Get To Know Our Reader Gear Testers!

BACKPACKER is sending our readers out and into the field. Meet our newest gear testers, and find out if this year's gear was made to last, or whether it ought to hit the high trails home.

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Meet the latest addition to our gear testing squad, reader Katie Venable. With awesome outdoor excursions planned for the coming year, Katie’s going to help us test the latest, and most durable outdoor gear and apparel. We’re excited to see all the places she’ll go on her upcoming adventures, but more importantly how all of her gear stands against the daily grind of the trails. Stay tuned as we introduce you to more of our reader gear testers in the coming months. Also, be sure to leave your comments about which gear you want to see our testers get dirty!


“Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, I began backpacking and climbing in the Cascade Mountains at a young age. For the past 8 years, I’ve worked as a river and mountain expedition leader in the western U.S., Africa, India, and South America. When not guiding professionally, I enjoy backpacking, kayaking, bow hunting, painting, and photography. My equipment will be tested on ascents of Mt. Adams, Mt. Shasta, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, as well as frequent trekking missions in the Sierra Nevadas. At 27 years old, I currently live in Northern California with my husband and our chocolate Lab, Wingman.”

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