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So tell me about this place...
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Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
So tell me about this place... on 11/22/2010 15:19:24 MST Print View


I looked around for a "member introduction" sub-forum, and no dice. So figured this would do. Mods please be so kind as to move this to the right place if needed.

I just wanted to get a general idea of what some of you active users think of this place. So far seems like there is a lot going on here, but I have to say I really didn't like the idea of having to pay to subscribe or all the personal info asked when I created this account.

A little about me: 30 years old, very serious backpacker with a wide range of experiences, ex-pat Chicano living in Sweden. I have honestly considered writing a book on backpacking.

To quote one of my favorite bands:

Should I stay or should I go now?

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: So tell me about this place... on 11/22/2010 15:29:40 MST Print View

Welcome. I find this site to be a useful tool in improving my backpacking experience. When it ceases to be that, or if I lose some interest in backpacking, I'll simply stop paying for it.

You can enter partial information to the publicly-displayed name fields, and then enter shipping/billing information separately.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
re: paying on 11/22/2010 15:35:47 MST Print View

But do you have to pay? I mean, could I have a good time on here and join in the community/discussions without paying?

I generally don't like to buy the cow if I can get the milk for free, ya know?

And is there a dedicated core group of regular members that post often? Or is it more of a revolving door type forum?

Thanks for the feedback, btw.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: So tell me about this place... on 11/22/2010 15:38:23 MST Print View


"I just wanted to get a general idea of what some of you active users think of this place."

I find it a useful place for a variety of information, not the least of which is new gear/materials that you'd never hear about anywhere else. I also simply like chatting about with many of the members here.

"I really didn't like the idea of having to pay to subscribe"

While not impossible, it's doubtful that this resource would be here if it wasn't for a subscription. No free lunch kinda thing. But the boards are all free, you only have to pay for the articles.

"Should I stay or should I go now?"

Obviously up to you to decide!

Take care,


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: re: paying on 11/22/2010 15:39:44 MST Print View

"I generally don't like to buy the cow if I can get the milk for free, ya know?"

That's why there are those of us who are willing to pay for something we find value in -- so the freeloaders can enjoy them too, ya know?

(And, BTW, most folks on this site are nice. I'm one of the exceptions, so you shouldn't judge the site by my replies....)

Edited by idester on 11/22/2010 15:41:31 MST.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
So tell me about this place on 11/22/2010 15:56:42 MST Print View

very serious backpacker.

Try and lighten up a a bit and you will have more fun :)

I have found this to be a great forum and have learnt a lot.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
So tell me about this place... on 11/22/2010 15:57:34 MST Print View

You really dont have to pay, everything you need is in the forums. Sure there are some core people who post. Pretty much everyone is really cool on here, but sometimes some drama starts and its funny to read. Post any gear question and youll get good answers. This website is definitely worth checking out. Everyone on here is passionate about the outdoors as evidenced by the lack of posts on the weekend. After learning the ropes about the light gear you can only learn so much more. My fav part of the site are the trip reports.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: So tell me about this place... on 11/22/2010 16:15:03 MST Print View

While I don't want to make financial assumptions, for $20 you get EVERYTHING ever published on this site until the end of your subscription period. For $20 it's an incredible deal. If you can save $0.06 a day for a year, there's your subscription, plus a little extra for a celebratory can of soda.

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
About this place on 11/22/2010 16:35:21 MST Print View

well lets put it this way, at the start of the summer i was browsing and about ready to place an order, i had all the best gear or so i thought, 6lb tent, 6lb pack, i was all ready to order but i found out none of there tents would fit a person over 6ft without some compromise, so on went my search i ended up finding this site with a simple google search for a tent over 6feet, and i haven't stoped reading it since.

im now the proud owner of some sweet mld gear, and lots of new items from the buy and sell forum.

i have yet to find another site with more knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people. i also love reading updates and new products from the lightweight cottage industry

then to top it off every Tuesday i get some new info, well written articles much better then any magazine Ive ever read.

So i would stay for the forums, if the new articles fancy you, whats 20bucks, one new book?

now off to search for some snow shoes, anyone have some northern lite 30s they will give up for cheap haha!:P

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
$20 on 11/22/2010 16:46:47 MST Print View

run away now while you can .... the $20 is like the free first taste of heroin

youll end up buying tons and tons of UL gear .. and none of it will be perfect .. so youll keep on putting it all on gear swap and spending even more on the latest greatest lightest piece of gear

never have i seen so many grown men spend so much for so little (weight).. lol

women do the same thing when lingerie shopping ... but at least then its for a good cause ;)

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Ex pat on 11/22/2010 17:06:13 MST Print View

A chicano in Sweden? Must be a b*tch to find some good tacos out there! I went to Ohio once and started panicking, cant imagine Sweden! Let me know if you need me to ship you some.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
thanks for all the feedback on 11/22/2010 22:30:09 MST Print View

Thanks all. I'll stick around a bit and see how it goes. Glad to hear that it is possible to not pay and still be able to get things out of the forums.

The tacos comment got me to LOL. Where I live there are no good tacos, so I have to make my own, plus bring tortillas back when I visit family in US/Mexico (they only have flour ones here and I like corn ones better). But a half-Mexican/half-Swedish buddy of mine told me there is a real Mexican taco joint run by real Mexicans in Stockholm.

Small world.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Tacos on 11/25/2010 07:21:54 MST Print View

Reminds me, I was at a bar in Helsinki where the special of the day was margaritas.
I commented to the bartender that she used an orange slice instead of lime?
Her straight faced response was that it was a traditional margarita and that the margarita originated in Finland.

Of course eventually a smile did appear on her face after a few seconds:-)

patrick walsh
(apbt1976) - F
not a paying member on 11/25/2010 09:58:13 MST Print View

I joined only weeks ago in need of some help purchasing winter gear. I didnt want waste $$ on the wrong stuff only to find out after a trip or two what i really need. I have found for the most part people are very helpful, friendly and this board has very little BS and arguing like many other boards i spend time on. It can be a little slow at times and i do hate i am to cheep to pay to read those articles that look so good. A little hint i found you can google the articles and get em sometimes through a dif link or something but they are the old ones.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
$20 on 11/25/2010 10:02:38 MST Print View

"has very little BS and arguing like many other boards i spend time on"

I agree, you can really waste time reading other backpacking forums. Most of the discussions seem be run by people who are clueless on other backpacking sites.

Paying $20 is really worth it. I consider it the minimum to keep a site like this going. If it wasn't required, I'd happily donate $20 a year to keep it up.

Craig Burton

Locale: Smoky Mountains
Re: $20 on 11/27/2010 18:36:20 MST Print View

I don't think what you get for the $20 would ever really be appreciated without really adopting the lightweight backpacking philosophy. If one is looking to learn about lightweight backpacking, mostly all of your learning can be absorbed for free on the forums.

I very rarely read the articles I've paid for and find most of the better ones (trip reports, for instance) to be free.

Regardless, as frugal as I am, I continue to pay the annual membership fee. I like the idea of contributing to the site that made me better enjoy backpacking. I also hope that BPL can take some of the capital gained from the membership fees and reinvest it towards innovative products, like in years past.

I mainly see my $20 as a donation that I have no problem contributing because of the particular niche of lightweight backpacking. I can equate it to those that prefer to spend their money with small, local businesses. Others may choose not to contribute, and that's OK too - I'm just glad to see there are so many of us that continue to do so.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: re: paying on 11/27/2010 21:49:39 MST Print View

You can pay by article if you need to read just that specific article

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: $20 on 11/27/2010 21:51:11 MST Print View

Craig, I agree completely!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: So tell me about this place... on 11/28/2010 09:15:18 MST Print View

Welcome and if you go to the Chaff Section you will find a thread about ultralight punk rock loving hikers...Love The Clash

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
So tell me about this place.... on 11/28/2010 09:46:26 MST Print View

By becoming a member, there is a wealth of information on lightweight and UL backpacking - technique, science, tests, etc. You can learn a lot from the forums, but many of the articles are pure backpacking gold.

So yes, become a member and ditch the ax.