Will Rietveld has a B.S. and M.S. in Forest Science from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in Ecological Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Arizona. He spent his entire career with the Research Division of the USDA Forest Service, where he worked as a research scientist, project manager, and national R&D program administrator.
Now retired, he lives in southern Colorado where he takes up a new career of backpacking year-round in the mountains and canyon country of the Southwest. During the summer months Will and his wife Janet are volunteer wilderness rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness.
His friends claim he is a cross between a mountain goat and a jackrabbit, thus his trail name “Willi Wabbit”. He loves to explore off-trail in the mountains of Southern Colorado and the canyon country of Southeast Utah, and can still do a 20-mile day. He has been a lightweight backpacker for 40 years and an ultralight backpacker for the past 7 years.
Will joined the BPL staff in April 2004, initially as Cooking Systems Section Editor, then Packing Systems Section Editor, then Shelter Systems Section Editor, and currently Senior Editor for Gear and Apparel. For Will, gear testing and writing reviews and technical articles on outdoor gear really fits in well with his passion for ultralight backpacking, and utilizes his research and writing skills from his former career.