Review –

A review of the video series by Dave Collins


“Clever Hiker” is a new series of videos by an experienced backpacker by the name of Dave Collins.

These professional level quality videos feature excellent cinematography and solid information conveyed in an easy-to-follow manner.

These videos reminded me a bit of the classic Lighten Up! by Don Ladigan in terms of the style (albeit in video form). More of an overview for traditional backpackers who wish to lighten their gear load while still maintaining a level of comfort.

As with other materials aimed towards a person from a traditional backpacking background, I brought in a guest reviewer: My someone…aka someone.

someone has no desire to hike 20+ miles a day, sleep under the stars and eat cold food for dinner.

Rather she wants to hike into a nice campsite, enjoy the views and not feel tired while hiking.

In other words, the type of person this video series is aimed at.

She described the videos as

  • Easy to understand
  • A nice overview
  • “Cute”
  • Gives much “food for thought”
  • Good for traditional backpackers who want to look at the “alien concepts of lightweight backpacking and make then seem less threatening”

As with me, someone really appreciated the excellent cinematography.

someone was also again very adamant about her views of camp shoes “I will never give them up. If I have to give them up you will carry them”  (This line especially sounds forceful when you keep in mind my someone is a German national. :D)

She liked the videos overall and found them useful.

My opinion? They are indeed easy to watch and make for a nice, breezy overview of the concepts.  I love how Dave states in the videos that there is “No perfect style”  recognizing that there is a broad spectrum of gear that fits for different people and their needs or desires.

The videos are  more of a survey and consist of generalities. Personally, I like this style as specific gear does change overtime but the types of gear seldom does.

For $25, a person can buy the whole series with a regularly updated e-book that is more about specific gear items. Dave states the e-book will be updated on a regular basis.  Overall, the e-book reminds me of Backpacker Magazine’s annual gear guide – a quick overview of some popular choices.

If I have a criticism of the videos is that they are perhaps too gear specific.  Going lighter is more than about gear, but also about knowledge and how to use said gear.  Gear choices can also change depending on season, location, weather, experience and other variables.

I also realize this is only the first series of these videos. Gear is always the first item most beginners gravitate towards.Perhaps future videos will expand on not only gear choices, but when and how to use the appropriate gear depending on the situation?

Overall Views

Well done introductory videos done for the person looking to gravitate towards a lighter kit.  An experienced person looking to dial in their gear a bit more may want to look at other resources (for now). But for the person looking to start their journey in lightening up their gear, the Clever Hiker series is a good first step.


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