I'm currently in the planning stages of an AT thru-hike in 2011. Naturally, I've been scouring the web for information related to ultralight backpacking and have come across the BPL forums from time to time. Although the forums are great for discussing such things anonymously, they don't really provide a way to connect with individuals in the community.
Many of you may use Facebook, which is great for connecting and communicating with your friends. Unfortunately, most of the friends you have on there are probably not hikers, and thus you cannot discuss hiking with them.
Wouldn't it be great to have a "Facebook" for hikers? I certainly think so. That way you could update your status with the latest gear you have purchased/made or post your current location on the trail. Plus, you could upload your hiking photos and share it with a community that appreciates them. Furthermore, you would have a hiking-specific profile, where you can post your gear lists and list of hiking trips that you've been on. It would be easy to send out a message to people on your friends list to organize a section hike.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure I announce the release of UltralightBackpackingNetwork: a social network for ultralight backpackers. I think that this will be a great website to use for connecting with individual members of the community.
Note that since UBN has only just been released, there aren't many members yet. Therefore, it's up to you to sign up and maximize the utility of the website. I encourage you to invite any backpackers you know to join the website so that they, too, may benefit from UBN.
p.s. We're currently working on a feature that allows hikers to update their status from the trail using a mobile phone. This feature should be out any day now and will be great for thru-hikers who want to let their friends and family know exactly where they are and what they're doing.