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

Essential Trail Skills? – CH Season 2

Essential Trail Skills? – CH Season 2

Author
What are the most important backpacking skills that you’d like to see covered in CleverHiker season 2?
Caldera Cone System

Caldera Cone System

Author
A little while ago I was able to connect with Rand Lindsly, from Trail Designs, to learn more about their popular Caldera Cone System. I had always thought of the Caldera Cone as an alcohol stove with a windscreen, but Rand was able to shed some light on the topic for me. He made some really great points and got me thinking about alcohol stoves in a way that I hadn’t before. It’s easy to tell that Rand and the Trail Designs team really understand the ins and outs of lightweight backpacking stoves. In his words “We pretty much eat, sleep, and drink this stuff every day, so we kinda got our heads around it.” 
A Mother’s Note
A Mother’s Note

A Mother’s Note

Author
The following email came in this morning from a caring mother doing lightweight backpacking research for her son. It reminded me of how much I love my own mother and how wonderful mothers are in general.This note made my day so I thought I’d share it with you too. Happy Friday everyone! 
Video Series Launch

Video Series Launch

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The big CH launch went off without a hitch yesterday and our customers have been saying wonderful things about our series! It feels incredible to be part of a project that I believe in so much and that has been receiving such positive feedback from the community that I love. 
The Why

The Why

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In a few short days – Monday, June 3rd – CleverHiker.com will launch the Lightweight & Ultralight Backpacking Foundations video series and Gear Recommendations eBook. After all the hard work and support that has gone into this project, it seems only appropriate that I should take a few moments to reflect on how meaningful this launch will be.
Learn How to Lightweight & Ultralight Backpack

Learn How to Lightweight & Ultralight Backpack

Author
Yesterday was a huge day in the life of CleverHiker. I’d love to tell you a little bit about our progress and talk about some big things to come. About six months ago I started an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to raise support for a video series on ultralight backpacking (image above). The campaign was wildly successful due to the support of my friends, family, and the backpacking community. Yesterday I was able to send an individual email to each of my 166 backers to deliver on a promise I made half a year ago. It was an incredibly proud moment for me.  
The Latest

The Latest

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We’re proud to announce the launch of our new website and the launch date for our inaugural video series – Lightweight & Ultralight Backpacking Foundations! Our new website is a work in progress so please excuse any initial bugs that you might run into. 
Post-Production

Post-Production

Author
We’re in the middle of another big editing week for CleverHiker as we work on our intro, credits, music, and on-screen text. Our first series – Lightweight & Ultralight Backpacking Foundations – is coming along well and looking beautiful!Photo location: Mt. Hood, OR
Filming Complete

Filming Complete

Author
We’re very excited to announce that the filming for CleverHiker Season 1 – Lightweight & Ultralight Backpacking Foundations – is complete!!! We’re moving to the post-production phase now where we’ll chop up our footage and add stylish graphics to build a polished product. We’re still shooting for an early May release date and working hard to stay on schedule.A huge thanks to Director of Photography – Matt Mastrantuono – for his tireless efforts in making the filming of our first series successful!We’re very excited for big things to come!
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