Meet Tamerlin, one of January's most helpful reviewers

Congratulations to community members Tamerlin and Patman, authors of the most helpful gear reviews for January.

Tamerlin (aka Rakesh) and Patman (aka Patrick) are our first community members awarded this new monthly recognition: Patman for his review of his Big Anges Fly Creek UL2 tent and Tamerlin for his review of his McHale Super Critical Mass II pack. Both win a Trailspace goodie pack.*

Congratulations, Tamerlin and Patman!

We met Patman in an earlier blog. Now let's meet Tamerlin.

Meet Tamerlin

Tamerlin on location
Tamerlin on location

When and how did you get interested in going outside?

I've been interested for pretty much my entire life, but took a hiatus from it when I went to college and then built a career in IT, which was a mistake. I should have stuck with the outdoor thing instead.

What role does photography play in your interest in going outside?

My photography is both a motivator and a facilitator. Because I am photographing what I love, marketing my work successfully allows me to get out more, while at the same time in order to produce more work, photography forces me to get out more.

How much photography equipment do you carry on your hikes? How do you pack light enough to have the space for all of it?

I generally carry a mirrorless system camera (Sony Nex) or a small dSLR (Sony Alpha a77) with a fairly Spartan lens selection, an Arca-Swiss monorail with 3 lenses, an ultralight Gitzo tripod, a linear polarizer and an ND graduated filter along with a Lee filter holder system, Sekonic digital light meter with a 1-degree spot meter, a focusing cloth, and a pack of 4 lightweight film holders. On longer trips, I add a film changing bag, extra boxes of film, and a few boxes to put the exposed sheets of film in.
In order to make room for everything, I've trimmed my photo gear; I use mainly zoom lenses for my digital, and both my digital and my 4x5 share a tripod. I use a very small Arca-Swiss ballhead with a quick-release clamp.
For the camping side of things, I use ultralight gear wherever I can. That includes floorless shelters when bugs aren't an issue, an alcohol stove for three-season camping, and a small wood stove for when wood is available and there are no burn or harvesting bans. Having a very large pack helps to carry all of the gear, of course!

Why were you motivated to review your McHale Super Critical Mass II pack?

It's one of the pieces of gear that has not only done its job excellently, but also plays a part in almost all of my journeys, in all seasons and all weather.

What are some of your other favorite pieces of equipment?

My MLD Spirit Quilt has been similarly successful, though it's not warm enough for winter use. Outside of camping in sub-freezing temperatures however, it's a wonderful quilt, and I'll probably write a review of it soon.
Another I'm becoming partial to is my MSR Twin Sisters for winter camping, though I haven't used it enough to write a review of it yet. For 3-season camping, I've been very happy with my HMG Echo II system.

What is one of your favorite outdoors destinations?

It would be difficult to choose between Mount Rainier and the Glacier Peak Wilderness of the places I've been in so far.

Great job, Tamerlin!

Besides Trailspace glory, and Tamerlin Patman each will get a goodie pack with an Ibex Zepher Skull Cap with Trailspace logo, a Trailspace Trail Runner Cap, a Trailspace pint glass (for après-backcountry use), stickers, an array of energy bars, and whatever else we dig out of our box of gear swag.

Wondering how you can be so lucky? Each month Trailspace will recognize the member(s) who wrote the review(s) rated most helpful by community members over the previous month.

Be inspired by these reviewers and write a great review of your own gear. Next month someone else will be recognized by the community, and it could be you.

Filed under: Reviewer of the Month


Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
February 13, 2012 at 1:13 p.m. (EST)

Congratulations, Tamerlin. I can't wait to read some more of your reviews.

1,711 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 13, 2012 at 1:16 p.m. (EST)


I really enjoyed your review on your McHale. I found it to be well written and very informative. 

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us. 

Very good job. I look forward to your future reviews(and photos:) as well. 

Congrats on the schwag.

Happy hiking-Rick

775 reviewer rep
2,162 forum posts
February 13, 2012 at 2:42 p.m. (EST)

Great stuff, Tamerlin. Congrats on the recognition! 

280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
February 15, 2012 at 6:19 p.m. (EST)

I like reviews

Seth Levy (Seth)
625 reviewer rep
1,178 forum posts
February 16, 2012 at 9:14 a.m. (EST)

Hi Tamerlin - I'd love to see more of your pictures too!

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