Dave Collins
Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief

Dave is CleverHiker’s founder and he oversees day-to-day operations of the site. This includes content creation, gear testing, photography, web design, social media, advertising, strategic planning, employee management and more.

Dave grew up in an outdoorsy family and spent much of his childhood on the trail while earning his way to Eagle Scout. He has extensive backpacking experience in some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging destinations, including thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and trekking through Nepal, Patagonia, and British Columbia/Alberta. He’s tackled iconic trails such as the John Muir Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Collegiate Peaks Loop. He has backpacked widely in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Wyoming, California, and Glacier National Park. Check out the Trip Guide section of CleverHiker for a selection of many of the trails Dave has hiked.

In addition to his on-trail experience, Dave has spent over a decade studying the outdoor gear industry, testing equipment, and writing reviews. Dave’s highly analytical approach, thorough research, and keen eye for emerging trends and innovations have made him a trusted authority in the outdoor gear industry. His meticulous attention to detail and extensive experience have been instrumental in building the CleverHiker Gear Guide into a go-to resource for outdoor enthusiasts seeking honest and independent gear-buying advice. With a passion for both gear and the great outdoors, Dave is committed to helping others make informed decisions about the equipment they need to pursue their own outdoor adventures.

Dave embraces an active and adventurous way of life. When he’s not on the trails, you can find him spending time with family and friends, catching waves along the coast, playing various recreational sports, exploring new places around the world, and engaging in any outdoor activity that allows him to stay active and connected with nature.

Articles by Dave Collins

REI Co-op Trailmade 2 Tent Review

REI Co-op Trailmade 2 Tent Review

Author
The REI Co-op Trailmade 2 replaced one of REI’s best-selling tents, the Passage 2, earlier this year. With a similar design, a very affordable price point, and exceptional durability, we decided to put the new Trailmade to the test to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Review

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Review

Author
The Copper Spur HV UL2 is one of Big Agnes’ best-sellers, and it’s among our all-time favorite backpacking tents.
10 Best Hiking Shorts for Men of 2024
Waist-down view of a hiker standing on a rocky trail in the men's Patagonia Quandary hiking shorts

10 Best Hiking Shorts for Men of 2024

Author
Discover your new favorite trail-ready hiking shorts from Patagonia, PrAna, REI, and more. Our experts bring you tailored suggestions for the best in comfort, durability, and style from trail to town.
How To Care For Your Tent: Cleaning, Repair, & Storage Tips

How To Care For Your Tent: Cleaning, Repair, & Storage Tips

Author
In our experience, a little extra care goes a long way to prolong the lifespan of a shelter. Here are a few tricks about properly…
Ultralight Backpacking Basics

Ultralight Backpacking Basics

Author
We love hiking with an ultralight kit because it allows us to spend less time worrying about aches and pains and more time enjoying side trails and the beautiful scenery around us. Whether you’re new to backpacking or you’re a traditional backpacker looking to lighten your load, we’ll break down everything you need to know about getting started with ultralight backpacking.
How To Wash A Rain Jacket and Pants

How To Wash A Rain Jacket and Pants

Author
If you’ve ever been caught in a backcountry downpour, you know how important it is to have high-quality rain gear…
Teton Crest Trail Backpacking Guide

Teton Crest Trail Backpacking Guide

Author
The Teton Crest Trail is a 40-mile high route that traverses ridges offering spectacular wide-angle views of towering granite peaks, glacier-carved canyons, crystalline lakes and wildflower-pocked meadows. It’s truly one of our nation’s most scenic and iconic trails. 
Best Backpacking Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Meals of 2024
GOOD TO-GO – Thai Curry

Best Backpacking Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Meals of 2024

Author
Freeze dried meals aren’t just for astronauts anymore. In fact, they’re some of the most popular meal options for hikers…
10 Best Winter Coats of 2024

10 Best Winter Coats of 2024

Author
When the temperature drops and rain, snow, and wind start to howl, you’ll want a winter coat you can trust to keep you warm and dry.
10 Best Day Hikes in Glacier National Park

10 Best Day Hikes in Glacier National Park

Author
With over 700 miles of trails winding through Glacier National Park, it can be hard to choose what areas you want to explore. The…
Glacier National Park Backpacking Guide

Glacier National Park Backpacking Guide

Author
With more than 700 miles of backcountry trails traversing lush alpine meadows, glacier-carved peaks, deep valleys, and moss-fringed cirques cradling stunning azure lakes, Glacier National Park is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is physically and mentally demanding.
John Muir Trail Gear List: What to Pack

John Muir Trail Gear List: What to Pack

Author
The John Muir Trail is one of the most spectacular stretches of trail in the world. One of the most important considerations for those hiking the JMT is determining what gear to bring. In this guide, we’ll help you channel your inner thru-hiker in order to minimize your gear weight and maximize your enjoyment on the trail.
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