BackpackingLight.com -- The Community of Lightweight Hiking and Backcountry Travel

9:46 p.m. on January 23, 2011 (EST)
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A friend introduced me to this link below:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/index.html

10:29 p.m. on January 23, 2011 (EST)
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Why pay $25 dollars a year, or $110 for a lifetime membership, when our very own Trailspace.com members offer the best info, ratings, reviews, trick, tips, recipies, and photos any outdoorsperson could want - for FREE!? They're nice about it too!!

Many thanks to all of our members. YOU make Trailspace.com the awesome site that it is!

10:56 p.m. on January 23, 2011 (EST)
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A friend introduced me to this link below:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/index.html

 Gary I go to that site for information at times and thats about it..I would rather ask all of you question and get answers form all the members here to be honest..I believe more of you have more knowledge than a 20 year old college student..I am not knocking the student. But  the members here I would trust their judgement..This what I do when I ask questions because things have change technology and technigues..You the members and staff at Trailspace help me become a better outdoorsmen..It doesn't cost me anything but you all give me sound advise...but I do browse their topics...

Best way for me to describe it is I can email anyone here about my trip and get an answer in about a day. And feel completely at ease with the answer.

11:56 p.m. on January 23, 2011 (EST)
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X2 on what Denis Daly said.  I, too, go to Backpacking Light to read the forums occasionally, mostly because I like to get as many opinions as possible before I plunk down my hard-earned money on new gear.   I do think it's good to go to more than one place for opinions and information.  But it's Trailspace that I consider to be my "community" for discussing related topics :).

 

 

12:09 a.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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There are a lot of good sites for backpacking info. Some focus on lightweight hiking, some on long distance hiking, some just on winter camping, gear testing or just certain geographic areas. I belong to, or read at least one of each that span all of these interests when put together. I  Probably have close to a hundred different sites on my "favorites" list, including a couple of foreign sites, manufacturer's sites, online stores, etc., but Trailspace and a handful of others are the sites I visit regularly.

Backpackinglight is one of the few with a paywall. It does have a lot of good info and Ryan Jordan, the site owner, is an expert on lightweight long distance hiking. I think you can get a lot of the same info elsewhere, including here, which is sponsor supported.

Other people do the same thing. I know this because I see them on different sites.

11:17 a.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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Was just telling about the site. I have 99.99% of all the gear I need. I have been backpacking so much longer than anything else I have a keen knowledge of whats good and not.

12:48 p.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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Was just telling about the site. I have 99.99% of all the gear I need. I have been backpacking so much longer than anything else I have a keen knowledge of whats good and not.

 I wasn't knocking you. Just saying Yes it is a good site to look and then ask questions about..I trust your judgement because of your experiance and others...As I like to think of it your one of the good guy's willing to help me become better at it...

7:08 p.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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I wasn't knocking anyone, just making a frugal observation.

11:02 p.m. on January 24, 2011 (EST)
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Wow, pretty harsh. I think BPL is worth every dime it costs me. Maybe I haven't spent enough time on the UL forum here. Oh wait............

12:54 a.m. on January 26, 2011 (EST)
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Sarcasm? C'mon Skinewmexico. I'm glad that you've found BPL worth the investment, but I don't think anyone here is being harsh just because they don't share your opinion that the BPL membership is a good investment.

If your sarcasm about a "UL forum here" is your way of voicing displeasure with Trailspace lacking in that area, then I certainly encourage you to begin a forum as an active, contributing member. I will certainly support it and engage in discussion, as I value progression in design and efficiency but also value the aforementioned wisdom shared here on Trailspace. I suspect you feel the same - hence your membership in both sites.

BPL has many and varied demographics represented in membership, to their credit, but my considerable time spent there in the past as a "silent member" revealed to me that much of the biting, less altruistic postings came from an ageset similar to that described by Denis. I do appreciate the passion required to scrutinize every once in Ultralight backpacking, but not at the expense of civility (I'm still trying to figure out how to drop my FS MTB below 19 lbs without selling my home to pay for it).

Now mind you, I've seen rants from some other age groups get out of hand here as well, but to a far lesser extent.   

3:33 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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It may be a wonderfull sight but I already live beyond my budget. I like free stuff.

4:39 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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Beyond the negatory of BackpackingLight's charging actual cash for deeper exploration, I find their New Posts boggling as they seem to consist of a near-endless litany of gear minutiae fascinating to the armchair commandos but possibly lacking in real-world, hands-on usage.  Here are some examples:

**  Making clothes out of closed cell foam.

**  "I was cold last night at 20F with a quilt.  What went wrong?" etc.

**  MLD Trailstar.

**  Hexamid with heavier cuben . . . ."

**  Patagonia stretch element . . . . ."

GEAR GEAR GEAR.

4:58 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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But Tipi, you don't know what backpacking is REALLY all about, ya' noob!

:)

6:46 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi- Reading your trail reports would make someone think you may know a thing or two about winter conditions..LOL  It also makes me crack up when I see your posts on another forum when your argueing with them on gear...Hence their lack off at times.....three points for you:-)

6:53 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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Tipi has it right, as usual and I have found much the same behaviour and attitudes on other forums concerned with backpacking/camping, so, cannot be bothered to visit them or participate.

It oftimes seems as though those with the least field experience and actual knowledge of a situation or gear item are the ones who make the most offensive and foolish posts.....sign of the times, maybe?

7:22 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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As a web developer I like their site over Trailspace's design.

As a hiker, I trust the opinions of this site and it's members as the ultimate authority of where I should be asking advice about the outdoors. Even if sometimes the forums and responses are slower to come than other forums.

In youth terminology, Trailspace = FTW

9:58 p.m. on January 27, 2011 (EST)
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Not just gear, gear, gear, but "item x is a piece of crap because it weighs two grams more than item y."

12:01 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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I'm a member over there and have been for 5 years.  Lately, there have been a rash of 'so called' experts that do, in fact, 'poo poo' one piece of gear over another because of a few grams.  There is also a lot of group think on the forums.

However, the articles on things like thermoregulation, unconventional sleep systems, and breathability tests of fabrics has proven invaluable in terms of increasing my knowledge base.  Many of these articles were written years ago when Ryan Jordan, Alan Dixon, et al, were regular contributors to the site.  It has become more of a business now, instead of a place of sharing.

My membership expires in August and that will be that.

12:03 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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LOL. This thread has become so entertaining! As a place to learn and engage in meaningful dialogue, Trailspace is without equal.

As a place to argue about how to reduce the weight of the stitching that connects your pack's waistbelt to its frame without sacrificing strength, BPL has no equal...

Mikekey has a point though. It's a nicely designed site.

12:32 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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Yes it is...But man it's like the nazi weight police.LOL  No matter what you say you have..It's not good enough unless it weighs what a piece of tissue paper weighs....LOL    My god we would be better off with a shower curtain and some twine...LOL

12:37 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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I'm a member over there and have been for 5 years.  Lately, there have been a rash of 'so called' experts that do, in fact, 'poo poo' one piece of gear over another because of a few grams.  There is also a lot of group think on the forums.

However, the articles on things like thermoregulation, unconventional sleep systems, and breathability tests of fabrics has proven invaluable in terms of increasing my knowledge base.  Many of these articles were written years ago when Ryan Jordan, Alan Dixon, et al, were regular contributors to the site.  It has become more of a business now, instead of a place of sharing.

My membership expires in August and that will be that.

 totally understand any site has useful info and tthats what I look for...

No doubt the articles on on fabrics and the things you mention are top notch..But somethings like your mentioning like the "poo poo" experts just standout in my mind...But yes I always find useful info on alot of forums and people like yourself who share such knowledge helps me better and I appreciate it....You also bring other  knowledge someone might want to gain like yourself....

7:46 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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One nice thing about an ultralight site is they most probably won`t be advocating being armed to the teeth when backpacking.

9:39 a.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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Wow. I wonder if there's a thread at BPL right now sh1tting on Trailspace. Geez...different strokes for different folks...

I'll tell you what...for all the comments about the younger demographic which frquents BPL, most of the posters in this thread are acting quite immature. Childish even.

At least at BPL they argue over what is the best gear for their needs, not whose forums are the more r0xx0rs!!

By the way...Gary , I understand the tone this thread has taken is not in the spirit of your original post. Thank you for sharing with us.

12:48 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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Wow. I wonder if there's a thread at BPL right now sh1tting on Trailspace. Geez...different strokes for different folks...

I'll tell you what...for all the comments about the younger demographic which frquents BPL, most of the posters in this thread are acting quite immature. Childish even.

At least at BPL they argue over what is the best gear for their needs, not whose forums are the more r0xx0rs!!

By the way...Gary , I understand the tone this thread has taken is not in the spirit of your original post. Thank you for sharing with us.

 Your right Pillowthread...I did it as well...Someone saud maybe we should include a ultralite thread...I think thats a good idea..I think alot of the UL members have alot of good things to add..I couldn't access their articles because for that you need to be a member..But they do have some great idea's and I am always open to new idea.I know what I said as a joke wasn't that funny...But yes I would think it would benefit Trailspace....

1:39 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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You are right, it is neither helpful or productive to just demean another site or their members.

 However, to discuss problems that exist on other forums, or to relate personal experience with a particular group is not wrong or worthy of aspersion.

Are the criticisms untrue? Were any done in a particularly vindictive or rude manner? Were individuals personally attacked or vilified?  Many of the above posters, who had critiques to offer, also made positive statements about aspects of the other groups.  Even those who didn’t praise BPL in some manner related specific issue based complaints.

The primary issue mentioned about BPL and some other groups is the frequent lack of deference and respect on those sites for ideas or individuals that do not conform to their opinions. That is a completely legitimate frustration, and one that is easily substantiated.

As for your question of whether there is a thread "shitting on trailspace"- maybe there isn't one on BPL currently about trailspace in specific, but that is the whole source of the friction. There is a pervasive and continual personal condescension towards backpackers and ideas that are deemed more traditional.

Virtually no one here is offended by someone having a passion for achieving personal UL goals, the crux lies where many  ULers aren't so accepting.

1:57 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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Amen Gonzan.

2:25 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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I think one should be more specific if they accuse an entire group of crapping on another forum.  If you re-read my post, I did none of that.  I praise the early articles but criticize the forums.

As far as whether those at BPL criticize these forums, I do not know.  I DO know that some have openly criticized www.whiteblaze.net, www.backpacker.com, and www.clubtread.com.

I think there is some value in a short term membership for the previously mentioned articles.  Some of them are excellent.  Once you read those, however, there is little value to the forums.

2:52 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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I do want to mention that I personally have benefitted from some articles and discussion on BPL. Unfortunately, I also witnessed more negative interaction than I wanted to be part of.

Also, I love it when other members introduce us to websites and resources that they have discovered!  Thanks for sharing it, Gary.

3:30 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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I think one should be more specific if they accuse an entire group of crapping on another forum.  If you re-read my post, I did none of that.  I praise the early articles but criticize the forums.

As far as whether those at BPL criticize these forums, I do not know.  I DO know that some have openly criticized www.whiteblaze.net, www.backpacker.com, and www.clubtread.com.

I think there is some value in a short term membership for the previously mentioned articles.  Some of them are excellent.  Once you read those, however, there is little value to the forums.

I never knew about club thread...I do appoligise for acting childish...Thats a great amount of information to gather out there..I just bring the idea's I see on forums there that pertain   to me here because I feel. I can have an alternative view from many different levels of backpacking...One group or style as I like to put it doesn't give me all the advantages of different experiances...I see the best of both worlds that can work for everyone...

The information and articles are always an advantage to educate us...I have taken alot from other forums because I just got back into it...thats means I am playing catch up...Thats why I went to BPL they have a differnet method and I do see the advantages to alot of things...Sorry for my rude post...

5:10 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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Denis - no need to apologize.  Your comments were not that far from the truth in many cases.

7:57 p.m. on January 28, 2011 (EST)
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BPL is a niche website as outdoor forums go, so is Hammock Forums, and a long list of others.

They are interested in discussing things pertaining to their own interests, you shouldn't expect to discuss heavy full leather boots at BPL or anything tent related at HF. Your likely to get the cold shoulder, that's just the way it is.

Trailspace is more mainstream and open to discussion of a wider variety of gear, technique, and advise. I prefer sites that are more inclusive rather than less so, but I do go to niche sites to learn about specific gear or technique. Both types of sites have a lot to offer.

I have learned a lot at HF about hammocks, alcohol stoves, and lightweight materials, however I prefer a tent and white gas stove during the winter and many times only carry an alcohol stove as a backup or second burner. I like them a lot for dayhikes.

Trailspace is one of the better moderated, and more civil sites I visit, with a wealth of practical advise. I've never seen anyone here suggest you grind half the sole off your shoes to save weight! I have seen similarly silly posts elsewhere.

 

 

7:21 a.m. on January 29, 2011 (EST)
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I like reading the Lightweight's discussions, learning from them, and have suggested that Trailspace open it up to their ideas with a dedicated section; I gather there isn't the need or capacity (and what about MBiking?).

But I do remember the last actual lightweight discussion that I read on one of those forums because it revolved around the issue of gloves/mitts in winter: someone suggested they just use their trouser pockets.

10:12 a.m. on January 29, 2011 (EST)
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Trout, your poise and class are an example to us all. Man do I wish I displayed such restraint and civility more often.

10:41 a.m. on January 29, 2011 (EST)
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I second that thought, Pillowthread; Trout is the man :)

2:44 p.m. on February 2, 2011 (EST)
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I've stayed out of this thread till now, since I'm likely to be biased, but I have a few thoughts to share.

First, I'm glad to have all of you on Trailspace and appreciate hearing your comments and suggestions about our site. There are many ways we can improve and we're going to keep working on them.

Needless to say, our members are our most valuable asset and we appreciate the contributions of each of you.

Second, there's not only room for multiple outdoor voices, but the need for those different voices. Just like the Trailspace community aims to be inclusive and welcome different points of view and experiences, we need different voices out there from other outdoor sites, publications, blogs, etc.

No one publication or website can ever be everything to everyone. And it keeps discussions healthy when we're informed by multiple points of view and experiences. I think it's important that we don't aim to surround ourselves solely with people who already think exactly like us.That gets pretty boring and insular fast.

Different sites, publications, and blogs all have their time and place. You can be a member of more than one community, just as you probably subscribe to more than one magazine at home. It needn't be an either-or choice. Variety is essential. People are multifaceted.

Third, I'd caution against judging any community on the basis of one member or a particular post. I don't think we'd want a visitor to Trailspace to judge the whole site based on one cranky forum post someone put up on a bad day, for example.

Lastly, while each of us is likely to feel affinities for certain communities (and I hope you feel that way toward Trailspace), we should respect other communities out there. Sites like BPL are aimed at a particular audience and can be very useful if you want that info.

And I'm sure they're working just as hard to serve their community as we try to do here at Trailspace. It can be tough work, so I have respect for anyone who has a successful community and website.

Ultimately, we all hope to get people excited about being outside, even if there are many different styles and ways to do that.

Thanks for listening.

11:49 p.m. on February 21, 2011 (EST)
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Ditto, Alicia.  I have read posts here from people with amazing resumes, but I am member of BPL and have been helped a great deal, not just from forum comments, but from articles and finding amazing places to hike.  

Lately, I have been helped by the photography threads there and started a whole new dimension to my hobby of picture taking.  

Forums have been a great help in guiding my adventures on the AT, too, including the purchase of discounted gear from other members, finding rides to trailheads and even companions to hike the "100 mile wilderness" along the AT in Maine.  

It is great not to be charged to use this helpful site, but notice the Trailspace hat I am wearing in my avatar.  That is a self-portrait on the AT just south of Pearisburg VA, and I wore the hat on the JMT and again last summer in Yosemite.  Support this site, buy a fine hikin' hat.

BTW If not for books starting with Beyond Backpacking on UL or Lightweight Backpacking, sites that helped me make my own gear, and learn about companies that sell lightweight gear not found in stores, I probably would not still be enjoying long distant backpacking.  In fact I am positive I would not still be hiking.  Online forums about hiking have been very important for me.

8:27 a.m. on February 22, 2011 (EST)
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It is great not to be charged to use this helpful site, but notice the Trailspace hat I am wearing in my avatar.  That is a self-portrait on the AT just south of Pearisburg VA, and I wore the hat on the JMT and again last summer in Yosemite.  Support this site, buy a fine hikin' hat.

Very nice!

Some day I'm going to meet a person (besides my friends and family) wearing a Trailspace hat on the trail or with a Trailspace sticker on a water bottle and be very excited. I can almost guarantee they'll at least get their picture in the blog.

FYI, you can get free stickers by sending a request to stickers@trailspace.com.

Also, our hats just got replaced last month with better closures. The first batch from last fall were not done properly. So, if anyone bought or got sent one in the last few months, send me an email reminder so I can send you a replacement.

They should be showing as available for sale very soon: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/trailspace/trail-runner-cap/

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