What does Trailspace mean to you?

The Diverse Trailspace Community.

As a reader and member of Trailspace, you likely have some impressions of our online outdoor community. They may be based on who you are, the fellow members you’ve met in our forums, the gear reviews you’ve consulted, or the articles and blogs you’ve read.

Our goal is for Trailspace to be the most comprehensive, accurate, and helpful community for finding and sharing facts and opinions about gear for human-powered, backcountry recreation.

It may not surprise you to know that the average Trailspace member is a male backpacker and hiker. But, our 13,000+ registered community members are much more diverse than that:

  • Nearly half of you (43%) are paddlers.
  • 1 in 3 of you are climbers.
  • 1 in 5 of you are trail runners.

And every month, a couple hundred more outdoor enthusiasts join our community enriching the already diverse brew of outdoor activities, opinions, and perspectives. We have mountain bikers (29%), snowshoers (28%), and backcountry skiers (14%), plus spelunkers, orienteers, canyoneers, adventure racers, geocachers, and other awesome outdoorsy folks.

Whether you joined us today (welcome!) or back in 2001, what does Trailspace mean to you?

Filed under: Trailspace News


244 reviewer rep
5,429 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 12:31 p.m. (EDT)


I like trailspace for meeting of kindred souls like myself who enjoy the out of doors and getting off on wilderness trips to relieve the mind of its social burdens. I enjoy reading other members trip reports, answering questions about gear, finding out what its like to hike and camp in other places around the country.

3,173 reviewer rep
2,276 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 1:16 p.m. (EDT)

I second most of Gary’s points. I found this place while reviewing gear and became fascinated with the people (whom I’ve consequently met several of on the trail). As compared to modern social media or web forums Trailspace is very slow moving but I rather like that about it; I find the overall culture more deliberate and thoughtful than other places.

I never envisioned myself spending as much on-line time as I have on a gear site (since I don’t consider myself a real gear head---I’m more about the end than the means usually) but that in itself is testament to the uniqueness of the site.

Great community….



1,389 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 3:10 p.m. (EDT)

I've only been participating in Trailspace for just over a month, but I enjoy the feeling that my gear reviews and experience can be of use to someone else.

Admittedly, there are an awful lot of reviews to sift through, and while they are just all someone's anecdotal opinion, I still find them helpful in comparing different brands and models.

I am also impressed with the forums. While the experience and knowledge of the participants varies widely, there seems to be a very real desire to help out new people and share what's been learned. Unlike many on-line forums, the tone is less aggressive and there seems to be a lot less name-calling and flaming than on other sites. I don't know whether it's because the posts are well-moderated or the people are just more polite, but it's a nice change.

As a Canadian, I find that many of the products and topics aren't very relevant, but I expect that holds true of other members from other countries as well. And we all have the opportunity to add new items or topics to the common pool.And besides, I think most of us get outdoors for similar reasons.

All in all, an interesting and sociable place to be, so far.

0 reviewer rep
18 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 4:20 p.m. (EDT)

Once in a blue moon, I am looking for a piece of clothing that I will research on Trailspace, but I mostly enjoy the articles and blogs.  I love hearing about other members' adventures as well as seeing their travel pictures.  The supportive nature of the membership is very nice to witness.

125 reviewer rep
3,496 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 8:19 p.m. (EDT)

Trailspace is a lot like loitering around the trailhead or an outdoor gear store, except you can lounge in your under shorts while jawing with fellow hikers, and take solace that your next meal will not be boiled in a bag.

Trailspace is as much about the outdoor community as it is the gear they use.  There is a maturity to the manner which individuals conduct themselves on this site, but then I would guess the average age of the Trailspace membership is older than other web gathering places.

One thing I realized from this forum is there are regional variances in backcountry craft.  For example tarp camping and alcohol stoves seem relatively popular in the south and east, compared to the Rockies and further west, where we either sleep under the stars or in tents, and where alcohol stoves are rarely sighted.

Another thing I realized is we are confronted with a challenge, regarding the management of parks, forests and associated infrastructure.  There is much debate here and within the outdoor community at large, regarding the basis to fund and budget maintenance of these resources.  I am concerned the lack of consensus in this regard weakens lobbying efforts on our behalf, as opponents seem to have an easier time presenting a united front countering such efforts.

One observation that fascinates me is our obsessions with certain practices.  For example some are ardent multi-tool enthusiasts, who sound like they would feel naked without their trusty tool, while I get by with a fairly basic Swiss army knife most of the time.  Some swear nothing less than Hilleberg tents will do, while others wax fondly of virtues regarding UL tarps; I am usually somewhere in the middle.  Some ardently treat drinking water, even in locations where it is unnecessary; I have rarely treated drinking water in my hundreds of days spent in the backcountry, and have never been ill affected.  On the other hand I insist on cooking outside my tent, no matter what the weather is doing, while others think I over obsess on this matter.  And then there is the trekking pole vs walking staff factions.  One of the more curious obsessions I have noticed is a preoccupation with bears; but I wonder how much both this and the water treatment issues are driven by Madison Avenue and businesses that profit selling gadgets and merchandise to address these concerns.  It seems to me yellow jacket attacks and dysentery driven by poor personal hygiene (versus contaminated water) are both more pressing issues.  Perhaps the fact that both wasps and hygiene can be managed at little or no cost has something to do with industry’s and our preoccupation over pepper spray and filters.


Oldman Mike
594 reviewer rep
183 forum posts
March 30, 2012 at 10:14 p.m. (EDT)

This site has saved me money and gave me a little know how for hiking and keeping it safe.  The water issue still has me wondering if I should only carry it, filter and treat or like whomeworry just drink it.  I have to say I have enjoyed cool Colorado water at 7000 feet, and I didn't get sick, but I was younger and had not much understanding of what could happen.  We all take risk on the trails, but with this site everyone shares experiences that others can learn from.  My weakness are many, but everyone helps you with questions and if others start getting mad at each other, someone always stops the disagreement.  I started here looking for a backpack, I couldn't believe how much information was given to me, and how everyone help.  I go through life trying to learn something every day.  Trailspace.com is one of the places I go to learn something new.

9 reviewer rep
119 forum posts
March 31, 2012 at 7:47 p.m. (EDT)

TS to me has become a valuable resource of gear and outdoor locations.  More importantly, its become a nice escape from the everyday grind.  How many times I'd sit in my office at work only to dream about going for a hike that very minute to the top of a mountain.  Or perhaps a nice trail run through the woods.  The people here are truly fantastic and highly informed on gear, tips and the outdoors.  Excellent site. 

Seth Levy (Seth)
640 reviewer rep
1,184 forum posts
April 1, 2012 at 1:42 p.m. (EDT)

A few years ago, when I decided to ride my bike to Mt. Washington and hike to the top to celebrate my birthday, my friends accused me of "self destructive" behavior.  My Trailspace friends did not.  When I arrived at Mt. Washington, after a 90+ mile ride, I saw Dave and Alicia, who had just wrapped up a 28 mile White Mountain Traverse. It's easy to forget that many people consider our passions "marginal" and (often unintentionally) demotivate us in our pursuit of exploration.  To find a community that encourages me to push harder and see more is an incredible gift.

290 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
April 1, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

A good resource for trading information and reviews.

denis daly
273 reviewer rep
1,960 forum posts
April 1, 2012 at 2:44 p.m. (EDT)

A place of unique individuals who share and support the outdoors. People who share infomation for the betterment of your skill set..

1,649 reviewer rep
76 forum posts
April 1, 2012 at 9:08 p.m. (EDT)

Trailspace means the space that you have on the trail.... Duh.  That's what Trailspace means to me.  It's so simple.  Just kidding, Happy April Fools Day!

27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts
April 2, 2012 at 10:04 p.m. (EDT)

When I first signed up for trail space I was looking for a community of hikers in the South East who I could communicate with, gain/share information and make new friends.

What I have realized about Trailspace though, is that it's core function is to increase knowledge and spread experiences with gear. For me trailspace is now a place for me to gear-out. I would like to write trip reports that focus on the performance of gear in the field and also comment on threads with the sole purpose to spread gear knowledge.

Trailspace is a great place to talk to people, make new friends, plan an adventure and just have fun, but for me trailspace is becoming all about the gear.

0 reviewer rep
915 forum posts
April 8, 2012 at 10:36 p.m. (EDT)

I like trailspace because of the people.  People with experience and knowledge that are willing to share. People who are willing to help. People who can criticize without flaming. People who are interesting and fun to talk to.  People who are from all walks of life who don't care where you are from.

0 reviewer rep
91 forum posts
April 9, 2012 at 12:32 a.m. (EDT)

what i most enjoy about trail space is having an adventure from my office or easy chair. i am much inspired by the trips of others here and enjoy hearing of adventures the like of which i will never have myself, Karen's current trip being a good example of that.

i stumbled onto trail space while researching gear, what has kept me coming back is the great knowledge base. i am just cutting my teeth in anticipation of some fall/winter trips into N. Ga, E. Tn and N.Carolina. i have solicited advice from 2 or 3 folks who are regular posters here and received a great deal of help from them all and it is very much appreciated.

i have all kinds of interest from scuba to motorcycles and from farming and tractors, to ATV's and my biggest hobby, my grandchildren. as a result i have been on many forums full of copy and paste experts, so far ive seen none of that on trail space and that to is much appreciated.

as for me i have very little if anything to contribute here but out of respect and appreciation for the help i have received here i pledge to pass on what i learn here to another so they to may benefit from the knowledge here VS the trail and error method.

sincere thanks to all.



612 reviewer rep
1,523 forum posts
April 9, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. (EDT)

It is hard to quantify what Trail Space means to me. I am not an experienced hiker who can tell you about all my gear. But I sure enjoy reading the stuff those of you who ARE quite experienced can tell me. And it has helped me more than any of you know. My biggest worry going to Everest was my feet. Ya'll gave me what I needed to know to end the problems and my feet never let me down once on that trek. I have met OGBO and Bheiser1. They are great people and enriched my trek experience just by getting to know them and meet them in person. I am done with my trek....but not with trailspace!!!!

0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
April 10, 2012 at 7:28 p.m. (EDT)

Mumblefords said:

When I first signed up for trail space I was looking for a community of hikers in the South East who I could communicate with, gain/share information and make new friends.

What I have realized about Trailspace though, is that it's core function is to increase knowledge and spread experiences with gear. For me trailspace is now a place for me to gear-out. I would like to write trip reports that focus on the performance of gear in the field and also comment on threads with the sole purpose to spread gear knowledge.

Trailspace is a great place to talk to people, make new friends, plan an adventure and just have fun, but for me trailspace is becoming all about the gear.

For a man child who slings gear for a living and is a notorious gear junkie don't sell yourself short for living in a former Penal Colony of France. NOLA is a wonderful place to test survival skills in a modernish environment. How to keep your bike from being stolen, to keeping cool in the event of an air-condition failing, and last but not least the lessons learned post Katrina of loving life when misery covers the landscape like dew at dawn. Overcoming the trials of life, love, thirst, and hunger could be the link that keeps a Community like Trailspace together. Gear certainly makes it easier, but costlier to a degree. Yet, good, nay great advice that the veterans of experience provide here without motives other than good will; gives me the confidence in advancing my humble collection of possessions. My grandfather quoted Lenin once and said that, "Quantity has its own Quality." Although, inversely quality is its own quantity, and I'd rather purchase something once of true quality and use it as frequently as possible for a reasonable period of time for a price. In my opinion that's a value. Trailspace certainly gives me the opportunity to weigh my options with whatever I want/need. I expect to hear your mumbles for a few years, and I would respect them for what it's worth. Thanks for the sounding-board y'all!

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