One of my favorite ways to learn about the pro's/con's of backpacking gear is to do some research via Gear Review Videos on YouTube. I would even go as far to call this a favorite "past time" of mine! I think it is awesome to hear about a wide variety and perspectives of several experienced backpackers about the same piece of gear. One of my personal favorite Channels is DarwinOnTheTrail. I dig his input and experience, and he is very straight forward about WHY (or WHY NOT) he uses certain pieces of gear. However, based on some of his more recent videos, he appears to be taking a break.
How about folks in this community? Do you find it handy and do you enjoy watching gear review videos? Who are some of your favorite reviewers? Mainly interested in everyone's perspective here, and maybe I can learn a thing or two!
I don't scour YouTube for videos, but ya, Darwin "On The Trail" Rakestraw does good gear reviews, maybe the best. Jessica "Dixie" Mills' are alright, I guess. The reason I like Darwin's is he puts some SERIOUS miles in!! (even if it is just "distance hiking", HAH!). He's an original!
As long as reviewers stick to their PERSONAL experience, and that experience is significant (without trying to be some half-a** scientist!), then I'm interested in what they have to say.
@tadoerner Along with Youtubers that have been mentioned, I like to watch Neemor's World and JupiterHikes. Both do more than just gear videos and can have some good tips based on their experiences. I also like to find videos on what people carry for specific trips! Each trip is different and its cool to see things switched up based on the trail.
That is exactly why I like watching Darwin so much. He thoroughly goes over what he plans to pack, equipment that he picked up along the trail, as well as items he wouldn't have carried. I have enjoyed watching his evolution of equipment for the different hikes he has been on.
One of my favorite channels is "Following Redbeard". He started out doing great in-depth gear reviews and now he's expanded to doing trail videos of his recent hikes. Very informative and entertaining! Captain Redbeard for the win!!!
I also love going down the YouTube rabbit hole. As much as I like Darwin on the Trial, because he's a diehard ultralight backpacker, a lot of his gear is for that. So, although I find it interesting and I do look toward some of the UL stuff to help me from carrying too much heavy stuff, his reviews aren't as relevant as others. But don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of him.
From REI, I really like the new Miranda in the Wild series. The videos are long enough to go into nice detail but not so long that I get bored. Sure, she is going to be highlighting gear that is available from REI but as long as you know that, you can apply your own bias filter to it. But she is entertaining and I like the vibe of her videos.
I also really like Dan Becker. He's primarily a gear reviewer and the gear he reviews is more relevant to the stuff I am thinking about carrying.
A third one I like is Outdoor Gear Review.
So now outdoors oriented folks are watching videos?? Not everything is closed up. Channel Islands National Park is open for business -overnight camping on Santa Rosa Island especially. Just be aware - not many pine trees....
I work full time (typically far more than 40 hours each week) and my wife and I spend many hours each weekend shuttling the kids around or taking care of errands we can't do during the week.
Yeah, I would love to be out on the trail a lot more but for those time between each outing, going down various YouTube rabbit holes helps quench the thirst for the outdoors. 🙂
Plus, even on the days I was able to hit the trail, sitting on the back patio with a glass of bourbon (yes, for medicinal reasons, @SurvivalGal lol), a good cigar, and outdoor-related videos after my wife and kids go to bed? That's the perfect ending to a great day!
@hikermor - Man! It’d sure be nice to up and go to Channel Islands National Park! If only it was that easy. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with the ability to do that in their leisure time. Thanks for the advice about the pine trees though. Like @Dad_Aint_Hip mentioned, sometimes watching videos satisfies the thirst of being out on the trail and provides a means to educate oneself on the latest and greatest equipment options. For me, I am a young(er) father and husband that also works a typical 50-60 hour work week. Outside of work, my time isn’t always dedicated to getting out on the trail as I’d very selfishly like it to be.
I also mentioned that watching these educational videos is one of my key resources to LEARN and RESEARCH different gear options. I always take the approach of continuous learning by whatever means necessary, but to each their own. Sometimes you have to be creative with how you consume information.
On a closing note, I thought the outdoor community was all about building each other up and offering words of encouragement? There’s been a handful of folks in this Community that don’t necessarily enable that culture with the words and comments posted in this forum. Let’s all try to be more positive with the words we use and how it may come across to “inferior” and less experienced enthusiasts.