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Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it?
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it? on 05/12/2010 23:30:06 MDT Print View

Before I joined BPL, I looked at many. BPL fit my needs. Unique community and a focus on light. This is the only BPing site I frequent.

I also have a pop-up trailer and frequent a site specific to PUs. Same scenario. I liked the community better than any other. This particular site is very strict including no posts involving the 3 Gs (guns, government, God). That is the owner's wish. Also they will lock or delete any inflamatory thread. Actually it works well. They have over 20,000 members and 150,000 threads.

So you find the place you want to be and enjoy it. If you don't like a site's culture or rules, then skip it.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it? on 05/13/2010 04:26:27 MDT Print View

"This particular site is very strict including no posts involving the 3 Gs (guns, government, God)."

In my experience you could also add dogs to that list.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it? on 05/13/2010 06:14:59 MDT Print View

PB was boring, and not used much when I was on it. Then my account got closed, and I'm thinking it was because I use a hotmail account, which IS my permanent account. I make change jobs and internet providers, and hotmail gives me and account that bridges any changes. But no hotmail on PB, or any other public, free email.

Too many easy, friendly, informative active forums around to waste time there.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE:Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it? on 05/13/2010 06:25:13 MDT Print View

Wow are they still around. Tried it years ago and got a post deleted almost right away. Too controlling. Whiteblaze is a mess. BPL has been a great resource for me. Hammockforums is O.K. Hate the quotes and signatures cluttering things up the posts though over there. Gotten so use to the forums appearance here that the others look weird.

James McDaniel
It has it's advantages on 05/13/2010 09:53:32 MDT Print View

I participate there and I like the group that is confident enough to post in the risk of being moderated. I usually get his point and he's polite and well spoken.

Like many internet sites and department stores, each must have it's own identity because people want a one stop shop and human's are habit driven. If more than one web site offers the same thing, one will lose in the end. There is only one ebay.

Like people have said, Reality works hard to keep threads on topic. The lack of freedom does reduce participation but increases the quality in many ways. That site focus's more on BP behaviors and not on gear names. He also likes to keep personalities out of it to keep things about PBing.

The fruits of this is, your returns on searches tend to give you what your looking for instead of 80% noise like this site.

The other side is, there is way more info here, you just have to look way harder.

Reality is very helpful and has helped me in many ways. He's helped a lot of other people, more than you and I.

We are lucky to have to have different options. I like both.

Frank Steele
(knarfster) - F

Locale: Arizona
PB is Stupid on 05/19/2010 09:54:46 MDT Print View

Practical backpacking is a Stupid site. You can't register with an email address they consider "free". I am sorry, but I pay good money to yahoo for my account. Idiots. I don't have any other kind of personal account, nor will I ever.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Practical Backpacking on 05/23/2010 14:12:15 MDT Print View

Funny looking back on this thread that is approaching 3 years old. Just for kicks I tried to log back into PBF today and I guess Bernie deleted my account.

Around the time I created this thread I had just learned about lightweight backpacking (also just became a paying member here), and had a serious thirst for information. I tried out several different forums and it was no big deal that some didn't work out.

That being said, Bernie burnt me pretty bad for being a noob in his domain, and even got personal, although he edited his post shortly thereafter (along with mine). To each his own I suppose.

On the lighter side of things:
This forum keeps me coming back like no other place. The amount of openness and freedom is a HUGE advantage. I hope to become a life member as soon as my finances allow.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Practical Backpacking: Does anyone use it? on 05/23/2010 17:46:34 MDT Print View

Practical Backpacking is one of those sites with which I keep saying I won't bother any more, and then something interesting comes up. Maybe every 2 months, just in time to avoid getting bounced for not posting! Some of their podcasts are excellent, but they don't provide a written script and I don't have the time or desire to listen, take illegible notes and try to transcribe them.

However, PB's latest ploy (just in the past week, I believe) is to ask for a $3.00/month subscription fee. PB's site isn't worth that much to me, to put it mildly! And they continue to carry ads (I don't object to those but do object to a subscription fee in addition!). At least PB's move has made me stop complaining about BPL's $25/year, which provides so much more!

My two favorite gear sites are The Lightweight Backpacker ( and this one. I have the most loyalty to TLB because that's where I learned to lighten my load five years ago, and I've found many friends there. But I like this place, too!