Joseph Renow (jrenow)

Reviewer of the Month: September 2013

1,747 reviewer rep
743 forum posts
joined Aug 8, 2013

I am a: 44-year-old
Location: Indiana
Occupation: Adjunct Professor



My Self

I would describe myself as someone who likes to go to remote places and stay there for days...sometimes weeks at a time. Typically my adventures involve a backpack…a bike...a kayak…or a canoe…but I've been known to car-camp (usually in the off-season). I probably solo more than anything else...but I couple a good deal...and go as a group at least several times a year.

My Philosophy

My general philosophy is less work and less cost are good things. Things need to be durable...and if they aren't...they should be simple/cheap/easy to replace. I like low pack-weights...but I am not a half toothbrush and polycro-tarp kinda guy...I usually carry a pillow...some fresh food...and sleeping clothes.

My Closet

I do not consider myself a gear-head...but over the years I have (self-consciously) accumulated a lot of to minimize this anxiety I am always attempting to reduce my collection. Doing so requires thinking about gear choices rather closely...which is sort of why I am here and why I participate. I figure participating in and advocating for minimalist practices is a way I can offset the paradox between a love for the outdoors and the costs of loving the outdoors.

My Setting

Though I have slept outdoors in many places…I very much have what I would call a home-region. Familiar terrain for me stretches roughly from Missouri in the West...Tennessee in the South...Virginia in the East...and Wisconsin in the North. Though not perfectly accurate...I would say I primarily spend my time in and around river-valleys and heavy woodland. For me...trees and water tend to be plentiful...sometimes too plentiful.

Finally...I do not enjoy sleeping outdoors when the temp is below least not without an external heat-source. I have spent a lot nights in cold weather...but I don't like it...and what I have experienced is nothing like the snow-cover for months at a time and 20-30 degrees below freezing variety...more freezing sleet with wind...its miserable and I have an out-sized love of fleece because of it.

Gear Reviews (28)

user rating: 4 of 5 NEMO Hornet 2P 7/03/2016
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Mammut MTR 201 Tech Shirt 10/11/2015
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Ozark Trail Cocoon 200 1/31/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Ibex Men's Hooded Indie 11/05/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 GoLite Men's Tumalo Pertex 2.5-Layer Storm Jacket 10/13/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 ULA Equipment Ohm 2.0 10/13/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Sportslick 9/26/2013
user rating: 2.5 of 5 Casio SGW100B-3V 9/19/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Sea to Summit X-Set 2-Piece 9/15/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Salomon Men's XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 9/12/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Aqua-Bound Shred Carbon 9/11/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Starter Long-Sleeve Dri-Star Shirt 9/11/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo 9/11/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Camper 9/10/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Fenix HL21 9/08/2013
user rating: 2 of 5 Fuji FinePix XP20 9/06/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 ExOfficio Men's Sol Cool Crew Long Sleeve Shirt 9/06/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Old Town Heron 9XT 9/01/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountain Hardwear Men's Mesa Pant 9/01/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 ExOfficio Men's Reef Runner Lite Long-Sleeve Shirt 8/30/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Morakniv Classic 2 8/29/2013
user rating: 3 of 5 KA-BAR Becker Companion 8/29/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Duration Permethrin 8/29/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork 8/22/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium 8/21/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme Mess Kit - 6 pc 8/21/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Sawyer Complete 4 Liter Gravity Water Purification System 8/21/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow 8/19/2013

Trip Reports

Current River (multiday canoeing) 7-20-2013 September 12, 2013
Eleven Point (multi-day kayaking) September 10, 2013

Forum Posts

Walking sticks for self defense. March 2, 2019
Why don’t you use a hammock? January 9, 2019
Daypacks: hip belt or no hip belt? October 6, 2018
My gear selection for a weekend hike. September 27, 2018
Alcohol Stove = awesome!! September 26, 2018
Startup Needing Your Input! September 16, 2018
Introduction and advice` August 16, 2018
Wind River High Route- Skurka Version September 11, 2018
Member Feedback: What makes you trust a review? September 11, 2018
Long trail hiker vs. vacation backpacker, vs. weekend backpacker. September 11, 2018
The Comprehensive Outdoor Gear List September 6, 2018
Pump or Pump Bag for air mattresses? September 2, 2018
Outfitting at Walmart. August 14, 2018
hammock tarp question July 6, 2018
Bear PTSD August 2, 2018
No way I'm taking them hiking! July 11, 2018
Found: my local "Hidey Hole" July 24, 2018
bivi bag or tent for a long trip July 18, 2018
Scotland - TGO Challenge 2018 - Part 1 of 3 June 4, 2018
to shemagh or not to shemagh ! June 10, 2018