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

Best Hiking Sandals For Men of 2024
A hiker in the Chaco Z/1 Classic sandals resting on mossy tree roots overhanging a creek

Best Hiking Sandals For Men of 2024

Author
Sometimes you just have to let the tootsies wiggle free, we get that. Hiking sandals are a great alternative to traditional…
10 Things You Should Bring On Every Day Hike

10 Things You Should Bring On Every Day Hike

Author
Whether you’re casually hiking to a favorite waterfall or bagging a difficult summit, carrying the proper equipment is absolutely critical.
How to Clean & Wash a Down Sleeping Bag

How to Clean & Wash a Down Sleeping Bag

Author
A down sleeping bag can be a backpacker’s greatest ally in the wilderness. If treated with care, a down sleeping bag can…
How To Repair, Wash, Store & Care For Your Sleeping Bag

How To Repair, Wash, Store & Care For Your Sleeping Bag

Author
A quality sleeping bag may be one of the biggest backpacking investments you ever make. Your sleep sack will likely cost hundreds…
Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes vs. Trail Running Shoes

Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes vs. Trail Running Shoes

Author
Hiking footwear is a really personal choice, and people often have differing opinions on what type of shoe works best for hiking.
How to Wash a Down Jacket

How to Wash a Down Jacket

Author
A lightweight down jacket should be at the center of any good backpacking list.
Best Trail Running Shoes of 2024
Waist-down view of a runner wearing the Altra Lone Peak trail running shoes with a view of Mt. Hood in the background

Best Trail Running Shoes of 2024

Author
Whether you’re a dedicated trail running fanatic or a road runner looking to swap pavement for dirt, a good pair of running shoes will make all the difference.
Best Winter Boots of 2024
A hiker standing on a snowbank in the Salomon X Ultra Mid Winter boots with blue mountains on the horizon

Best Winter Boots of 2024

Author
Most of us hate saying goodbye to our sandals and shorts for the winter season, but there’s something alluring about…
Best Rain Boots for Men of 2024

Best Rain Boots for Men of 2024

Author
Rain boots are great for keeping your feet dry, and they’re also super convenient for the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Most of them…
A Guide to Hiking in Torres del Paine: W, O, and Q Treks

A Guide to Hiking in Torres del Paine: W, O, and Q Treks

Author
If it’s your first time visiting Patagonia, a visit to Torres del Paine will most likely be on your itinerary, and for good reason. This spectacular Chilean region offers some of the best trekking in the world –  dramatic granite spires, immense glaciers, glistening turquoise lakes – all the ingredients for an unforgettable and rugged adventure.
5 Reasons To Ditch Your Hiking Boots

5 Reasons To Ditch Your Hiking Boots

Author
For many of us, it’s been drilled into our heads since day one that backpackers wear boots. That’s just what you do…
Cirque of the Towers 3-Day Backpacking Loop – Wind River, WY

Cirque of the Towers 3-Day Backpacking Loop – Wind River, WY

Author
The Wind River Range in Wyoming is a place you truly have to see to believe. It’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream come true. Where immense glacier-carved granite spires tower over crystal-clear lakes, rolling meadows, and fields choked with high-alpine wildflowers. 
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