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Meet Giftogab, Reviewer of the Month

Giftogab at Nevada's Red Rock National Conservation Area.

Congratulations to community member giftogab (Karen Whelan), author of June's most helpful gear review.

The Trailspace community voted Karen's review of her Deuter Futura Pro 42 backpack the most useful review of the month. She wins a Trailspace goodie pack for her efforts.*

Write your own helpful gear review and you might be next month's most helpful reviewer.

Meet giftogab/Karen

How did you get started exploring outdoors?

My grandparents owned a fishing resort at Baker Lake, Washington. We would drive up from Seattle and spend weekends as well as longer times in the summer when I was a kid. We spent hours exploring the woods and enjoying the mountains all around us. Once in college I started hiking in the Enchantments as well as the eastern slopes of the Cascades.

What do you enjoy doing outdoors?

Everest Base Camp Trek, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal.

BEING outdoors is a great start. But hiking, kayaking, and biking are my faves. I also golf and do some minor ugly rock climbing.

Why were you motivated to review your Deuter Futura Pro 42 pack?

Backpacks are hard to buy. You sort of take a leap at it, so the more you know going in the better chance you have of loving that critical piece of gear.

Because I have so much time with this pack on my back, both here in Nevada and then in the Himalayas, I figured it was one of the pieces of gear I know intimately. Also, being a bigger girl, I wanted to share that in case other big girls don't know which packs work for us.

What are your favorite pieces of outdoor equipment? Why?

I love my Patagonia Fitz Roy 800 fill jacket. It fits well and makes me feel good when it is on. It doesn't lose the down, seems like the shell was tougher than my Mountain Hardwear down sweater as well. Rick-Pittsburgh named me Sunkist Ninja in that jacket.

Everest Base Camp Trek, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal.

I also love my Keen Oregon PCT's because they really protect my ankles while providing a big toe box for my Fred Flintstone feet.

Tell us about your favorite outdoor destinations.

I really love the Red Rock area outside Las Vegas. It is my playground for hiking and rock climbing.

I am in awe of the Himalayas and hope I can go back again some day. I want to go back up to the Cascades as well. So much trail, so little time.

Anything else you'd like to share with the Trailspace community?

This community has contributed so much to my outdoor experience. I have met a couple great members in person and feel a couple more could be counted as friends!

Great job, Karen!

*Besides Trailspace glory, shegets a goodie pack with a pair of Darn Tough 1/4 Socks, a Trailspace Trail Runner Cap, a Trailspace pint glass (for après-backcountry use), some energy bars from Clif Bar and ProBar, and Trailspace stickers.

Help recognize the best reviews on Trailspace by clicking that "Yes" button after "Was this review helpful?" whenever you read a truly helpful review. You'll not only recognize good reviewers, you'll help highlight the best reviews of products.

Wondering how you can be as lucky as giftogab? Write a great gear review of your own with our "write a review" form. Next month the Trailspace community will recognize another reviewer, and it could be you and your gear review.


Congratulations, giftogab!

Way to go Sunkist.... errr I mean gifto. 

Very well done(highkick:)

Thanks soooo much! This is really a cool thing to me!

You deserve this well

well done Karen!

Congrats. Well done..

Thanks you guys!

Congratulations Karen!

I think you are right, backpacks are such a critical piece of gear it's good to be able to read other peoples experiences with them as part of a decision making process.

Mike G.

Congratualtions, Gift! 

Nice work gifto!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much! I am so excited for my new sox! And to write some more reviews!

Awesome! Congrats!


giftogab said:


I saw that as well.

Awesome job gifto...

Hey, Congrats Giftogab.

I have the Futura Pro 38 and love it. I know exactly what you meant when you said "the balance is so good that it is just THERE".

Enjoy the crown till next month.

Thanks, jersey! I am feeling pretty big for my britches right now!

Got a goodie bag FULL of stuff today! Thanks Seth! Stickers! Trail Bars! Pink sticker clad nalgene bottle! Cap! Darn Tough socks! Trailspace Pint Glass! I am hap hap happy with my new swag! Dave and Alicia....this stuff is fab!!!

Glad you're enjoying your goodies gifto, and that we had socks in your size!

giftogab said:

Got a goodie bag FULL of stuff today! Thanks Seth! Stickers! Trail Bars! Pink sticker clad nalgene bottle! Cap! Darn Tough socks! Trailspace Pint Glass! I am hap hap happy with my new swag! Dave and Alicia....this stuff is fab!!!

 You're welcome! I'm glad we could make your day.

Get back from time in the hills, and what do I find? A Killer Review by Gifto! Talk about going to the ends of the Earth to do a gear review! Wow!

Thanks, BillS!

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