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

CleverHiker Sustainable Gift Guide

CleverHiker Sustainable Gift Guide

Author
We love giving and receiving gifts during the holiday season as much as anyone. However, this year, instead of adding to the mountain of garbage the holidays create, let’s look for ways to show some real kindness and connection to those closest to us. Be an inspiration to your family and community this year by joining us in promoting sustainable gifting and taking action in caring for the places you love.
How to Stay Clean While Backpacking

How to Stay Clean While Backpacking

Author
While you may be in the “embrace the stink” camp, there are a few tips and tricks to make yourself feel fresh in…
Zenbivy Light Bed Quilt System Review

Zenbivy Light Bed Quilt System Review

Author
Love being warm and cozy but hate the feeling of constricting mummy sleeping bags? Zenbivy’s new Light Bed System might be the answer you’re looking for. The Zenbivy Light Bed (you choose your quilt and sheet) offers the temperature regulation and freedom of movement of a quilt, but it stays tucked in and retains heat more like a traditional mummy bag when the temperature drops.
Titcomb Basin Backpacking Guide – Wind River Range, WY

Titcomb Basin Backpacking Guide – Wind River Range, WY

Author
With dense forests, granite slabs, high alpine meadows and lakes cradled beneath craggy granite peaks, The Wind River Range, or The Winds, as they’re called by fans, are jammed with bucket-list day hikes and backpacking trips that reward you with epic views and unbelievable beauty.
Gossamer Gear G4-20 Backpack Review

Gossamer Gear G4-20 Backpack Review

Author
Gossamer Gear’s G4-20 new backpack has been designed for ultralight backpackers by ultralight backpackers.
Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody Review

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody Review

Author
Arc’teryx recently released the Proton LT Hoody (men’s and women’s), which is their most durable, insulated climbing jacket to date. The Proton provides lightweight synthetic insulation for a range of activities from climbing to snow sports to backpacking.
NEMO Hornet 2P Tent Review

NEMO Hornet 2P Tent Review

Author
The NEMO Hornet 2P is a great option for solo ultralight backpackers who like having a little extra space at camp. We liked the previous version of this tent, and NEMO has made some really great design improvements this year. The 2019 Hornet offers more headroom and corner struts in the foot for easier setup without adding any weight. You can find the Hornet on our list of the 10 Best Backpacking Tents.
REI Kingdom 6 Tent Review

REI Kingdom 6 Tent Review

Author
REI’s Kingdom Series was created for families and groups whose priority is space, comfort, weather protection, and livability while camping. The Kingdom 6 feels huge and sturdy in camp, but packs down small for your car and storage at home. REI Kingdom Tents are our top all-around luxury choice on our list of the 10 Best Camping Tents.
REI Grand Hut 4 Tent Review

REI Grand Hut 4 Tent Review

Author
REI Co-op designed the affordable, yet high-quality Grand Hut 4 and Grand Hut 6 to make camping comfortable while keeping nasty weather out. The Grand Hut has lots of headroom and will allow you to fully stand up inside, but it also comes in a compact, easy-to-pitch package. We like the Grand Hut so much and think it offers such great value, we put it on our list of the 10 Best Camping Tents on the market.
Jetboil Flash Cooking System Review

Jetboil Flash Cooking System Review

Author
Among integrated canister stoves, the Jetboil Flash is one of the most affordable and dependable options. The Flash is a solid budget buy with lots of nice extra features that make it very attractive for backpacking and camping trips. The Jetboil Flash is our top pick for integrated canister stoves on our 10 Best Backpacking Stoves list.
SlingFin Portal Tent Review

SlingFin Portal Tent Review

Author
We’re excited to see SlingFin, an innovative new company focused on high alpine tents, going head-to-head with industry leaders by releasing their lightest freestanding backpacking tent ever, the SlingFin Portal.
Osprey Exos & Eja Backpack Review

Osprey Exos & Eja Backpack Review

Author
The updated Osprey Exos 48 & 58 (men’s) and Eja 48 & 58 (women’s) are extremely comfortable, lightweight backpacks…
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