Gary Leatham (TrailFrog)
849 reviewer rep
7 forum posts
joined Sep 6, 2015
Location: Greater Seattle Area, WA
Occupation: Research Scientist (Biochem) >morphed into> College Representative
Affiliations: NONE, just an average hiker needing gear to help make our ~weekly outings more comfortable, and thus enjoyable. And it never hurts to get back safely too! However, I would welcome the opportunity to test new gear designed to make to make a quality difference in one's experience of outings. (Significant gear durability is much valued.)
|Height||6' 1" and shrinking|
|Weight||240 and decreasing with each hike|
|Torso Length||tall, 32" leg inseam|
|Jacket/Shirt Size||XL <-- XXL|
|Pant Size||39-40 ouch! & decreasing|
My wife and I really enjoy the outdoors, particularly around mountains and water. We're often out with different MeetUp outing clubs, or just together.
For us good gear EQUALS safety, functionality, durability, comfort, as well as the farther and longer that I can go. I currently shop most frequently at RE (member since early 70's), Outdoor Research, Northface, Columbia, Exofficio, Sierra Trading Post, Back Country, Back County Edge, Moosejaw, Campmor, Cabellas ... and also consider any other outdoor focus stores that I can find.
I'm QUITE selective before I buy. And we try to be frugal as makes sense to reduce purchases and weight in our packs. Being an analytical/science type, I take A LOT of time to compare before buying, to help ensure some level of success. If at all possible, I like to examine gear in person. When I can't, comparisons between several different source online reviews really helps.
Sure we all have somewhat different body types, personal bias and goals, as well as select different levels of gear challenge. Having honest, open minded, informative reviews to compare really helps in selecting the best gear for our particular use.
I've been a researcher, published, taught at a university and been a marketing research director and product representative before in technical areas (microbial production, mictobe genetic ID, wooden musical instruments, and biodegradable plastics). When hiking became such as personal focus, it only made sense to help others by writing some reviews on what gear works for me/us, starting with things that I/we like best. I do not shy away from humor, especially when it can help convey meaning and teach. Ain't life just chock full of shades of gray and contrary aspects anyway?!!
For me reviews are a living thing. They need to be updated as i gain more experience with the item and perspectives about it. Gear creators are similarly evolving in opinion and attempt to fulfill a design goal. This ol' frog is still learning, so Comments are ALWAYS appreciated.
NOTE: photos, GPS navigation to trailheads, stored trail map viewing, review postings and communications are primarily done with a smartphone. In the outback around here, Verizon generally has the best coverage. I can post hike pictures as a rider coming back from a hike, research and photograph gear, and even purchase gear while mobile. If not driving, it gives me something to do while getting to and back from a trail head. I'm currently using a Motorola Turbo Droid due to its really great 21 megapixel camera, view screen characteristics, and speed. I use their standard camera and a Photo Editor Android app to help correct my mistakes, or help things look more like the way that they seemed in person. Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC, LG and others also make highly capable devises. Take pictures of your outings and share the beauty!
Gear Reviews (25)
|Surf to Summit Bungee Paddle Leash||12/18/2015|
|Jason Aloe Vera 98% Moisturizing Gel||12/15/2015|
|Asolo Men's Fugitive GTX||12/12/2015|
|Outdoor Research Men's Ferrosi Hoody||12/12/2015|
|Outdoor Research Men's Cirque Pants||12/09/2015|
|Original PEET Dryer||12/06/2015|
|Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In||12/04/2015|
|Columbia Backcountry Ride Neck Gaiter||12/03/2015|
|Smartwool Men's Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks||12/02/2015|
|New Balance Performance Underwear 9 Inch Inseam Boxer Brief||11/29/2015|
|Columbia Freezer Zero Bandana||11/29/2015|
|Keen Men's Newport||11/29/2015|
|Oboz Men's Firebrand II BDry||11/27/2015|
|Outdoor Research Ghost Rain Hat||11/25/2015|
|Berkeley Premium Cork Grease||11/24/2015|
|Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof||11/23/2015|
|Asolo Aconcagua GV||11/16/2015|
|Nikwax Conditioner for Leather||11/05/2015|
|DaKine Titan Mitt||9/10/2015|
|Osprey Hydraulics 3L Reservoir||9/09/2015|
|Asolo Men's Power Matic 200 GV||9/06/2015|
|What car/suv do you guys drive to get to the trailhead?||December 31, 2015|
|Meet Gary: PNW Hiker, Microbial Scientist, Reviewer of the Month||December 24, 2015|
|We're Giving One of You a SPOT Messenger for Christmas||December 8, 2015|
|"Get Out There!" urges Trailspace Reviewer of the Month||November 13, 2015|