MARK SIREK Administrator Posts: 313
edited July 2023 in THE GEAR LAB

Hi, I’m Tina Currin @tina! Depending on the season, I’m a park ranger, long distance hiker, gear tester, ski liftie, unemployed van dweller, etc. When I’m not hiking or guiding trips, I’m probably traveling around in a Sprinter van with my husband, two cats, and a dog. My life is basically an Instagram reel without the big hats and beauty shots.

In the last couple of years, I thru-hiked the 1,200-mile Florida Trail and the 800-mile Arizona Trail, climbed some mountains, and led tours deep within South Dakota’s beautiful Jewel Cave, the third longest cave in the world. I’ve also completed the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, and I continue to kick around our nation’s most remote National Parks — I’ve visited 200 and counting. 

When you share less than 100 square feet with your partner and pets, space is at a premium. That’s why I’m pretty choosy when it comes to what I’m willing to haul around the country in my van and down the trail on my back. I don’t have space for ten different gear configurations; instead, I need the lightest and most durable equipment that’s ready for anything I throw at it, whether that’s in the muggy swamps of southern Florida, the prickly Sonoran Desert, or, heck, in the back of a van surrounded by not-declawed cats.

There are a few trusty pieces that I’ll never leave behind, even if it means less space for everything else: my Ultamid 2, DCF Ground Cloth, and 20-Degree Quilt. With this combination, I’m covered across a super-wide temperature range and for inclement weather or cowboy camping. My ‘Mid and Ground Cloth have performed flawlessly across 5,000 trail miles, while my 20-degree quilt kept me toasty on both shoulder-season thru-hikes I completed last year. 

I don’t have time (or a mailing address!) to futz around with sub-par equipment that requires frequent repair or replacement. I’m always on the move, and this is the gear that’s ready to move with me.

I love talking parks, travel, and thru-hikes. If you do, too, give me a shout in the discussion below!