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Meet D&G in the Smokys

We're recognizing Trailspace's outstanding reviewers and community members as part of our 20,000 Reviews Contest.

Today we meet D&G in the Smokys from Tennessee. DJ (he's the D in D&G; G is fiancée Gretchen) was rated one of the top two helpful reviewers during the contest period (we'll meet the other tomorrow).

Here's a little about DJ, in his own words.

Activities: I mostly enjoy hiking and camping. Typically on a regular day hike, I just start driving and when I see a trailhead I have never taken, that's the one I try to take. The thing that makes it enjoyable is that my fiancée enjoys it just as much as I do!

In the past I have been into mountain biking and plan to get back into that in the near future as there are many good places near Knoxville, Tenn., for such thing. Also, I have gained an interest in trail running and am looking forward to doing that, just wonder how different that is from running my 10Ks!

Trails: I don't have a particular favorite trail, but just like being on one. I have done all of my hiking in the Tennessee and North Carolina area, but I would like to make my way around the country and try to hit as many trails (short or long) as possible.

Background: I grew up in Longmont, Colo., and could see the mountains from my bedroom window, but I had never gotten into the outdoors that much when I was that age (11 years old).

Fast forward...I joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school and that took me to Chicago, Ill., Charleston, S.C., and Virginia Beach, Va. I was in the nuclear propulsion program as a Reactor Operator. Eventually I decided I wanted to find somewhere to plant my roots and I found a job in Tennessee working with TVA as a Senior Reactor Operator. 

I started to carpool with a guy in my class that had been hiking and camping for more than 20 years, and he got me really interested in the idea. So I started doing a lot of reading and learning about hiking and camping, and after doing so for about a year found Trailspace. 

Gear Reviews: While accumulating my gear I learned a lot of things about the equipment that is out there, and also learned what type of reviews were actually helpful for my selection of the gear I have purchased. I had seen some reviews that weren't all that helpful unless you want to know if someone thought something was "cool." So I made it a personal goal that if I was going to review a product I would try to give the best idea of how I used it and what kind of abuse I put it through, pros/ know the stuff that makes a "good review"! 

This has also led to me becoming a gear junkie. I have purchased some items solely because I thought they looked cool. While some have turned out to be useful, others have turned out to be "just cool to have." I am just glad that the users here have found my reviews helpful. Goal accomplished. Thank you, voters!

Other: I also play electric and acoustic guitar and the bass guitar and work on old cars. I used to do lots of wakeboarding when I lived in South Carolina, but haven't since I moved to Tennessee.


Great job, DJ! For his efforts, DJ will receive:

  • DJ's gear loot

    Nikwax cleaning and maintenance products to keep his gear in top shape,

  • a CamelBak Groove bottle with carbon filter,
  • Clif bars for his and Gretchen's hikes,
  • a Leave No Trace awareness book and hangtags,
  • Trailspace hats and stickers,
  • and a $25 gift certificate to REI to buy more gear for his adventures.

Congratulations, DJ!

Thanks to Nikwax, CamelBak, Clif, and Leave No Trace for donating the prizes.


Congratulations D&G (to D...and G that is) I hope you both have a wonderful life full of adventure together!

Thanks Trout!  Starting off great so far!

I really like that D&G are a couple who obviously enjoy doing stuff together outdoors. You guys always look so happy together outside.

That's awesome!

We have found that being outdoors together really helps us focus on enjoying each other's company without the distractions of everyday life and enjoying the great outdoors at the same time!

Well said D. Congrats to you both!

Way to go D&G!

Thanks guys!  And Congrats to you too Xterro!

I love the Smokys!

Your waterfall picture reminds me of Mingo Falls on the Cherokee reserve side of the mountains...I was there 5 years ago.

You 2 keep up the passion! 

love life

love another

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