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Trailspace Blog

Congratulations, King Thurber, Cascade Designs gear winner

Congratulations to King Thurber, a hiker and musician from Utah, and Trailspace's winner of a Cascade Designs backpacking setup—Therm-a-Rest sleep system, MSR shelter and stove, Platypus filter, and PackTowl ($1200 value). Meet him in our profile.

Top 12 Outdoor Gear Reviews of 2021

From shelter to stove accessories, a purifier to a pillow, even an umbrella—here are our Top 12 reviews of 2021. Out of 700 published by community members last year, these outstanding 12 were rated the most helpful and informative.

Congratulations, Top 25 Reviewers of 2021

Congratulations to Trailspace's Top 25 Reviewers of 2021! Collectively this exceptional group, from around the world, contributed 217 gear reviews to the Trailspace community and helped countless others gear up and get outside.

Shout it Out for Your Favorite Gear

Give a shout-out to your gear and help others get outside, simply by sharing a review. Whether on an epic thru hike or a morning snowshoe, telling others how your gear fared helps individuals of all experience levels and backgrounds access the outdoors safely.

Congratulations, Matt, Rab Jackets Winner

Congratulations to Matt, a backpacker and gear reviewer from Pennsylvania, and Trailspace's winner of two warm, sustainable Rab insulated jackets for winter ($480 value).

2021 National Outdoor Book Award Winners

Bicycling with monarchs. Skiing across Northwest Canada. The packraft handbook. Working in a fire lookout tower. The 2021 National Outdoor Book Award winners have been announced. Find a new read for yourself or a friend.

Congratulations, Mike, Kora Wool Winner

Congratulations to Mike (bigskyrunner) of Montana, winner of a Kora activewear prize, including a range of ethically-sourced, yak and merino wool mid and base layers worth $660.

Top-Rated Four-Season Shelters

Planning winter camping, climbing, or skiing overnights? Don't get left out in the cold. Check out the four-season shelters recommended by fellow community members. (Photo by Stephen C of his Hilleberg Nammatj 3 GT)

Get Cozy: It's Officially Fleece Season

Actually, fleece is always in season. Jacket or vest, plush or stretchy, new, recycled, or vintage, you probably have favorites for outdoors and everyday. We want to hear about them! Tell us in some gear reviews and share your recommendations.

Light Things Up: the Best Lamps and Lanterns

Notice it getting dark earlier and earlier (if you're in the northern hemisphere)? How are you lighting up the trail or campsite? Tell us in a gear review, or read recommendations from fellow community members. (sweet photo by member Vladimir G)

Congratulations, Denis, Primus Camp Cooking Winner

Congratulations to Denis Daly of Virginia, winner of a Primus Campground Cooking Package worth $350, including a camping stove, pot, frying pan, and cutting set.

Top Gear for Your Top Doggo

Dogs are hikers, campers, runners, and paddlers too! Make sure your pooch is prepared for outdoor adventures. Check out top-rated dog gear from Ruffwear, Kurgo, Mountainsmith, Ollydog, Voyagers K9, and more—all reviewed by Trailspace community members, like you.

Stay Dry and Outside this Spring

Be prepared for April showers—or deluges—with a trustworthy rain shell for your adventures. Check out top-rated waterproof jackets from Arc'teryx, Columbia, Marmot, Outdoor Research, and more—all reviewed by Trailspace community members, like you!

Find Your 2021 Backcountry Shelter

Planning any outdoor trips this spring or summer? Be prepared with a dependable shelter. Check out the best three-season tents—MSR, Big Agnes, Marmot, Eureka, Hilleberg, and more—reviewed by Trailspace community members, like you!

What Gear Do You Love?

Whether it’s your first review or fortieth, we want to hear your individual experiences with the gear, clothing, and footwear that gets you outside. No matter your experience level—first-timer or expert—you have something unique to contribute, and can help others access the outdoors safely and comfortably. Let's hear about your gear!

Trailspace Names Top 25 Reviewers of 2020

Congratulations to Trailspace's Top 25 Reviewers! Despite the challenges of 2020, they contributed 226 informative gear reviews (backpacks, stoves, puffy jackets, and more), from around the world, and helped countless others gear up and get outside.

How to Build a Community Gear Lending Library

If folks in your community lack the gear to go hiking or camping, consider starting a gear lending library. We got advice from the experts on gearing one up for long-term success.

How to Get Outside and Recreate Responsibly this Winter

Whether we're expert skiers, avid winter campers, or new trail runners, it's in our best interests to help mountains and trails stay open, and to keep our communities safe. To recreate responsibly, consider the following before heading out this winter.

Gear Libraries Increase Outdoor Access, Equity, and Adventure

The cost of outdoor equipment is one of the top reasons people say they don't get outside. Gear libraries that share tents, stoves, sleeping bags, and skills help make the outdoors more accessible and equitable for all.

Winners of the 2020 National Outdoor Book Awards Announced

Need new reading material? Holiday gifts? The 2020 National Outdoor Book Award winners include books on a variety of topics—eels, polar expeditions, kayaking, foraging, crack climbing, the greatest mountain trails, and more.

The Outdoor Guide to Wearing Face Masks Hiking, Running, on the Trail

Face masks are the surprise essential gear trend of 2020, and outdoor brands have stepped up with a variety of options, whether we're prepping for a trip to the store or a trip to the mountains. From high-tech performance masks to made in America to ones that give back, check out our guide.

How to Gain Outdoor Skills through Online Education During COVID-19

While many outdoor trips and trainings have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, here are resources for online outdoor instruction—trip prep, navigation, LNT, survival, photography, avalanche awareness, knots, and more—that you can access anywhere, anytime.

The Privilege of Nature: Diversity, Inclusivity, and Being an Outdoor Ally

For many, the outdoors is a refuge. I'd like to think that on the trail and in the mountains I escape politics and worldly concerns, and we're all equal. But that's untrue, naive, and privileged. As my country confronts its racism, I'm also doing so personally and professionally, and I encourage our outdoor community to do the same.

How to Support the Great Outdoors while Stuck Indoors: Become an Outdoor Advocate

Despite the pandemic shutdown, we can remain connected to the outdoors we love to hike, run, ski, climb, and paddle. Here are some ways to get involved, stay engaged, and become an outdoor advocate, even if you're stuck inside.

Great Outdoor Reads for Armchair Adventurers

Books bring us closer to people, to nature, to the outdoors. While we adventure at home, our community members are sharing their favorite outdoor reads—adventure and survival tales, memoirs, history, how-to's, and more. Check out their suggestions; then add your own.

Share Your "Trailspace in the Backyard" Pics

While we typically have a "Trailspace on the Trail" forum, now's a great time to share pictures of "Trailspace at Home" or "Trailspace in the Backyard" while we focus on staying at home and sticking to local, shorter, socially-distant adventures. Here's my contribution, from the northeast corner of my Maine backyard. Share yours.

Outdoors in the Time of the Coronavirus

Amid the more immediate and severe concerns about public health during COVID-19, you may be wondering if you can still go outside. We've compiled some recommendations and updates on getting outdoors, plus effects on the outdoor industry, including Trailspace.

Packs to Potty Trowels: Presenting the Top 16 Gear Reviews of 2019

From the expected—trail footwear, packs, shelters, and a quilt—to the not-so-expected—corn chowder, an umbrella, bungees, and a potty trowel—here are our Top 16 gear reviews of 2019.

Trailspace Names Top 25 Reviewers of 2019

Congratulation to Trailspace's top gear reviewers of 2019! These 25 individuals were the ones most recognized by fellow community members for helpful, informative, real-world reviews. As a thank-you each winner will receive a special-edition prize from Soto.

Congratulations, Brian, Our Hults Bruk and Nordic Pocket Saw Winner

Congratulations to Brian Dailey of Georgia and his outdoors-loving family, winners of a handcrafted Hults Bruk Jonaker hatchet and a Premium Nordic Pocket Saw ($250 value). Meet Brian in the blog.

Congratulations, Peter, Helle Wabakimi and Kupilka Winner

Congratulations to Peter Himmelman of Nova Scotia, Canada, winner of a Helle Wabakimi knife designed by "Survivorman" Les Stroud, plus a sustainably-produced Kupilka FireSteel 8 ($200+ value).

Congratulations, Bob, Winner of a Hults Bruk Axe

Congratulations to Bob Peltzer from Ontario, Canada, winner of a hand-forged Akka axe plus grinding stone, thanks to Hults Bruk, the oldest active axe maker in the world ($200+ value). Meet Bob.

"Down the rabbit hole" with Lori, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Lori Lindsey of Tennessee, our newest Reviewer of the Month! Lori is a hiker, hammock camper, and photographer, and wins more than $300 worth of gear in thanks for her contributions.

Congratulations, Seth and Maine Coast Heritage Trust

For the past decade, Seth Levy has supported Trailspace and our outdoor community in a variety of evolving ways. This month Seth moves on to become the Donor Engagement Officer at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and we'll miss him.

Outdoor Insiders' Top 10 Tips for Standout Gear Reviews

What makes a product review valuable and trustworthy? We've been asking community members, reviewers, and outdoor industry professionals to share their insights. Here's what we learned.

Congratulations, Kevin David, $700 Leatherman Winner

Congratulations to Kevin from Washington, winner of a Leatherman Free P4 one-handed multi-tool, Signal multi-tool, and Tread Tempo LT multi-tool watch, thanks to Leatherman ($700 value).

"Adventures can be found in many ways"—Oliver, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Oliver, a long distance hiker, Forest School teacher, stove and bushcraft enthusiast, and our Reviewer of the Month! Oliver lives in England and wins more than $360 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

Meet Wade: "Paddle Fanatic," Landscape Photographer, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Wade, an avid paddler and landscape photographer and our newest Reviewer of the Month! Wade lives in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada foothills and wins more than $360 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

Congratulations, Tyler our Sierra Designs Gear Winner

Congratulations to Tyler from Pennsylvania, winner of a Sierra Designs Studio 2 three-season tent and a 35-degree Nitro 800 down quilt, thanks to Sierra Designs ($600 value).

Congratulations, Trailspace's Annual Top Reviewers

Every day our members help make Trailspace the best outdoor gear community around. In thanks for their helpful, informative, real-world gear reviews, we're sending each of our top 25 reviewers of 2018 a special-edition, Trailspace Top Reviewer Bindle Bottle. Thank you, all!

"I just like to be outside"—Jim, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Jim McCann of New Hampshire, our Reviewer of the Month. A skier, mountain and fat biker, and fly fisherman, Jim wins more than $360 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

Meet Teri: Section Hiker, Biker, Skier, Sunscreen Wearer, and Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Teri Anderson of Gilbert, Arizona, our newest Reviewer of the Month! A section hiker, mountain biker, paddler, skier, and more, she wins more than $300 worth of gear in thanks for her contributions.

Congratulations, Zalman, Our MSR Winter Gear Winner

Congratulations to Zalman from Portland, Ore., winner of an MSR Evo Snowshoe Kit, WindBurner Duo stove, and Operator snow shovel, thanks to MSR ($450 value).

Meet Phil: New England Hiker, Snowshoer, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Phil Smith of Jackman, Maine, our newest Reviewer of the Month! A hiker, snowshoer, and peak bagger, he wins more than $300 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

"The more we discuss, the better the gear will get." Meet David, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to David Eckel of Ottawa, Ontario, our newest Reviewer of the Month! A cyclist, skier, and canoeist, he wins more than $300 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

Where'd You Get That Gear? Identifying Incentivized Reviews

In addition to knowing how a piece of gear has been used, we at Trailspace think knowing how a reviewer got that gear is important too. So, here's what we're doing.

Soaking up Challenge and Companionship: Meet Bruce, Reviewer of the Month

Congratulations to Bruce Etter of Pennsylvania, our newest Reviewer of the Month! An AT and PCT thru-hiker, climber, and cyclist, he wins more than $300 worth of gear in thanks for his contributions.

Member Feedback: What makes you trust a review?

What makes you trust a review? What makes you value a review? We want to hear our community members' thoughts on the info and opinions they find most useful when considering new gear.

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