Oh, I remember the days I got my first outdoor education from GORP and Backpacker. I was looking for a 5000ci pack for Georgia 3-season hiking. Then in some lucky accident, I stumbled on www.backpacking.net, which eventually led to some great personal websites, like Michael Connick, John O'Mahoney, Adventure Alan, Kenneth Knight, etc. Next thing you know, I got a copy of Beyond Backpacking... found BPL... got some serious miles in.
The rest is unfolding as we speak.