Joseph Renow (jrenow)

Reviewer of the Month: September 2013

1,679 reviewer rep
694 forum posts
joined Aug 8, 2013

Full Name: Joseph Renow
42-year-old man
Occupation: Adjunct Professor
Email: private



I would describe myself as someone who likes to go to remote places and stay there for days...sometimes weeks at a time...but far more of the former than the latter. Typically my adventures involve a backpack…a bike...a kayak…or a canoe…but I sometimes stay in one place and focus on an activity like fishing. I would say I have a lot of solo backpacking and paddling experience…but this is due to the fact that I like to sleep outdoors more than most of my friends...not because I fancy myself a soloist.


My general philosophy is less work and less cost equals better...but I recognize that on some occasions high cost and high skill can be worth it. I also like to keep things light...but I am not a half toothbrush and polycro-tarp kinda guy...I usually carry a pillow and fresh food...I go light to increase comfort and simplify...not to reach a number. 

Big Closet

I do not consider myself a gear-head...but over the years I have (self-consciously) accumulated a lot of stuff. When considering new gear I always try to think big picture...what additional capacity does the item add? synergistic is it with the gear I already have?...can I eliminate something else?


Though I have slept outdoors in many places…I very much have what I would call a home-region. Familiar terrain for me stretches roughly from Missouri in the West + Tennessee in the South + Virginia in the East + Wisconsin in the North. Though not perfectly accurate...I would say I primarily spend my time in and around heavy woodland. For me...trees and water tend to be readily available and plentiful...but so much so...that they can become serious problems.

Finally...I really do not like to sleep outdoors when the temp is below least not without an external heat-source. I still know a lot about cold weather...but not the snow-cover for months at a time and 20-30 degrees below freezing expertise is more in the area of near freezing sleet with high for me fleece is still cool.