Milestone: 5000th Post

This past week we hit a milestone, publishing our 5000th article since launching in 2006.

Early days: GearJunkie founder on summit of Mount Rainier, 2004

It’s been a wild ride, and on this occasion we’d like to step back and thank you, our readers, for the support, ideas, opinions, and the continual energy that keeps us going in this crazy game.

Some history on GearJunkie: Back in 2002, a young journalist from Minnesota, Stephen Regenold, proposed a bi-weekly column to the local newspaper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. On a phone call with a sports editor at the paper, Regenold was put on the spot to come up with a name, and he spat out “Gear Junkie” as a good option.

Roots of GearJunkie: a print newspaper column

The paper picked it up, and after a few months Regenold expanded the reach beyond Minnesota. Soon, “The Gear Junkie” was syndicated nationally as a weekly column covering outdoors gear. It reached a peak of 14 newspapers, published from Seattle, where it ran in the now-defunct Post-Intelligencer, to Albuquerque, Greensboro, N.C., and Cape Cod.

McCoy slogs through a tough boot test

Going on 13 years now, GearJunkie has shifted from its roots as a nationally-syndicated column. We’re still in Minneapolis, and our staff here is 7 people in an office on the city’s Midtown Greenway Bike Path. Our managing editor, Sean McCoy, is based in Denver, and we have writers across the country and the world.

The website now publishes three to five articles a day, including news, profiles, adventure tales, and, of course, objective reviews on all kinds of outdoors gear. The 5000th one rolled out this past week among 25 additional posts covering hammocks, bikes, knives, an infrared camera, and a tool to bolster flames in a campfire.

Testing gear around the world, in Patagonia (left) and Mount Everest in 2010

Beyond articles, the company now produces videos, hosts events, and manages a range of projects via our in-house agency, Monopoint Media. One of our favorite projects, now in its third year, is a massive wintertime scavenger hunt, Checkpoint Minnesota, built for the state government as a way to get people excited and outdoors, no matter the weather or terrain.

That spirit, of motivating individuals to push themselves, get outside, and experience life is at the root of GearJunkie. After all, you need the right gear, from a rain jacket to a bike, to most enjoy our wonderful world, or, perhaps, push yourself on a mountain climb, ultra race, or a stretch of steep whitewater in a gorge.

Whatever your passion, whatever gear you use and love, we hope to be there as a part of the conversation. Keep in touch with our staff, follow on social via Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter. We’ll see you out there, testing the latest gear, of course.