Meet our Backcountry Gear Haiku Winners — Worth $500 to

With poetic odes to sleeping bags and stoves, climbing helmets and kid carriers, pee bottles and wet wipes, the nearly 400 entries in our Backcountry Gear Haiku Contest mined the depths of outdoor gear tributes and trials. But only three backcountry gear haiku could be contest winners.

We've tallied the votes of our seven outdoor judges, and are pleased to announce the top three winners, selected from 11 community-ranked finalists

For their haiku on a homey tent, bear spray antics, and a save by a belayer's climbing rope, the winners receive $500 in gift certificates to ($300, $150, and $50 respectively), plus Trailspace swag and poetic glory.

Let's meet our Backcountry Gear Haiku winners.

First Place: "Ode to My Tent" by doggymcnuggets (Eric Kennedy)

Dawn...woods come to life

I lie in my tent silent

Home away from home

About Eric/doggymcnuggets:

I'm 43 and I live in Bedford, Ind. I am happily married to Lori and the father of two beautiful kids, James (7) and Ellie (3), and I work as a pastor. I love the outdoors and my favorite pastimes include kayaking, fishing, kayak fishing, hiking, and camping.

These days our family frequently visits the different Indiana state parks locally, which offer great kid-friendly hiking, caving, and camping opportunities. I've been lucky enough over the years to see and explore beautiful locations including the U.S. and Canadian Rockies, Acadia NP, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Arches NP, Dry Tortugas NP, Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, Outer Banks, Yellowstone NP, Abergris Cay, Belize, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and others. 

I never cease to be amazed by the beauty all around us and given the chance I want to see it firsthand!

I've been a member of Trailspace for about three years, since discovering it while gear shopping and looking for reviews. It is a wealth of information and I visit the site almost daily. I plan to use my haiku prize money to buy rappelling gear (my latest interest), so I'll be studying up on Trailspace in the meantime before jumping off of our local Indiana limestone bluffs!

Thanks to everyone who liked the haiku and to the judges who chose it — I feel totally unworthy, but totally grateful!

Congratulations, Eric! You win $300 to

Second Place: "Deadly Encounter" by Westbrook0 (Grant)

Footsteps crashing down

Bear spray whipped out from my pack

Squirrel makes me clown

About Grant/Westbrook0

I am actually a couple of weeks away from moving to the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. I'm going to be living in a cabin there at the base of the mountains — a dream come true for anyone who loves the outdoors. I can't wait to start exploring! 

I love all the stereotypical or iconic national parks, but my favorite places to go are beautiful parks that are a bit lesser known. Places like Buffalo National River in Arkansas, Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico and Dixie National Forest in Utah. They are every bit as beautiful but you can still find places all to yourself.

I love any and every type of gear: Marmot, Patagonia, North Face, etc. But if I had to choose just one item as my favorite it would be Osprey packs. They are built really well, tough and comfortable. I found Trailspace on Facebook and I'm excited to get into it more in-depth — it seems like a great community. If anyone knows of any excellent hikes in the White Mountain National Forest area I would love to hear about them.

I'm really excited now. I can't wait to get on and start browsing through things I might want. I do that all the time anyway, but now I have a more legitimate reason.

Congratulations, Grant! You win $150 to

Third Place: "I love belayers" by iClimb (Rick)

Falling through nothing

Memories and Regrets now

SNAP breathe Welcome Back

Meet Rick/iClimb

I have been hiking, camping, and active in the outdoors since childhood. I took a hiatus from my outdoor activity for a few years at the end of high school and during my undergraduate college years as I focused on competitive basketball and academics. 

I have been back into my hiking lifestyle for about three years, and have also started my love affair with mountaineering. I have taken courses in basic mountaineering and Mt. Rainier prep, and I'm currently training and learning to improve my rock climbing abilities. I also plan to take an ice climbing course this coming winter to square away a solid overall education that will allow me to be an independent climber without the need of guide services.

My father-in-law has taught me a great deal due to his 30+ years of experience, and we have a three-year plan together to climb Mt. Denali, route not yet chosen.

My current playground is the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which has trained some incredible, professional climbers to climb all over the world. Minus the altitude, the Whites can prepare you for anywhere in the world with its technical climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and weather. I'm hoping it does the same for me.

I am definitely a gear head, but also a bargain shopper. I love finding products that have low prices that can do as good of a job as their counterparts that cost much much more. This requires a fair amount of testing my gear, and sometimes my nerve.

I love to share what knowledge I do have in order to help others, and I'm always amazed by the vast amount of knowledge that users have here at Trailspace. It's a great community!

Congratulations, Rick! You win $50 to


Thanks also to our other haiku judges: Bob Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land ManagementTrail Runner editor Michael Benge, Backpacker senior editor Shannon Davis, National Geographic online editor Mary Anne Potts, Rocky Thompson from Backcountry's The Goat, and Gear Junkie's Stephen Regenold, plus, for supporting the contest.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who participated, whether entering a haiku, voting on your favorites, or just enjoying our fellow members' creativity.


1,731 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
May 7, 2012 at 2:46 p.m. (EDT)

Good job to all of the winners. Very well deserved. 

I also want to thank everyone else out there for their entries into the contest. 

You all made for alot of great reading on my end and for that I thank each and everyone of you. 

Good job everyone. 

1,753 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts
May 7, 2012 at 9:42 p.m. (EDT)


My hats off to you guys, it was a hard fought contest with a lot of creative entries.

I am sure you will know what to do with the gift certificates & TS swag.

Mike G.

293 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
May 7, 2012 at 11:58 p.m. (EDT)

Love the second one , congrats to all

andrew f. @leadbelly2550
7,924 reviewer rep
2,378 forum posts
May 8, 2012 at 8:09 a.m. (EDT)


Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
2,487 reviewer rep
4,622 forum posts
May 8, 2012 at 8:41 a.m. (EDT)

Congratulations, everyone!

7,463 reviewer rep
1,707 forum posts
May 8, 2012 at 1:18 p.m. (EDT)

Someone got new gear

I know they will enjoy it


612 reviewer rep
1,523 forum posts
May 10, 2012 at 2:26 a.m. (EDT)

GREAT for all of you and even more fun getting to know a little more about you guys!

Grady Says
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
May 10, 2012 at 6:19 a.m. (EDT)

Well done Eric, Grant and Rick!

Enjoy the gear!

800 reviewer rep
2,162 forum posts
May 10, 2012 at 9:12 a.m. (EDT)

Congratulations, I really enjoyed each of the poems!  Having a little extra cash to use on is awesome :)

136 reviewer rep
623 forum posts
May 10, 2012 at 10:20 p.m. (EDT)

thanks for the congrats everyone. Im humbled to have won a prize amidst so much talent and knowledge. I purchased a Metolius rock climbing holds package and chalk sock. I'm turning the outside walls of my shed into a climbing/bouldering wall

7,463 reviewer rep
1,707 forum posts
May 11, 2012 at 5:40 p.m. (EDT)
I'm turning the outside walls of my shed into a climbing/bouldering wall


that project is on my list too.

0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
May 18, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. (EDT)

Great winners announced

Congratulations to all

Now back to the wild

328 reviewer rep
10 forum posts
May 18, 2012 at 7:11 p.m. (EDT)

Good one Andrew!  I told my Facebook friends about being one of the contest winners & an unexpected series of haiku madness ensued as shown in part below.  Maybe someone will get a laugh out of this stuff.  Maybe not!


"I wrote a haiku...It won me three hundred bucks...Dude how cool is that?"

My friends:

"Your status also...contains a hidden poem...You write great haiku"

"Ha! You are a mess...You must be partly Asian...They just flow from you"

"Super! So were able to showcase...another talent"

"Haikus are simple...They don't have to make much sense...Refrigerator"


Then an old friend wrote:

"I'm glad that you won...It is quite nice poetry...Years later, still a tool"

My reply:

"Good try there brother...but your syllables are off...look who's the tool now"

My friend:


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