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Letters to the Editor
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Letters to the Editor on 03/30/2010 13:53:04 MDT Print View

Per a suggestion from a reader, we'd like to create an open forum where you can post suggestions or thoughts you specifically want me, your (sometimes) humble editor to read and possibly respond to. Like the same feature in a print magazine, you can praise or pooh-pooh, correct or make suggestions. We're giving this a test run to see what the response is like and hoping it meets a need for you, our readers.

George Coonley
(GCoonley) - F

Locale: Midwest
BPL store is a joke on 04/17/2010 06:32:46 MDT Print View

Once again the BPL store has disappointed. It seems that anything I want to buy is out of stock. Today - it's the Theodore shirt and pants - shirt out of stock - pants not listed. This seems to be a continuation of the last fall sale disaster - where everything was out of stock.

Perhaps BPL should stick with publishing and get out of the retail business. One you do well- the other not so well.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: BPL store is a joke on 04/17/2010 11:47:47 MDT Print View

I also wish the store was better stocked. Alternatively, remove the items from the listing or mark it on the main store page. I wanted some Aqua Mira, but had to go to to get it and some other items.

You can avoid lots of frustrations/complaints if expectations are raised.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Gear shop on 04/17/2010 17:31:15 MDT Print View

Hey guys! Unfortunately for me, I have so little to do with the Gear Shop that I cannot really address these concerns. I've emailed Sam H. to see if he can weigh in and at least give you some info as to why our gear shop has limited capacity.

Finally, for a quick glimpse at what is in stock, try this page first.

Edited by addiebedford on 04/17/2010 17:31:38 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
PCT Bear Bag Hang Videocast, by Josh Taylor on 04/18/2010 13:26:57 MDT Print View

>>Knotless PCT Bear Bag Hang Videocast, by Josh Taylor. Perform an easier-yet-secure PCT Bear Bag Hang without using the traditional stick + clove hitch. This MYOG is simple, functional, and lightweight!<<

What happened to this article that was supposed to be in the News - April 14, 2010? :-(

Party On ! 2010


Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Letters to the Editor on 04/19/2010 08:16:00 MDT Print View

Dear Backpacking Light Customers,

Ideally this forum will be used for (as the thread title states) "Letters to the Editor". I'm happy to take comments regarding the BPL Gear Shop in the BPL Product Support thread though.

Sam Haraldson

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Bear Bag Hang on 04/19/2010 14:24:36 MDT Print View

Hey Newton!
We didn't get the video spliced together in time for my deadline, so we've had to push it back a bit, but no worries: it should be published before April is out!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
BPL population? on 04/23/2010 18:15:47 MDT Print View

Hey guys...
I'm curious as to how many Members and Guests are registered with BPL. I ask purely out of curiosity, and I know others are curious as well.

If there are legitimate legal reasons why this information is not available, I understand. However, it'd be interesting to know! Thanks.

Oh, and feel free to move this post to where it is most appropriate.

Edited by T.L. on 04/23/2010 18:16:37 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: BPL population per annual report on 04/23/2010 20:25:42 MDT Print View

BPL's last annual report said there were 453,211 members and 2,054,339 guests.

Just kidding : )

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
BPL Population on 04/23/2010 21:43:24 MDT Print View

I too would like to know. I've asked a few times over the years. We were talking about this very subject last weekend along the coast.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Letters to the Editor" on 04/23/2010 22:30:38 MDT Print View

The frequency of Trip Reports on BPL from the Staff has seemed to dwindle some over the last few months. Perhaps it's just due to the winter season and the fact that spring is merely in its infancy? Or it's just me being a self-centered little bugger!

I was very very impressed with Alan and Don's Sierra Prime: Off Trail in California's High Country trip report, which was very detailed, entertaining, educational, incorporated a nice amount of complimentary media forms, a real multifaceted labor of love. Don made his own soundtrack for the videos for crying out loud! Awesome. Don's creative drive inspired me to commit to using a pinhole camera I improvised out of my MSR Titan Kettle for taking all the photos for my next trip report. ;)

I miss the 24 hour trip series that seemed to just fade away like an ember in the night. Can we look forward to anymore from this series? I had some serious Jack Bauer asprirations for Ryan Jordan on the 24 series! (* Plus! That 2010 prototype BPL pack supposedly in development made a cameo in Ryans 24: Hyalite Cirque trip report!) :)

Otherwise, BPL Staff and Editor(s), you guys produce and facilitate a great little community.

Edited by Eugeneius on 04/23/2010 22:34:21 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "Letters to the Editor" on 04/24/2010 05:01:01 MDT Print View

@ Eugeneius

>> serious Jack Bauer asprirations


George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: "Letters to the Editor" on 04/24/2010 05:04:24 MDT Print View

@ Sam

Was your current avatar picture taken while you were under water?


Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: "Letters to the Editor" on 04/24/2010 10:00:35 MDT Print View

+1 to everything Eugene said. I really like good trip reports, podcasts, and videos.

I come to BPL for the narratives highlighting what a light style can allow you to do (like the Sierra Prime report and 24 series), the broad-scope comparative gear evaluations and guides (like the various state-of-the-market reports and footwear for snow travel article), and the in-depth, scientific-method analyses (like Caffin's carbon monoxide series and Jordan's quantitative backpack suspension report). Keep those four things coming and I'm a happy guy.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Letters to the Editor on 04/24/2010 10:57:14 MDT Print View

Suggestion for future stories: techniques for the field.

I love the gear reviews and all things gear that fuel my need for gear pornography!

However, it might be nice to see some articles on how best to use some of the equipment in the field.

My suggestions for articles that would be nice to see:

Best ways to pitch a tarp with the fewest stakes and guylines?

5 Most Useful Tarp Pitches/Configurations you should know?

Bivy Bags: What Are They, What to Look for when buying a bivy bag, and effective ways to use them in the field.

How to Best pack your UL/Frameless backpack with UL gear.

Tips and Tricks for how to deal with packing troublesome bear canisters in or on top of a UL/Frameless backpack

Article on gravity filters: UL Choices & How to Use Them & Maintain them in the field

Comparative Differences & Advantges between various stove: esbit, alcohol, canister, wood fire, and white gas.

Perhaps some of these might be covered in older articles, but it might be nice to "refresh" some of the older articles to be relevent to products on the market now and those people who are relatively new to BPL/light weight backpacking.

Anyway, my suggestion is keep with what you are doing, but add articles that might fall into Best Practices & Techniques.

Sometimes it is not always about the gear, but learning how to be smarter with using the gear we have bought.

Thanks for opening this thread up.


Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Letters to the Editor on 04/24/2010 11:15:01 MDT Print View

I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that most of that stuff IS on here and the sub-par search engine won't help you find it. Its funny how many times I knew what article I wanted to read again, but couldn't find it. I would have to remember what article I was reading before that one and follow the link in the 1st article, or some other hoop to jump through.

Formally: I would like to see a good, nay, AWESOME! (because everybody knows that 'awesome' is the best) search engine installed.

Addie: sorry, while crying about the search engine, I forgot the title- Maybe this is misdirected, sorry!

Edited by WoodenWizard on 04/24/2010 11:16:37 MDT.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Answers? on 04/26/2010 09:47:19 MDT Print View

Ack! Ok, all these posts kind of freaked me out, mostly because I don't have all the answers. I hate that, because I would much rather actually BE a know-it-all than simply act like one.

1.) Members & Guests: I honestly do not know. I believe I can find out and share ranges, just sit tight.
2.) Trip reports: I'm currently working up a solicitation for more of these from both staff and our readers. I agree that we need more of the 24 series, but Ryan's populated that series solo so far. Someone else want to step up? I'd love to hear about it! We can only publish what's submitted & written.
3.) Tony: I love those suggestions! I'm incorporating many of them into my solicitation proposal now.
4.) Search engine: I have nothing to weigh in on about this, other than to agree that despite our continued efforts, the search engine is rough. In fact, when I need to find something very specific and I know precise words, if the BPL search doesn't give me what I'm looking for, I Google it and include "backpackinglight" in the query. I'm a cheater, but it get the job done for me!

Ok, keep 'em coming, and thanks for the praise! It's great to hear what we're doing right in addition to what we can improve.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Articles... on 04/29/2010 15:04:49 MDT Print View

Hey all! Just wanted to let you know that Ryan and I sat down and hammered out some more solicitations. As it is, we publish what someone else is willing to write. Usually, that's our editors and the occasional reader with an "AHA!" moment and an article to go with it.

Check out this. We're trying to round up more ideas, more authors, more contributing members of the lightweight community, because here's the deal: we don't know it all.

I know. It's hard to come to terms with, but it's true. We can only be SO amazing. Will you guys fill in the "amazing empty spaces?"

Thanks for the great suggestions Tony!

Edited by addiebedford on 04/29/2010 15:05:17 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Additional Suggestions for Articles on 05/07/2010 10:08:29 MDT Print View

UL Chemical Warefare: Options for Nuking Water Bugs
Comparative Advantages & Disadvantages Between Iodine, Aqua Mira, Chlorine Dioxide Tablets, and Bleach. (Side note of article might look at the merits of pairing a filter like the Frontier Pro with a chemical solution).

Anatomy & Proper Use of a Quilt: Why choose a quilt over a sleeping bag- comparative advantages & disadvantages of a quilt vs. a sleeping bag. Design Differences Between Various Manufactures, What Useful Features to Look for when shopping for a quilt, How to best use a quilt to eliminate drafts while sleeping.

(I think that this would be a great article simply because investing in a quilt can be a huge cash expense. As far at I know, other than the Golite quilts, there are few opportunities to get your hands on one at a traditional retailer. The forum frequently has questions about quilts with people wanted to learn more about them as they consider if they should purchase one).

Deconstructing a UL Pack: What useful features to look for when buying your first UL Pack. As Pack Volume & Load Decreases, what features can you live without to save weight?

Boil in a Bag Meals: UL & Low Volume Cookware Options for Boiling Water, Pot Cozies- What are they & what options work well in the field, UL Stove Options for Boiling Water & How Much Fuel Do I Need. What Meals/Food Works Well for a Boil in a Bag Meal. Are all Ziplock bags made equal- Which bags to use and avoid.

Lastly, for now, the BPL staff might consider inspiration for future articles by simply looking to the forum to see questions that seem to come up frequently over and over by members new and old. Given how frequently the same questions come up, you can bet that it is something worthy of an article.


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Letters to the Editor" on 05/07/2010 10:14:43 MDT Print View

Keep em coming Tony, you've potentially filled up about 4 months of quality publishing material and articles already in this thread. Great ideas. Surely you have another trip planned that could make its way into publication for 2010?