me to pick an actual specific location.

I enjoy everywhere equally, as long as it's quiet and peaceful. My favorite locations are those near a river or brook, so I can mix in a little fly-fishing, or a nice open meadow or glade where I can shoot my bow a decent distance.

Anything else you'd like to share with the Trailspace community?

I am really looking forward to teaching my son Aiden all about the outdoors. It will be a whole new experience for both of us!


Great job, Ken!

*Besides Trailspace glory and appreciation, Ken gets a goodie pack with a Trailspace Trail Runner Cap, a Trailspace pint glass (for après-backcountry use), a pair of Darn Tough socks, energy bars from Clif and ProBar, and Trailspace stickers.

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 products.

Wondering how you can be as lucky as TheRambler? Write a great gear review of your own with our "write a review" form. Next month the Trailspace community will recognize another reviewer, and it could be you and your gear review.

Filed under: Reviewer of the Month


848 reviewer rep
3,897 forum posts
August 20, 2012 at 12:24 p.m. (EDT)

Good job, Ken! Thanks for writing and sharing your review with us.

1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
August 20, 2012 at 1:48 p.m. (EDT)

Way to go Ken. Well deserving. That review was a very good one(as well as others you have done in the past.)

I am happy to see you get the recognition. 

Good work.

69 reviewer rep
55 forum posts
August 20, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. (EDT)

Good job! Love the dog too!

1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts
August 21, 2012 at 5:53 p.m. (EDT)


I used to love spending childhood Saturday mornings running around in the woods myself, I wish I could go back and do it one more time.

Enjoy the gear & thanks for the review!

Mike G.

775 reviewer rep
2,162 forum posts
August 22, 2012 at 9:47 a.m. (EDT)

great job, Ken! 

9 reviewer rep
119 forum posts
August 22, 2012 at 1:52 p.m. (EDT)

Great job.  Congrats.

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