Dave “Lucky” Brunstein

Dave “Lucky” Brunstein

Lucky is an avid ultralight backpacker that absolutely loves hiking in the Southwest. He feels blessed to have so many great hikes within a 6-hour drive of his home! To help build up a backpacking community in Arizona, he started the Arizona Backpacking Club (ABC) in 2008 and the BCH in 2011. He volunteers to lead about 25 trips every year.

Other than the Sierra which is in a league of its own, Lucky’s favorite hikes include Rainbow Bridge, Buckskin/Paria, Black Canyon, Deer Creek/Tapeats Creek, and anywhere in the Superstitions. He seeks out water hikes because they’re pretty rare in Arizona. Lucky usually does Aravaipa, Verde River Gorge, West Fork of the Oak Creek, and East Clear Creek at least once every year.

Lucky got into ultralight immediately after his very first backpacking trip (as an adult) and hasn’t looked back since. On that first trip, he struggled and stumbled for about half a mile, dropped his 70 lb pack and said “That’s it, we’re camping right here. I’m not taking another step.” To which his 11-year old son said “But Dad, I can still see the car!” With hundreds of trips and several thousands of miles under his belt, he’s proud to say he can now hike further than that!


Home: Phoenix, AZ

Age: 56

Outdoor Organization Involvement: Leader at the BCH

Favorite Training Grounds: I usually do my fitness hikes on South Mountain. It’s close and has a lot of nice hills.

Favorite Pack: I love my Kumo! It very comfortable and just the right size. But I’ll also add that I’ve been using Gossamer Gear packs since 2002 and have loved every one of them.

I Never Hit the Trail Without: I usually always carry the same stuff and feel like my pack list is “dialed in.” For weekend trips, I often pack a 1-ounce grill and plan to BBQ a nice ribeye with other indulgences.

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