CleverHiker was established to build the world's best backpacking tutorial videos. Our goal is to make outdoor adventure easier and more accessible for everyone.


Our Mission

We help backpackers improve their wilderness adventures through knowledge, skills, and inspiration. Our mission is to produce the world’s best backpacking guides and to make your next adventure as rewarding as possible.



Who We Are

My name is Dave Collins and I'm the main guy behind

The idea for CleverHiker came to me as I was preparing to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010. I was searching for video resources to help prepare for my trek, but I came up empty-handed. Soon after, I decided to build a website dedicated to teaching backpackers of all levels the skills and tools they need to improve their wilderness adventures. 

I grew up in a backpacking family and spent much of my childhood on the trail. I've been fortunate enough to travel the world and experience some of the most pristine wilderness areas on the planet. I'm an Eagle Scout, thru-hiker, adventure traveler, and wilderness guide. I've trekked every continent on the planet and CleverHiker is a great way for me to share those experiences and help others do the same. 

CleverHiker is a project that I'm deeply passionate about. I wrote, directed, and starred in our first two video series - Essential Trail Skills and Lightweight Backpacking Basics. I test, research, and analyze the recommendations in our Gear Guide. I write most of our blog entries, I curate our newsletter, I respond to reader questions, and I wrangle new sponsors. I post, tweet, upload, and share our social media content and I even built our website. 

I do most of the day-to-day tasks for CleverHiker, but I've had a lot of help from friends and family along the way. First of all, none of this would be possible without the CleverHiker Founders that supported our mission when it was just an idea.

I also receive help from some of my closest friends to produce CleverHiker content. Matt Mastrantuono, owner of Blurred Lens Productions, is the guy behind the camera. He was the lead editor and cinematographer behind Essential Trail Skills and Lightweight Backpacking Basics. Annie Hopfensperger, my lovely lady, has played a starring role in our first two series. She also helps me test new gear, edit web content, and hone the focus for future CleverHiker projects. Marshall Walker Lee is the lead editor behind our CDT Video Journal project. He also helps edit CleverHiker design and web content.  

I put time and energy into CleverHiker because I love backpacking and I want to share my joy - plain and simple. CleverHiker is project that I work on outside my nine-to-five job. Maybe someday I can find a way to turn my passion into a full-time job, but for now I'm just happy to share my knowledge and hopefully spread some enthusiasm for outdoor adventure. 

What We Do

Get Involved

If you like the work we're doing and you want to help us do more, it's actually pretty simple to lend a hand: 

  • If you like what we publish, let us know with a thumbs-up.

  • If you want to see more, subscribe to our channels. 

  • If you find our content useful, share it with your friends. 

  • If you have something to add, leave a comment

  • If you want to help us create great content, get in touch

  • If you want to sponsor our content, give us a shout

  • Or if you want to connect for any reason at all, contact us

We're always looking for ways to improve, so if we're ever missing the mark or if you'd like to provide constructive criticism, please contact us to let us know. 

Thanks so much for all of your support!