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2,024 reviewer rep
475 forum posts
joined May 15, 2013

I am a: hiker
Location: Illinois
Occupation: research scientist

Affiliations: No affiliations with any outdoor industry manufacturers or retailers.


Trail running
Outdoor/wildlife photography


Weight180 lbs
Boot/Shoe Size10.5-11
Jacket/Shirt SizeM-L
Pant Size33-34

My love for the outdoors has taken on many incarnations over the years, from fishing, outdoor photography, hiking, backpacking, to general mountaineering. It also provides the perfect excuse for my nearly out of control accumulation of gear!

My approach to gear and hiking is generally geared to striking a balance between light weight, durability and comfort, though I often tend towards the lightweight/ultralight end of the spectrum (mostly out of my fascination as a scientist for the use of newer, lighter materials). I am not much of a backpacker as I simply cant take too much time off at once, so my trips are often short overnighters, or day hikes/summit hikes.

Gear: Currently in use/rotation, (italics = current favourites)

Footwear: The North Face Verbera Lightpacker, Meindl Bhutan, Salewa Raven Combi GTX, Brasher Hillwalker II GTX, Merrell Protera, Salewa WildFire.

Mountain Equipment Co-op Kokanee II GTX gaiters, Rab NeoSretch gaiters, Rab eVent Shortie gaiters, Hillsound Trail Crampons, Camp Magix 10 (C1) Crampons.

Socks: Kathmandu Merino, Smartwool Merino, Berghaus Fast Track lightweight socks


Jackets: Montane Spektr Smock (eVent), The North Face Point Five GTX Pro shell jacket, The North Face Venture jacket,

Pants: Berghaus Helvellyn GTX over-trousers, Montane Atomic

Accessories: Outdoor Research Endeavor GTX overmitt.

Softshells: Haglofs Swift II Q windstopper jacket, Rab Alpine jacket, Paramo Fuera smock, The North Face Apex Bionic jacket, Rab Boreas pull-on (2X). Berghaus Baffin Island


Jackets: Outdoor Research Neoplume jacket (primaloft), Mountain Hardwear LoDown vest (down), Kathmandu Ultralight Down jacket, Sierra Designs DriDown jacket (waterproof shell with treated down), Berghaus Tseram pullover (primaloft), Berhgaus Tseram

Fleeces: The North Face Storm Shadow Fleece jacket, Mountain Hardwear Microchill fleece, Berghaus Caudale microfleece, Adidas Terrex Ice Sky fleece, MEC Amenity (thermal pro high loft).

Pants: Montane Prism Primaloft pants,

Accessories: Rab Hot Socks primaloft booties, Rab Primalid (Primaloft beanie)

Trousers/Shorts: Fjallraven Barents Pro, Berghaus Ampezzo salopettes, Berghaus Ortler trousers, Craghoppers Kiwi Pro stretch trousers, Craghoppers Nosilife trousers, Mountain Equipment Approach shorts.

Shirts/Baselayers: Berghaus argentium treated short-sleeve shirts, Mountain Equipment Crux long sleeve shirts, Adidas Terrex 1/2 zip LS, Mountain Hardwear Canyon shirt, Outdoor Research Feedback flannel shirt. Kathmandu merino t-shirts, and merino long johns and long sleeve top for sleeping. Paramo Cambia boxers.

Gloves: Mountain Equipment Co-op windstopper liners, Black Diamond Crag gloves, Extremities Super Windy windstopper gloves, Columbia Whirlibird III gloves, Montane Extreme mittens, The North Face Hooligan leather gloves, Kathmandu Merino liners, Lowe Alpine Silk Liners, Berghaus Fleece liners.

Hats: The North Face Horizon hat, Mountain Equipment Co-op windpro softshell hat, Helly Hansen acrylic beanies, Fjallraven wool/acrylic beanie, Smartwool training merino beanie, Berghaus Spectrum neck gaiter, Buff original, smartwool merino neck gaiter.

Bags/Rucksacks: Mountain Hardwear Fluid 32, Montane Torque 40, The North Face Angstrom 20, Lightwave Wildtrek 60, The North Face waterproof backpack. Mountain Equipment Co-op duffel bag, Berghaus Leviathan 70 waterproof holdall, The North Face basecamp 155L.

Outdoor research backcountry organizers, PODsacs eVent compression sacks and ultralite stuff sacs, Podsacs waste management dry bags,  Mammut ambient light dry bag, aquapac waterproof electronics and document case, Karrimor dry bags, Overboard waterproof SLR bag, Grivel crampon bag.

Hydration: Platypus 3L bladder, Source 3L insulated bladder, Ortlieb 2L bladder, Katadyn My Bottle filter bottle, Steripen Traveler UV purifier.

Poles and axes: Fizan Ultralite poles, Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Compact poles, CAMP Corsa Nanotech ice axe, Petzl snowalker ice axe.

Tents: Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo, Force Ten Ion 2, Eureka Taron 3

Ultralight setup: Integral Designs Siltarp1 or Silwing, and solo ground cloth, with MLD Superlight Bivy.

Stakes: MSR blizzard stakes, Lightwave wide Ti V-pegs, Vargo ultralight Ti V-pegs, Gram Counter Gear 6g Ti pegs and Ti nails.


Stoves: MSR Reactor 1L, Firemaple FMS116 Ti stove, Firemaple FMS118 stove.

Pots: GSI halulite minimalist, LifeVenture 450mL Ti mug, Alpkit MyTiPot Ti pot (1.35 L), Alpkit MyTiPot Ti pot 900mL

Accessories: Light My Fire sporks, Optimus Ti long spoon, Vargo Ti flint lighter.

Lighting: LED Lenser H7 headtorch, LED Lenser P5e hand torch, Alpkit Glowe lantern, Black Diamond ion.


Sleeping Mats: Thermarest ProLite Plus, Exped Downmat 9, Multimat Superlite Air mat + Multimat superlite compact CCF mat, Therm-a-rest Ridgerest SOLite ccf mat, Multimat Kumfie folding sit mat,

Sleeping Bags and Liners: Mountain Hardwear Hyperlamina Spark, Force Ten Altitude 750 down bag, Rab Module 100 top bag, Lifeventure silk liner, Kathmandu Thermolite liner,

Pillows: down pillow

Photography: Fujifilm X-20, Canon T2i with 17-40mm F4L, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, and 70-200mm F4L lenses. Joby Gorillapod SLR and Manfrotto Befree tripods.

Knives/tools: Leatherman Freestyle, Light My Fire Fireknife, Victorinox Climber, Victorinox Soldier, Boker Arbolito Drop Point, Buck Vantage Force, Buck Woodsman.

Eyewear: Nike Hyperion, Reebok Zig Pro, Julbo Trek Spectron 4

Accessories: Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS unit

Gear Reviews (46)

user rating: 4.5 of 5 Victorinox Swiss Army Ranger Grip 71 Gardener 11/28/2016
user rating: 4.5 of 5 MSR Guardian Purifier 7/26/2016
user rating: 4 of 5 MindShift UltraLight Dual 36L 5/31/2016
user rating: 3 of 5 Jetboil 8 inch FluxRing Fry Pan 5/01/2016
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Jetboil MicroMo Cooking System 2/20/2016
user rating: 5 of 5 TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #2 8/31/2015
user rating: 4 of 5 Vargo Titanium Flint Lighter 3/13/2015
user rating: 5 of 5 Mountain Equipment Crux LS Crew 3/03/2015
user rating: 4 of 5 Woolx X704 3/02/2015
user rating: 4 of 5 Sierra Designs DriDown Rain Jacket 12/19/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Podsacs Waste Management System L 9/02/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 The North Face Angstrom 20 8/02/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Merrell Proterra Sport 6/29/2014
user rating: 5 of 5 Outdoor Research Backcountry Organizers 2/15/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Brasher Hillwalker II GTX 2/13/2014
user rating: 4 of 5 Fizan Compact Ultralite 8/25/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 OverBoard Waterproof SLR Camera Bag 7/11/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Craghoppers NosiLife Lite Trousers 7/09/2013
user rating: 3 of 5 Craghoppers Basecamp Shorts 7/01/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Craghoppers Kiwi 3-in-1 Jacket 6/24/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Berghaus Caudale Half-Zip Fleece Pullover 6/20/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Berghaus Spectrum Neck Gaiter 6/18/2013
user rating: 1 of 5 Berghaus Polartec 100 Liner Glove 6/17/2013
user rating: 3 of 5 Smartwool Hiking Medium Crew 6/14/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Bridgedale Bamboo Lo 6/14/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Craghoppers Basecamp Trousers 6/12/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch Pants 6/12/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Haglofs Swift II Jacket 6/11/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Paramo Fuera Windproof Smock 6/04/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Berghaus Remote 20 6/03/2013
user rating: 2 of 5 Paramo Explorer Pull-On 5/21/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Merrell Waterpro Manistee 5/20/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Teva Wapta Mid WP 5/20/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Columbia Whirlibird III Glove 5/16/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 Berghaus Technical SS Crew 5/16/2013
user rating: 2.5 of 5 Helly Hansen Berthed 3 5/16/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Outdoor Research Neoplume Jacket 5/16/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt Long Sleeve 5/16/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountain Hardwear Mesa Shirt Long Sleeve 5/16/2013
user rating: 2 of 5 Rab Hueco Shorts 5/16/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 Merrell Catalyst Ventilator 5/16/2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 The North Face Verbera Lightpacker GTX 5/16/2013
user rating: 3.5 of 5 The North Face Surge 5/16/2013
user rating: 4 of 5 Mountain Hardwear MicroChill Zip T 5/15/2013
user rating: 3 of 5 The North Face Venture Jacket 5/15/2013
user rating: 5 of 5 Mountain Hardwear Fluid 32 5/15/2013


TJ1984 has started 28 forum threads (including 15 trip reports) and participated in 298 discussions. View all »