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READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007?
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Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 08:39:47 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,
Take a look at our

  • 2006 Editorial Calendar. We've covered a lot of territory so far this year, with more great stuff coming! What would you like to see investigated that we haven't covered? We're putting on our planning caps and starting to work on the 2007 Ed Calendar. What do you want to read about in 2007? What gear do you want to see reviewed? Let us know!

    Edited by cmcrooker on 08/29/2006 08:42:34 MDT.

  • Jeroen Wesselman
    (jeroenman) - F

    Locale: Europe
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 09:15:48 MDT Print View

    Although I am fascinated by 'unconventional' sleeping systems I would like to see more reviews of conventional UL sleeping bags (the mummy bag, sorry). That's one of the few things I miss on BPL. Furthermore I would like to see more (S)UL reports (about gear and strategy) in other seasons than summer, something like a trip in an alpine setting in spring or authum (don't you call that shoulder season).
    You guys are already covering so much it's hard to think of more subjects but I am sure other people have loads of ideas. I can't wait.

    Bill Fornshell
    (bfornshell) - MLife

    Locale: Southern Texas
    READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 12:45:28 MDT Print View


    I would like to see an in-depth examination of the popular synthetic insulations such as Polarguard-Delta, Climashield XP, Climashield Combat and Climashield Green. Also what ever is the current Primaloft contender. Maybe others if there are good ones that I don't know about

    Develop a chart that shows (as a guide) how to rate the different insulation - Clo?? or what ever to a range of temperatures. So if we want to make something out of one of the listed synthetics we will have a chart to look at as a "GUIDE" to start with. It needs to be easy to understand like the chart for Down/Temp Ranges you posted.

    It would be nice to see examples of the math or what ever so as other products come on the market I/we could factor them into the Guide you produce.

    Don't turn it into a competition, just the data. Let me sift through the data and decide what will product will work for my project.

    Assume that Polarguard Delta will be available in small amounts to the MYOG folks.

    Scott Ashdown
    (waterloggedwellies) - F

    Locale: United Kingdom
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 13:32:37 MDT Print View

    I'd certainly like to see more trip reports to some of the further flung / more extreme parts of the world, like Ryans trip to the Artic.

    Also, some more basic easy reading articles. You don't always need to have articles laden with scientific data. Those that do are really informative but you know, sometimes an easy read is also good. For example, an article on different ways to put up a tarp by yourself. I have'nt used a tarp yet so am inexperienced in that particular area and I often wonder how much messing around goes on by a single individual to get a tarp up in a A frame style configuration. I wouldn't need lots of figures on tension strains in pounds, just some piccys would be fine. I'm sure there are lots of other basic stuff too that other people would appreciate too.

    Certainly some articles on food, nutrition, menus, cooking tips etc, anything that will improve on the just boil water and add food approach.

    Coverage of backpacking in other parts of the world than just the US. There are a lot of people using the site from all over the globe, so trip reports, techniques in different climates etc would be useful.

    I would also really like to see an in depth article on the latest water tratments available. Where to collect water from, how to treat it, the best methods etc. Water is the one area where I am really fussy and if I could, I would pre filter, filter, add chemicals, treat with UV, boil and test on my colleages first. I exagerate but it is the one thing that I am mindful of. So a comparsion of the different methods would be useful.

    Also, in addition to any articles, development of the site would be good. For example:

    1. The ability for user profiles so that users could post a bit about themself if they wish would be good.
    2. What about a chat room facility.
    3. The ability to see where people are from in the posts (If they chose to have this info displayed) so that I know whether someone lives just up the road from me.

    4. BPL Podcasts, interviews with the movers and shakers in the industry and those who have done epic things. BPL in the UK already do this for free and they are just a gear supplier. So, The should really be looking to use the latest web facilities.

    5. The ability to enlarge any of the photos in articles on the site by clicking on them. I'm often interested in some of the detail in the photos but they are sometimes just too small.

    6. What about a few more competitions for users of the site.

    7. A useful Tip of the Week.

    8. Better site search facilities not limited to the first twenty matches.

    9. The ability for me to have my own favourites page for articles I find particularly useful.

    10. Maybe a bit of a face lift for the website. (Also Get rid of the black pixel on

    I'm sure there is loads of other things I could think of but thats enough for now.


    Michael Davis
    (mad777) - F

    Locale: South Florida
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 13:56:52 MDT Print View

    I'd like to see some reviews oriented toward winter backpacking. Will R. did a nice review of Mountainsmith's ski backpack this past year but I would like to see a comparison review of a roundup of similar packs.

    Also, a comparison review of crampons, not so much for ice climbing but, winter hiking, including lightweight instep crampons as well as some of the lighter mountaineering crampons both aluminum and steel point.

    Winter backpacking up in the Whites in New Hampshire isn't for everyone but WOW, it's invigorating!

    Sam Haraldson
    (sharalds) - MLife

    Locale: Gallatin Range
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/29/2006 15:14:12 MDT Print View

    I look forward to articles related to the articles relating to nutrition. I'm feeling very confident in my current situation/plan for gear but feel that more research into what, when and how I prepare, cook and eat is necessary.

    I've been researching elsewhere online as well as in the library and books (backpacking and otherwise) but I'm always interested in BPLs take on anything.

    Carol Crooker
    (cmcrooker) - MLife

    Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
    Great input! on 08/30/2006 09:52:35 MDT Print View

    Great ideas everyone!
    Keep 'em coming.

    Ross Bleakney
    (rossbleakney) - MLife

    Locale: Cascades
    Materials and Windshirts on 08/30/2006 12:15:15 MDT Print View

    I would to second the recommendation for a comparison of synthetic insulation and would like to see it expanded. I realize this could get to be too big, but if you took on different material categories, it might make it easier. For example, sythetic insulation, waterproof fabrics, breathable or water resistant fabrics, bug netting, etc. Such a comparison of fabrics would make it easier to shop for various items as well as make your own gear.

    The second thing I would like to see is a comparison of wind shirts and wind pants.

    kai dozier
    (kaidozier) - F
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/30/2006 12:18:12 MDT Print View

    Sure would like to see research on DWR - how DWR applied by jacket brand varies, how the after-market DWR varies (Nikwax, Revivex, Granger's, etc), how each treatment is affected by smoke, dirt, body oils, etc., how safe each treatment is, and recommendations for wash-in vs. spray-on.

    Edited by kaidozier on 08/30/2006 12:20:03 MDT.

    Miguel Arboleda
    (butuki) - MLife

    Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/30/2006 12:55:15 MDT Print View

    I'd actually like to see articles on worthy trails around the world, places that I would never find on my own since I would never have heard about them (I just discovered this evening that there are some wonderful hiking opportunities in southern Oman and Yemen, places which look like rural England). The articles could focus on suggested ultralight equipment for local conditions and how long the trail might take on a light load and such. I know Roger Caffin is in Australia, so that would be one suggestion outside the States. With all the readers here from around the world it might be nice to get things written up by some of them on local places they consider special.

    Woubeir (from Europe)
    (Woubeir) - F - MLife
    READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/30/2006 15:45:44 MDT Print View

    The research idea on DWR could beinteresting. But perhaps taking it a step further. Current DWR technology will never work properly as long as nothing changes on the more or less hydrophilic fabrics used in rainwear. Perhaps some research on what the posibilities are to replace those fabrics.

    Daniel Goldenberg
    (DanG) - M
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/30/2006 16:06:38 MDT Print View

    It would be interesting to have some kind of test of windshirts with a graph of where they stand in terms of breathability and water proofness, Maybe by fabric type. For example, it's known that a windshirt like the Golite Helios is less breathable/more waterproof in comparison to a Pertex Quantum fabric windshirt, etc.

    It would be nice to have this info for all or common available windshirts consolidated into some graphs.


    Jeroen Wesselman
    (jeroenman) - F

    Locale: Europe
    What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/31/2006 02:38:56 MDT Print View

    I also would like see to more reports on the cottage industry. Who are the people behind the brands, what are their ideas/vision etc.

    I definitly second the ideas on more international (UL) trip reports with specific gear recommendations. I live in Europen and we have some great destinations here and there are probably a great deal of international BPL members who could report on them.

    Furthermore I would love to see more "behind the scene" reports about the manufacture proces of UL fabrics, materials etc. For instance how is Pertex Quantum produced, what's coming.

    I really like the idea of a former posting about facilitating more interaction between members by making some kind of member profile so that it will be easier to contact other members, for instance questions about local hiking possibilities, extra questions about gear reviews etc.

    Good luck for 2007.

    Woubeir (from Europe)
    (Woubeir) - F - MLife
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/31/2006 04:26:16 MDT Print View

    I'll also go for the international trip reports. Just as Jeroen, I live in Europe and one of the arguments I hear often is that European weather conditions aren't as suitable for UL trips compared with the 'more stable' US weather paterns. Would be nice to have a report/comparison from someone who has practiced UL all over the globe.

    mark henley
    (flash582) - F
    Re: Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/31/2006 10:47:15 MDT Print View

    How about a .... possibilities of the future type segment where you talk about what prototypes are being tested in the marketplace ... even if they don't go to manufacture, perhaps they'll inspire the MYOG crowd?

    Jordan Hurder
    (jordanhurder) - F

    Locale: Southern California
    2 ideas I really like so far... on 08/31/2006 11:22:12 MDT Print View

    1. Indepth comparison of synthetic insulation. For people that don't use down for whatever reason, it would be great to find out how to go SUL with synthetic (like in the Arctic 1000 trek).

    2. Stories about the cottage industry. The trailcast with Brian Frankle was great, and learning more about some of the people behind companies like Tarptent and MLD would be really interesting.

    Also... since I'm a gearhead, I'd like to see follow ups to review summaries. For instance, after the new crop of internal frame packs comes out in 2007, a follow up to check in on old favorites, comparing them to the new stuff on the market would be really interesting. Same thing for tents and various other categories.

    Kenneth Asay
    (kage) - F
    READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/31/2006 12:12:53 MDT Print View

    I would love to see a comparison of various tarps on the market right now. Maybe seperate it into categories such as conventional tarps, poncho-tarps, unconventional tarps (shaped tarps like SD Origami, George tarps, etc.). Re-emphasize the importance of grommets vs. tape, ridge lines, catenary cut, etc.

    I would also like to see an article on different ultralight bivies and how they compare to each other, taking into account breathability, waterproofness, etc.

    Thanks for all your great work. The membership fee is well worth the reward!

    Mark Larson
    (mlarson) - MLife

    Locale: Southeast USA
    Re: What do you want investigated in 2007? on 08/31/2006 21:51:46 MDT Print View

    -Second the recommendations for windshirt comparisons. A specs chart would be very handy, as this seems to come up quite often. I'd like to see data for wind resistance, breathability, water-resistance, water-absorption, drying time, etc. I wonder how wide the range is?
    -Second the recommendations for synthetic insulation comparisons.
    -Second the rec for a DWR study.
    -As a spin-off of the other Mark's idea ["possibilities of the future type segment where you talk about what prototypes are being tested in the marketplace"], I'd love to hear about protos that never made it. Like the ill-fated BMW backpack, for example. After all the work spent designing, sourcing, sewing, and testing--surely some valuable lessons were learned. I'd like to read about the process, the vision and revisioning, etc.
    -I really like the Member articles a la Shaver, Darioli, Ivanov, etc. They're really great--if only because I feel I know them better.
    -Photo-essays! Even if you can't do a full-fledged trip report, well-captioned photo-essays are often quite helpful.

    Features & Stuff
    -Second the rec for a "click for larger photo" option.
    -I really like the 4-photo panel that Will Rietveld often puts in his product reviews. I'd spread this to other reviews as well.
    -Option for member profile/location display
    -Functional site search

    Thanks for asking!

    Edited by mlarson on 08/31/2006 21:52:29 MDT.

    Brian James
    (bjamesd) - F

    Locale: South Coast of BC
    not content, but delivery on 08/31/2006 22:34:46 MDT Print View

    What I'd love to see is more of a blog and news site format.

    The main thing would be to spread out the article postings a bit. Waiting 3 weeks and then getting 3 or 4 articles to plough through is not as as satisfying as getting a new article every week for 3 weeks. I think it would also help stimulate discussion if there was only one new article posted at a time, focusing peoples' attention on that particular subject temporarily.

    The second addition that would be great is a news blog. Like, for instance, you could cover news and product releases in the industry along with the usual content.

    /my 2c CAD

    Sam Haraldson
    (sharalds) - MLife

    Locale: Gallatin Range
    Re: READERS - What do you want investigated in 2007? on 09/01/2006 07:02:19 MDT Print View

    > getting 3 or 4 articles to
    > plough through is not as as
    > satisfying as getting a new
    > article every week for 3 weeks.

    I'd like to second that notion. A monthly print magazine basically requires all articles be delivered at the same time. With an online subscription service there is the potential for the release of articles at a trickle.

    I've only been a member of BPL for a month or so but have been visiting for approximately a year (yes, that's how cheap and stubborn I am). I got my money's worth in the first two nights of marathon research sessions and hope to be a member for a long time to come.