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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Makeover Contest - Meet the Winners!

These six readers convinced us their gear needed an update! Look for their full makeovers in our January 2012 Readers' Choice issue.

by: Kristin Hostetter

Regina Payne
Regina Payne
Matt Kilcoyne
Matt Kilcoyne
Cafferata family
Cafferata family

UPDATE: MEET OUR WINNERS!
Box Primus stoves, down coats from the 1970s, and runny cheese … these readers convinced us they needed a gear makeover stat! So we’re sending them cooking, apparel, and lightened-up gear galore.

Dress Better 

Winner

It’s obvious that Regina Payne, 71, has more hiking miles in her, but she needs to update her wardrobe and supplies in order to complete her life’s dream: finishing the Appalachian Trail. We’re tossing out the old pack, synthetic sleeping bag, and well-worn Dunham Waffle-Stompers in favor of warmer, better-fitting equipment.

Runner-Up
New mother Angela Hayes was too busy juggling food, filters, a hand-me-down carrier and her ever-growing baby to enjoy the Grand Tetons looming in her backyard. We’ll leave the parenting concerns to her, but we’re more than happy to replace her father-in-law’s 30-year-old down jacket.


Go Lighter 

Winner
Matt Kilcoyne admitted his gear closet looked more like an Army surplus store meets K-Mart display than the lightweight accouterments of an aspiring trail maintenance worker. It’s time to put the 6-pound tent and 4-pound lantern in the garage sale. BACKPACKER to the rescue!

Runner-Up
Deterred neither by too-heavy gear (including a box Primus stove) nor pancreatic cancer, wizened camper Chuck always has a smile on his face even though his bulky gear has slowed him down. Chuck’s friends entered this contest on his behalf, and we’re more than happy to outfit their beloved hiking partner with some lighter gear.


Eat Better 

Winner
The five members of the Cafferata family love sharing their love of the outdoors with others; they’d just like to feed them something other than the boiled noodles and instant oatmeal typically on the menu. We’ll help them bring wilderness gourmet know-how to their fellow-campers.


Runner-Up
In the past, any package that made it into college kid Nick Sutton's backpack was mandatorily marked with three qualifying words: "just add water." Now, with a little help from BACKPACKER, he's ready to go gourmet and get rid of the Ramen on his summer treks to Kings Canyon National Park and Arizona's West Clear Creek canyon.






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READERS COMMENTS

Drewman84
Jul 09, 2011

You folks better use that sweet sweet gear! Congrats!

Drewman84
Jun 30, 2011

Hey Kristin, any updates or news regarding progress with the chosen 3?! Happy Fourth of July: God Bless America!

Patrick T
Jun 20, 2011

I agree! This was a blast! Any idea when we will hear who won? How do we know that our entries were received??

Hans
Jun 20, 2011

I'm eager to see who won, and what they ended up with. Even if I didn't win, this contest was actually FUN to enter.

Terri Grinner
Jun 17, 2011

Anjie Beechey
Jun 17, 2011

Briana
Jun 11, 2011

100 words isn't too many! Gotta make 'em count!

Briana
Jun 11, 2011

100 words isn't too many! Gotta make 'em count!

Nick
Jun 09, 2011

I was looking terms and conditions but didn't find anything - can we only enter for one category? Thanks!

Nick
Jun 08, 2011

I was looking terms and conditions but didn't find anything - can we only enter for one category? Thanks!

Craig Thompson
Jun 08, 2011

In 1973 I bought a new north face down sleeping bag and a new north face two man 4 season tent and took off hitch hiking for Alaska to work on the fishing boats I still have the sleeping bag but the tent got battery acid spilled on it and destroyed it I'm am planing to hike part of PC this summer and am in desperate need of new gear THANKS

Jo Smith
Jun 07, 2011

Great gear

Ian Smith
Jun 07, 2011

Kristin, this is so awesome! Hey what you should do is have the people write reviews of the gear that they got for their trip!

kristin
Jun 06, 2011

David, if you want to enter, and it sounds like you should, please follow the steps outline above. thanks!--kristin

Dean Carter
Jun 03, 2011

My last day pack is from the late 80`s and just to small

david dubnicka
Jun 02, 2011

Your mention of a 40 lb pack hit home!While trudging up devils slide trail to the summit of Mnt. san Jacinto I was wondering why I was so tired? Pehaps the elevation? It wasn't until I returned home that I realized the true reason.I failed to weight my pack before setting out.I repacked my pack as I would have had it befor the trip. Oh my @#$!*&%? 48 lbs !My pack alone (empty) weighted 7 3/4 lbs, Tent 6.5 lbs and sleeping bag 4 .5 lbs. Thats 18 3/4 lbs in jusst 3 items. I need a make over please!Not setting a good example to my BSA troop.

Drewman84
Jun 02, 2011

This really made me smile! We are all so truly blessed here in the States despite the gear, or lack there of!

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