11:16 a.m. on December 21, 2013 (EST)
2,780 reviewer rep
1,638 forum posts

Would there be anyway to create the functionality of being able to create a poll similar to other forum sites? I like polls and find them useful, what can I say.

Ability to create a poll with say up to 8 options, and then the ability to vote on the choice you select. Or something to that effect.

8:48 a.m. on December 25, 2013 (EST)
399 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Rambler, This was once the best backpacking forum on the internet. So much advice, and camping wisdom. Now its a review, give away site, with little thought of the forum. Sad really. A once great site has turned to an ordinary garbage review site. I have also noticed that it has lost much of its respect among backpackers, mostly rating 3 or fewer stars.  It is no wonder you haven't gotten a response.  

I have mostly moved on to other sites. They might not be as good as TS once was. But they are much better than what TS has become.

And as proof you need not to look farther than how many posted Merry Christmas.

A sad shadow of itself.

9:04 a.m. on December 27, 2013 (EST)
5,414 reviewer rep
1,079 forum posts

Neat idea, no idea the work need to create it though!

4:17 p.m. on January 6, 2014 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
1,010 forum posts

A Trailspace poll tool probably isn't in the cards any time soon. The good news it that there are a number of free tools that let you build all sorts of cool polls. It should pretty easy to create a poll with something like SurveyMonkey or Google Docs and then link to your poll in a forum post here.

A once great site has turned to an ordinary garbage review site.

Sorry you feel that way, Mike. What can we do differently to make Trailspace the best review site?

8:53 p.m. on January 6, 2014 (EST)
118 reviewer rep
131 forum posts

I think Trailspace is among the best, if not the best review site.

But its also not a very good forum site. And the members here generally have a very high skill level while simultaneously have a low level of tolerance for ignorance of new hikers, making it somewhat of an uninviting place.

Just look at the thread about the 3 guys who got lost in N.C. and had to be rescued if you want to see mean spririted posts. Granted the guys were pretty dumb, but the posts were outright mean.

11:36 a.m. on January 7, 2014 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
1,010 forum posts

Thanks. We do want to keep it inviting for all. If you see a post that you believe violates the community rules, please flag it for moderator attention.

5:41 p.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
399 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Dave you have been here a long...LONG time. :) You understand that TS started as a forum, sharing experiences and knowledge of the trail. Later the reviews were added in, and they were fun and I think for the most part well thought out + or - a few. But everything revolved around the forum.

That changed into a game show of give aways. And the forum was put on the back shelf. All one has to do is look at the first page. Yes there is mention of forum topics but for the most part its how to win big prizes and what are the top brand names. GIVE us a REVIEW AND YOU COULD WIN!!!

I was very active at one time in the conversations. And just for kicks I would review gear. It was very interesting reading ( not to say that from time to time it isn't interesting now) but now allot less so.

There is so much more to backpacking than the top brands or the best gear. If you don't understand how and why to do things, then the best gear and the top brands are worthless.  I would think maybe a more even footing, Forums Vs Gear, would be more helpful to a beginning backpacker.

I lurked here for over a year before I joined. I gained knowledge that you can't buy. I was hiking with 3 large duffel bags at the time. Was having fun but though the forums I learned how to do things better, safer, and lighter. Only after that did I go for better gear.

It just seams to me putting gear before knowledge is like putting the cart before the horse. 

5:47 p.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
399 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Rereading your question Dave.......No, TS is now the best review and win site on the Internet. Guess I must be in the wrong place now.

8:50 a.m. on January 9, 2014 (EST)
12,279 reviewer rep
1,412 forum posts

I can't speak to what TS "was." I can only say I found this site looking for a useable/relevant review on a sale item on Campmor.

I've found far too many vendor reviews go like this:

"5-stars! I bought this for my nephew as a Christmas present, and he's going to love it when he finds it under the tree!" or "5-stars! I just got this thing, and I can't wait to try it out!" You rarely read a review that would be considered "Killer" on this site.

Reviews in sources like Backpacker Magazine often feel like they are written to keep sponsors happy. I once read a glowing review on an item that I KNEW had significant design flaws, but that company advertised in the magazine all the time. Because it was the 2010 Editor's Choice I bought an REI "ultralight" backpack that weighed 3lbs and turned out not to be all that great (nor truly ultralight--until I made my own modifications and dropped it down to 1lb12oz).

On this site, I find far more useful reviews. Yes, there are the stray "I just got this" reviews, and not all reviews are "Killer Reviews," but I rarely buy something without checking here first.

9:46 a.m. on January 9, 2014 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
1,010 forum posts

Guess I must be in the wrong place now.

You may be, though I hope not :-)

Gear reviews have actually been a major part of Trailspace since the very beginning. We launched the site in 2001 with five gear review categories and two forums.

Consistently throughout the site's history, more people have used the reviews than the forums, and it's only through advertising in the reviews sections that we're able to pay the bills. From the day of its founding, Trailspace has been about gear. 

Yes, there's a lot more to getting outdoors than the gear we use. That's why the forums are here, and why they've evolved the way that they have. They're a great place for core community members to chat, and for new (and veteran) members to ask questions that can't be answered by the reviews. Nobody's taking that away.

But our vision for Trailspace has always been broader than backpacking, and has never been forum-centric. The very first Trailspace mission statement Alicia and I wrote in the mid-2000s was to "give outdoors people the information they need and want to select the right gear for their adventures and have fun doing it."

Choosing the right gear for your needs can indeed make a trip "better, safer, and lighter." We believe that great gear reviews help people get outside safely and comfortably, and that the Trailspace community can build the most helpful and comprehensive collection of reviews on the planet.

Clearly we haven't always done a great job of communicating that focus! (Though I'll take this conversation as a sign that maybe we're improving on that front.)

1:26 p.m. on January 9, 2014 (EST)
399 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Maybe its just me, but it does seem that the forum community has dulled a bit from the past.

Maybe we could take a poll on this. LOL

April 2, 2020
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