pillowthread

REVIEW CORPS
Reviewer of the Month: February 2013 , October 2017

2,710 reviewer rep
1,508 forum posts
joined Jan 20, 2008

I am a: 38-year-old backpacker
Location: United States
Occupation: Forestry Technician/Wildland Firefighter

Activities

Hiking
Backpacking
Snowshoeing
Trail running
Orienteering
Mountaineering
Ice climbing
Rock climbing
Canoeing
Kayaking
Mountain biking
Cyclocross!
Masochism?

Vitals

Height6'2"
Weight170
Torso Length20"
Boot/Shoe Size12
Jacket/Shirt SizeM
Pant Size31/32

I am very honored to be a member of the Trailspace community; this website hosts some of the most passionate, knowledgeable persons I know. I am truly fortunate to be in the same room as these folks. For myself, I’ve been hiking and backpacking for longer than I can remember. If there is something I can offer to the community, I try to make it as valuable as possible, if only because I do not spend much time writing. Otherwise, I glean what I can from my peers. I have much to learn.

I grew up in various southern suburbs of Chicago, climbing in trees and digging up worms. I spent a decade or so in the Scouts, did a stint in the military, and eventually settled into the field of Resource Management, acquiring a degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois. During this time I was fortunate enough to be able to hike the River to River Trail: a 160-mile path wending through the Shawnee National Forest and its surrounding fields. One end is at the Ohio River, and the other at the Mississippi, and it effectively “cuts off” the bottom tip of Illinois. It’s a beautiful trail, if sparsely marked. Tracing through the best of the Shawnee Hills, the trail offers myriad opportunities which allow one to take a very light pack.

I love to spend time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan...And I'm there right now! I've Kayaked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and love spending time in the Porcupine Mountains; with Hemlocks some 180’ tall and 3’ in diameter, there really is much at which to marvel in the Porkies. It remains the most beautiful length of woods through which I’ve ever had the pleasure to walk.

I took a week-long mountaineering course in Washington’s North Cascades through Outward Bound, which covered rudimentary roped travel and mountain ambulation techniques. We had two great guides, and were lucky enough to have the regional director along as well, himself an accomplished mountain guide. Spent a week at treeline, getting basic instruction in anchor building, knots, and actual climbing. We got 5 inches of snow in a two-day period, in early September; snowflakes like drink coasters. We had a bunch of fun in the good ol’ Black Diamond ‘mids. It was a blast.

I recently finished a year with the BLM in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado. I served as a Park Ranger, monitoring some 1,500,000 acres of canyons, cliffs, and mountains. I'd put the beauty of Unaweep Canyon up against any National Park out there...

I just wrapped up a stint as a Forestry Technician for the Shawnee National Forest--a "Forest Ranger" if you will. Any given day might've seen me at Garden of the Gods, Jackson Falls, or Lusk Creek...or all three...

I’ve been climbing for a while, and definitely have a love for sandstone. I’m a certified Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace Master Educator. In my personal pursuits I’ve spent more nights out under the stars than I can count. Simply put, I love a good walk. I have limited technical mountaineering experience, but am comfortable with an ice axe and crampons. I have extensive extreme weather conditions experience resultant from both my military training and personal endeavors. I wouldn't be angry if I became a professional mountain guide or SAR operator.

Gear Reviews (32)

user rating: 4 of 5 Garmont Rambler GTX 8/29/2017
user rating: 3.5 of 5 SOL Escape Pro Bivvy 8/01/2017
user rating: 4 of 5 Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee 5/09/2017
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Hyken Knives Bushcrafter 5/02/2017
user rating: 5 of 5 Mystery Ranch Sphinx 65 3/18/2016
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountainsmith Scream 55 1/30/2016
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT 1/17/2016
user rating: 5 of 5 Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro 12/13/2015
user rating: 5 of 5 La Sportiva Men's Core High GTX 5/29/2015
user rating: 3 of 5 Gregory Denali 100 12/29/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Big Agnes Double Z 10/01/2014
user rating: 5 of 5 Marmot Iceland Jacket 4/26/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 The North Face Men's Thermoball Full Zip Jacket 4/26/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountain Hardwear Men's Seraction Jacket 11/09/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Therm-a-Rest Antares 20 3/26/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 La Sportiva Ganda 1/18/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Vargo Titanium BOT Bottle Pot 1/08/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 InstaFire 8/31/2012
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Smartwool Men's Midweight Funnel Zip 2/23/2012
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Smartwool Men's Microweight Crew 2/23/2012
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Smartwool Men's Microweight Tee 2/23/2012
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Smartwool Men's Microweight Bottom 2/23/2012
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove Titanium 10/18/2011
user rating: 5 of 5 Valandré Shocking Blue 4/06/2011
user rating: 3 of 5 Point6 Hiking Tech Medium Crew 12/27/2010
user rating: 3 of 5 Point6 Hiking Tech Medium Mini Crew 12/27/2010
user rating: 5 of 5 Patagonia Men's R1 Flash Pullover 7/20/2010
user rating: 5 of 5 REI Kilo Flash +40 4/11/2009
user rating: 4 of 5 Northern Lights Trekker 12/09/2008
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Patagonia Men's R4 Jacket 10/23/2008
user rating: 5 of 5 Marmot Men's Exum Jacket 5/12/2008
user rating: 5 of 5 Marmot Men's Helium 4/01/2008

Trip Reports

A Trip Uncommon... September 12, 2012
The Grand Mesa on Thanksgiving... November 27, 2010
River to River Trail March 28, 2009

Forum Posts

Lounge Wear... January 19, 2020
Patagonia Houdini update/upgrade January 14, 2020
Tarp January 13, 2020
Getting a tent January 6, 2020
Trailspace Names Top 25 Reviewers of 2019 December 30, 2019
Tons of new snow above Tucson December 29, 2019
Going back to a flashlight for some trips July 23, 2019
Layering light down jacket and down vest December 21, 2019
non-gore tex waterproof/breathable solutions December 10, 2019
Down jacket selection December 6, 2019
Headlamp/Lantern Review Tip November 11, 2019
What features would you like to see on a Trekking Pole? November 28, 2019
Nite Ize vs. knots November 29, 2019
bear bags or food bags November 27, 2019
Coffee On The Trail November 22, 2019
Do I need a winter bag or can i combine what i already have? November 18, 2019
What really Ticks you off on the trail? November 15, 2019
Ultimate survival tool November 14, 2019
A winter sweat tip November 11, 2019
Ooof - Backcountry.com stumbles into a hornet's nest November 8, 2019