Frequently Asked Questions
- Help! I need instructions / poles / replacement parts.
- How can I review a product that isn't listed on the site?
- I’m going on a day hike, what should I bring?
- I’m just getting into hiking / backpacking / climbing. What do I need to know?
- So what’s the best tent / sleeping bag / backpack?
- Should I seam seal my tent?
- Where can I camp while backpacking?
- My group needs outdoor gear for an upcoming trip. Will Trailspace donate camping or hiking equipment?
- Will Trailspace sponsor my charity expedition or trip?
- I’m looking for a hard-to-find or discontinued product. How can I find it?
Trailspace does not make or sell any of the products that are reviewed on our website and we cannot provide instructions, parts, or services for any products featured on our website.
First, find the manufacturer of your tent (or other equipment) in Trailspace's directory of gear brands, which lists contact information for more than 500 outdoor companies. Then contact the company's customer service department directly to inquire about missing pieces or instructions, broken parts, or warranties.
Some big box tent brands are manufactured by several different companies. Look on your tent's manual, the tag on the inside of the tent, and/or its stuff sack for product information. Then contact the specific manufacturer of your product.
- Herman Survivor boots are sold by Wal-Mart (1-800-WALMART).
- Hillary tents are made for Sears by at least three companies: Wenzel (1-800-325-TENT), NorthPole USA (1-800-366-1599, email@example.com), and Sunk Yung (1-800-441-7489). Your Hillary tent may be made by another company.
- NorthPole USA (1-800-366-1599), the largest tent manufacturer in the world, manufactures tents for a variety of brands (including Northwest Territory and Ozark Trail). However, not every tent sold under these brands is made by NorthPole. If a tent is a NorthPole tent, its manual, the tag on the inside of the tent, and its carry bag will indicate it is a NorthPole product.
- Northwest Territory tents are sold by Kmart (1-866-KMART-4U) and Sears (1-800-549-4505) and manufactured and serviced by several tent manufacturers.
- Ozark Trail tents are sold by Wal-Mart (1-800-WALMART) and manufactured and serviced by several tent manufacturers.
- List of all brands
You can review any piece of outdoor gear -- whether or not it's already on Trailspace -- from the Write a Review page.
The review form is accessible by clicking "Gear Reviews" at the top of any page on the site, and then clicking "Write a Review" in the upper-right corner of the Gear Reviews main page (or any other page in the Gear Reviews section).
First read The 10 Essentials for a list of outdoor gear you should take along on all hikes, whether into the backcountry or around your local state park. A comprehensive hiking or backpacking gear list depends on many factors (season, climate, terrain, activities) though. If going on an organized hike, check with your guide or trip leader for a suggested gear list.
Here’s your assignment (don’t worry, it’s enjoyable): read the following two books.
The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins
Many call it the hiker’s bible. Now in its fourth update since Fletcher’s 1968 original, it covers everything from “why walk?” to trip planning, hiking and camping equipment and clothing, wildlife, repairs in the field, and dangers (real and imagined).
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills published by The Mountaineers
With sections on belaying, leading on rock, and glacier travel, this one is the climber’s bible. But, it also has extensive information on backcountry travel and gear, navigation, camping and food, first aid, geology, and even group leadership and decision-making.
Well, it depends. Sure, a four-season tent might be considered “the best” in an Arctic wind, but would you want to sleep inside it during the heat and humidity of summer? And that new breathable soft shell might be unbeatable when you’re skiing powder, but what’s going to keep you dry on your four-day trek in the rainy Pacific Northwest? Ultimately, even the highest quality products are only “best” when matched to the use for which they were designed.
Be realistic about what you need gear for and how you intend to use it. Then consider factors like the product’s capabilities (what it’s designed for), quality of the product and brand (read the gear reviews), your own personal preferences (are you an ultralight fastpacker? a cold sleeper?), and whenever appropriate a good fit.
Yes. Seam sealing will help keep moisture from rain and dew outside. Some tents come with factory-taped seams. Although they offer more protection than unsealed seams, these should still be seam sealed for maximum waterproofness. Be sure to follow carefully both the tent manufacturer and seam sealer’s instructions and have adequate ventilation during the sealing process. Depending on how often you use your tent and the quality of your seam sealer, you may want to repeat this process yearly.
While different areas have their own regulations and special concerns, generally, it’s best if you camp on durable surfaces, like designated campsites, rocks, gravel, dry grasses, or snow (when safe). Never alter a site to make a campsite. Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
You are responsible for knowing and adhering to all regulations for the area you’re visiting. For a review of the basic principles of Leave No Trace practices read our LNT primer.
My group needs outdoor gear for an upcoming trip. Will Trailspace donate camping or hiking equipment?
Trailspace.com is not an outdoor retailer or vendor and does not make or sell any of the gear featured on our website. Therefore we cannot provide you or your group with gear. We don’t have any.
Sorry, but no. Your efforts may be very worthy and extraordinary, but due to the number of such requests we receive, we're unable to sponsor individual expeditions and trips. Instead we give back by donating funds to a variety of environmental organizations.
To find a specific product, first explore Trailspace’s Outdoor Gear Reviews by gear type (i.e. clothing and outerwear) or brand name, or use the search box at the top right of each page to search for the item you want and see if any retailers are selling it as a closeout. If none, check out the Trailspace Classifieds, a free forum that matches individual buyers and sellers of used outdoor gear.