Getting Forum Feedback on Gear List

1:06 a.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm one of the co-founders of Prep.a.Trip, and I want to say that Trailspace is one of my new favorite places to get feedback on my pack lists - you guys have been both responsive and thoughtful, so thank you!  

I've been searching through many of the other forums and posting my list this past week, so I decided to write a roundup of the forums that were the most and least helpful (so far) in terms of feedback and advice. 

Here's the link to the blog article about it:

Does anyone know of any other great forums or online communities that I may have missed in my search that have been helpful for you?  I'm always looking for more information and communities to learn about.

1:31 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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You could try:

It has an active community of experienced hikers and climbers, but it's also crawling with a huge number of trolls, posers and wannabes.

It used to be really good, but you'd have to check it out for yourself to find out how it is now.

I'm interested in the next subject you mention on your blog, though, since I run my groups through the internet. I have 600 members so far, and a pretty decent rate of active participation.

2:05 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Wow!  There are a lot of people on there!  I definitely will take a look at that.  Trolling is so unfortunate, and if I can attribute anything with retaining a new comer backpacker, its the lack of trolling and ads.

I am actually talking with the founders of 2 of the websites I will be featuring on there, so I'm glad you're interested in that next article!  Stay tuned =)

3:58 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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@Jamesprepatrip, I noticed you referred to "several of the forums" you checked out as "old school".

I'm curious, what do you feel makes a forum "old school?"

4:18 p.m. on September 6, 2012 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

..I'm curious, what do you feel makes a forum "old school?"

Heck, other than dial-up, is there anything about the internet that can be considered old school?


11:37 a.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

I'm curious, what do you feel makes a forum "old school?"

Maybe he's talking about all us old guys. Some of our gear is definitely 'old school'. Did you know there are even a few people here with external frame packs??!!

(Easy, Ed! Just kidding!)

11:48 a.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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Fair enough!  I actually have an external frame back as well!  I went on the JMT with it in 2008 and I'm going to probably pick it up in 2013 when I do it again.

In terms of old school.. I was specifically talking about it from a tech nerd perspective... I definitely should have clarified. Most of these forums are using forum technologies made back in the late 1990s or early 2000s with:

  • no social media connectivity for easy login
  • no voting mechanisms to down play flamers and trollers
  • no WYSIWYG for easy formatting
  • too many clicks to do 1 things
  • Ads in the most obtrusive places

So being someone that likes to be on the technology edge.. using systems like quora and reddit.. I used them as a modern day standard.  But the truth is, the outdoor tech community doesn't evolve as quick as the technologists do.. and for a great reason.. we are not in front of the computer enough to do so!  But Trailspace, I can't tell what they're using but they are probably the slickest forums of all of them, and I deeply respect that.  They do alot of the things that the other forums do not.

And no offense meant to age at all, we youngsters have lots to learn and having seasoned, respectful people lead an online community is what forums need, and seriously, thats why I love trailspace the most.

So again, I apologize for my nerd ramblings, they are definitely coming from, well, a nerddy place.  

1:34 p.m. on September 7, 2012 (EDT)
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No worries on my part jamesprepatrip.  I don't take offense at the term "old school".  In fact I'm first to admit that some of the things I do fall into that category.  And in some cases I prefer it that way... at least one of the features you suggested is one I'm not sure I'd want (single sign on using social media credentials).  I've already seen my FB account hacked once, and for that reason alone I prefer to keep each account unique.  Newer isn't always better :).

Anyway, thanks for the comments.  I asked just out of curiosity, partly because I wondered if there were some cool new forum features I hadn't seen yet :).

Anyway this has gone way beyond "Gear Selection", guess it would fit better in "Off Topic"... :)

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