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Backpacker mag gear issue
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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Backpacker mag gear issue on 03/02/2010 20:37:10 MST Print View

"I respectfully disagree with that. Backpacker features TONS of trails and I don't see all that many people in the backcountry."

Jack, I haven't read the magazine in decades, so I can't comment on current content. 30+ years ago, it was the mainstay medium with a large ciculation.

Regarding the Skyline, I don't hike it on weekends and during the week I might run into a couple of people at the trailhead, but I usually have the trail to myself. And it has become a trail by usage.

I feel the same way about trail guides too :)

Russell Klopfer

Locale: Pittsburgh
Re: Re: Backpacker mag gear issue on 03/02/2010 21:05:15 MST Print View

I'm a fan of the grids they put in there that show the weight, size, features, etc for each item. Nowhere else have I seen such a concise and comprehensive comparison chart. If anyone knows of a better one, please point me in that direction. Otherwise, someone please start the compendium lol It would be infinitely more useful if it were online and sort/search-able instead of in print. blast these infernal anachronisms!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Backpacker mag gear issue on 03/02/2010 21:17:47 MST Print View

I agree, except that often they don't specify how they came to some of their weights. For instance, some Tarptents are listed with a number that seems heavy. Without telling you, Backpacker includes the weight of the additional pole(s) for shelters like the Moment and Scarp. So Henry's shelters, at a quick glance through the chart, look heavier than they should--at least without qualification of specs.

In Backpacker:
Moment: 2 pounds 3 ounces
Scarp 1: 3 pounds 8 ounces

In the beginning of their "Chart Notes" for their tents, Backpacker also writes "This number (supplied by the manufacturer) is the minimum weight. It includes rainfly, tent body, and poles (but not stuff sacks or stakes).

The minimum weight for the Moment is NOT over 2 pounds. I wonder how accurate the rest of the specs are...

Edited by T.L. on 03/03/2010 06:07:31 MST.

Michael Cockrell

Locale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
Re: Backpacker mag-I like on 03/03/2010 15:24:16 MST Print View

Thank you Backpacker mag! I rely on many resources when picking gear. The 50lb packs could be all the gear they are testing. So would be heavier than if they only took "what is absolutely necessary" for a specific trip.

After a review, I then can check the various forums/websites to gather other opinions.

As for ads, if no ads then no t.v. coverage of: Olympics, Versus racing, adventure racing, etc. A mag is not free! Even this forum is sponsored through a business, hoping maybe you'd buy something sometime from their store?

I am not a subscriber of Backpacking mag, wife bought it for me as I am still converting from a life of bike tour/racing to hiking, and need some guidance in gear.

My local REI has also been a great help in selections, and the staff really care about picking what I need, not want. Most are serious hikers and draw on their experience, as I do from this forum.

I agree on 03/03/2010 17:40:42 MST Print View

with both Nick and Juston 1st posts respectively.

With the diversity in educations, experience, and backcountry interests we can't expect anything to fully encompass our personal experiences...

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: I agree on 03/05/2010 21:09:30 MST Print View

My review:

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: I agree on 03/06/2010 03:12:43 MST Print View

That's it Matt, they know their audience. Can't fault them on that. The thing is, most of use here are on the fringe and represent such a small piece of the industry's market share, that the pie chart probably wouldn't even register us.

Additionally our language often does not align with their's, i.e. our definitions and generally accepted concepts here on BPL are different.

But it does not concern me. When I run into "traditional" backpackers I am not an UL advocate or ambassador. If someone stops me to asks questions, I am happy to answer. I don't try to convert others or show off my gear. I just hike my hike. And most don't stop to talk to me anyway, they just probably assume I am a day hiker, and the arrangement suits me fine.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: I agree on 03/06/2010 05:58:27 MST Print View

I'm a big fan of being confused for a dayhiker, or not to change the subject, a fastpacker!

On the definitions: I like language to be precise, because s/he/it who controls the language of the discussion, particularly its terms and definitions, controls the discussion. And I do not like the mag's definitions for packs.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Backpacker on 03/06/2010 08:19:09 MST Print View

Travis re: TT specs. Those specs, and Henry can comment on this if I am wrong, are provided by Henry several months before the guide comes out because manufacturers have to provide Backpacker with significant time to compile all of the information. The weights may have been estimated when Henry was developing prototypes. I do remember a similar commentary from Henry regarding the Sublite, which had a 16oz weight in the 2008 Guide (I believe).

"The 50lb packs could be all the gear they are testing. So would be heavier than if they only took "what is absolutely necessary" for a specific trip."

Good point - never thought of this.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Backpacker on 03/06/2010 10:07:26 MST Print View

Hmmmmm. I may be wrong myself, but it still seems a little odd. Both those shelters have been out for quite some time now.