About Us

DefeatedTrails.com was created initially to document our backpacking adventures by creating online trip reports. Since then it has added an identity as a resource for lightweight backpacking gear and general concepts. Meet the men behind the curtain:

Jared Atkins:

Jared, who has lived most of his life in Morgan Hill, CA, became a backpacking enthusiast through his involvement in Scouting (he's an Eagle Scout).  Jared and Dave began hiking together in 1999, in preparation for a 2-week trip to the southern, New Mexican Rockies (Philmont). In 2008 he began making drastic changes to his gear and entered the world of ultralight backpacking.

Dave Sholer:

Dave also grew up in Morgan Hill, where he and Jared attended most of elementary and middle school together. He's also an Eagle Scout.  Dave read Ray Jardine's Beyond Backpacking in 2001, which changed his entire view of hiking.  He switched most of his gear to GoLite's "Ray Way" products and has thoroughly enjoyed everything about them. While some are still stuck in the old ways of "heavier is manlier", Dave has realized the impact a lightened load makes: extending daily mileage and increasing enjoyment. Never again will he go back to the 75+ lbs. packs just because heavy is somehow cool and manly. "Lightweight is the new heavy," says Dave. "It's just about being smart and using equipment in efficient systems."