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Hunting Scandal, Robot Writers, the Best Tent in Years, and More: GearJunkie 2022 in Review

sean in rei wonderland x tent(Photo/GearJunkie)
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Check out all the top stories from the year that was. See you in 2023!

Just a few days before the end of the calendar year, GearJunkie’s editorial squadron is running full steam ahead, already seeking out testing opportunities and crafting stories for the upcoming seasons — winter, spring, and soon, we may even start planning for summer.

But before we plow on, it’s time to look back at the top-trending, most popular, and most news-breaking stories of 2022.

Over the past year, our staff broke stories about crime on public lands, the evolving trade show landscape, our favorite vehicles ever tested, new gear, the future of AI, and more.

The Top 9 Stories of 2022

Bowmars Plead Guilty to Conspiracy in NE Poaching Case

Remember the bowhunting couple, Josh and Sarah Bowmar, who were charged in a massive poaching case?

Well, 2 years later, the hunting-influencer couple pled guilty to unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly conspiring with others to possess, transport, or sell wildlife in violation of the federal Lacey Act. As part of a plea agreement, the Department of Justice dropped the four other charges.

With sentencing to take place in January 2023, the couple faces potential maximum penalties of 1 year in prison, 1 year of supervised release, a $100,000 fine, and ineligibility for certain Federal benefits — in addition to certain hunting prohibitions in the state of Nebraska.

YouTubers Charged with National Park Crimes in ’30-Day Survival Challenge’

Early this year, Parks Canada charged two individuals, Canadian Gregory Ovens and American Zachary Fowler, with unlawfully fishing, hunting, discharging firearms, lighting fires, damaging natural objects, operating a drone — and a host of other infractions — inside Banff National Park.

GearJunkie took a deep look at the YouTuber’s infractions, the allegations, and the final charges.

REI Wonderland X Tent Review

REI Wonderland X tent set up
(Photo/Eric Phillips)

“A palace.” “One of the best new tents in years.” Our editors couldn’t say enough about the REI Wonderland X Tent after our annual camp gear test.

Almost immediately, our review of the Wonderland X garnered widespread attention. What is up with this crazy tent? Why is it so great? And can you really park a car inside it?

You’ll have to read the review to find out.

Best CRKT Knife Ever: Squid XM Review

Best pocket knife ever under $50, hands down. GearJunkie’s seasoned knife tester Josh Wussow makes big claims in this review, but trust us, this knife is worthy of the accolades.

Does it rival the CRKT brand’s iconic M16? Yes. The stainless steel, D2 steel blade and G10-handled knife is efficient, precise, the perfect size, and lastly, just $45.

Most-Fuel Efficient 4×4 Pickups of 2022

The magic combination, the perfect balance virtually every driver looks for: a vehicle that’s capable and frugal.

Thankfully, if you want to drive a sturdily-built truck that gets fantastic mileage, we have our top 10 picks! Whether it’s midsize, diesel, crossover, high-horsepower, or burly towing capacity you’re looking for, these fuel-efficient pickups will help you do more and spend less.

Best 7-Seater SUVs

Ford Expedition Timberline outdoors camping

Parents rejoice! You can still travel and adventure, even with a big crew.

Take the family and some extra passengers (or gear) in a 7-seater SUV. Which one is the best? Our GearJunkie Motors team tested, drove, and deliberated to find out.

Classic Camp Stove Gets a Modern Makeover: Coleman 1900 3-in-1 Review

Coleman’s celebratory 1900 Series collection impressed us out of left field, thanks to the 3-in-1 camp stove contraption. The stove is a 2-burner beast that puts out 12,000 BTUs each and comes with 2 cast iron attachments, a grill, and a flat griddle.

Essentially, it offers near-endless ways to cook, all with one stove. We cooked with a standard pot and pan on this stove, over an open flame to roast some poblanos, and also with both grill/griddle attachments.

If you like cookin’, this new-for-2022 stove is for you. And judging from the number of views from GearJunkie readers, a lot of you do!

Genius Multitool for the Campsite: Gerber Gear Stake Out Review

gerber stake puller hero
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

Every so often, we see a piece of gear we never knew existed, much less needed. The release of the Gerber Gear Stake Out multi-tool marked precisely one of those times.

The Gerber Gear Stake Out ($55) has a knife, scissors, saw, file, tweezers, ferro rod striker, bottle opener — and the namesake tool, a stake puller. Why not just use your fingers, some wondered critically.

To which I say, why not use an amazing tool built to make pulling stakes easy instead of wrenching at your finger joints as you painstakingly try to pull an ultralight tent stake from the near-frozen, densely packed ground?

You’ve all read about it; it’s amazing. If the review didn’t convince you, now’s the time to give it a try.

GearJunkie Video Content

Collectively, GearJunkie readers watched millions of minutes of our curated outdoor content: short films, historic documentaries, live record attempts, spoofs, and so much more.

Some of our favorites include a runner racing against a Tesla, an analysis of how Alex Honnold soloed El Cap, a survivalist angler’s DIY project, and possibly the world’s best drone shot.

Also, a rally race car took on a closed course, Bluebird Backcountry hosted a naked ski lap, a lone fisherman went to the middle of nowhere, a retired firefighter converted an old ambulance into a prime campervan, and a skier backflipped over an avalanche!

(And who could forget the Chevrolet swept up by a tornado?)

Editors’ Selections: Honorable Mentions

digital art of a menacing robot typing on a computer in the dark


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