Meet the Gear Testers: Kristin Hostetter

BACKPACKER's fearless gear editor since 1994, few (if any) know outdoor gear like Kristin Hostetter.
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BACKPACKER's fearless gear editor since 1994, few (if any) know outdoor gear like Kristin Hostetter.

Kristin Hostetter

Backpacker Gear Editor since 1994

Milton, MA

Height: 5’5”

Boot Size: 8

Torso Legth: 16”

I began my outdoor career in retail. To put myself through grad school, I landed a part-time job at Erehwon in Chicago, where I quickly became enthralled with
all things gear-related, and began spending all my free time hiking, camping, climbing, and sea kayaking in Wisconsin, the Great Lakes, and the upper peninsula
of Michigan. I became an avid reader and fan of BACKPACKER and set my sights on on getting a job there. After much persistence, I landed my dream job, and
haven’t looked back since.

Gear testing for BACKPACKER has taken me all over the globe: from the Rockies and Cascades to Switzerland and Norway, from Alaska and Jamaica (seriously!) to
Chile and Vietnam. I’ve weathered 90 mph winds atop Mt Washington in winter, torrential day-after-day rain in Olympic National Park, and 100+ degree heat at
the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

My gear philosophy could be summed up like this: I’m a stickler when it comes to extra ounces (I weight everything on my digital scale before packing for a
trip and I think nothing of wearing the same tee shirt-wool!-- for 6 days in a row to avoid packing extra clothes) but I never skimp on a cushy sleeping pad
or fine food.