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Podcast: Sub-3 on the PCT with Glen Van Peski
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Podcast on 01/18/2007 08:17:31 MST Print View

Thanks for all the great feedback. To answer BobOne and others about "where this is going":

1. We're expanding the podcast program to feature a variety of content types (not just interviews) on a regular basis.

2. We're using podcasting as both a complement for written content and standalone, in a way that takes advantage of the audio medium to present material better suited to audio (conversations, wilderness recordings, some types of essays, news reporting) as well as for convenience : "it's nice to have at the gym or on the commute". I don't think we'll use audio to describe how to pitch a tent or describe photographs.

Podcasts aren't replacing any written content at BPL, i.e., our word count will be maintained; consider podcasts complementary.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Podcast: Sub-3 on the PCT with Glen Van Peski on 01/18/2007 11:38:52 MST Print View

Is the mp3 file size correct? I get about 14 MB. Nice podcast.

BPL Subscriber
(BobOne) - F
Re: Re: Podcast: Sub-3 on the PCT with Glen Van Peski on 01/18/2007 18:52:47 MST Print View

I've had decent luck with getting some weight out front but think that for my body, a truly satisfactory solution would remove or substantially reduce contact with the front of the body by carrying the weight of the front load on a structure that is hard-tied to the back load.

The front-loading project is worthwhile in my estimation, not only to reduce the fore-aft balancing effort, but also to allow lower-effort vertical axis rotation enabled by the reduced polar moment of inertia created by spreading the load around more of the body surface (thereby keeping more of it near the vertical axis) rather than cantilevering most of it farther in the rearward direction. All else equal, a longer cantilever should require more massive structure, and as Glen alludes, the structure needed in his circumstances for a full water load is wasted when the water load diminishes.

But I think there are some limitations for my body with soft front-loading arrangements. Reversed fanny packs and the speeder belt arrangement were of some use but I found that pressure near the front of the hips tended to induce ilopsoas spasms. Among other approaches, I tried twisted windbreakers loaded with various items, and a water bag held by straps sewn into a nylon casing. Body temperature regulation was also affected, sometimes for the better, but since there was a net reduction in flexibility of temperature regulation if the load was left in place, it was hard to count that as a positive. Heat input to the load was also altered. Finally, there was some sense of wasted effort as the front of the legs applied force to the load with each step.

I think the gym and commute applications for audio have some greater potential, but that it will take some time for that potential to be realized. It seems to me that we're in the very early days of providing a base of useful audio that can be informedly and selectively deployed on occasions when other information delivery channels are not available. Personally, the inability to get much utility from audio has led me to fairly strictly minimize transportation time (even at substantial direct career cost), and to long ago switch my cardio time at the gym to a recumbent stationary bicycle, which readily allows reading, at least up to a certain cardio output level.

I think it's probably helpful to keep the idea of illustration vs. alternative delivery mechanism in mind when preparing content, so as to produce both the best text-centric content and the best standalone multimedia content.

Bill, it's not so much that I want more (in the sense of overall volume) from online information, but that I want to preserve effective random-access capabilities so as to support effective research and time management. Better random-access capabilities do, however, let me gorge more overall effective volume :)

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
Podcast with GVP on 01/19/2007 00:22:25 MST Print View

Thought the podcast was great...... better than an article.....but the pics etc accompaning it also helped
Having an experienced ultra light backpacker like Carol interviewing, helped draw Glen, with leading questions (based on her experiences) to give more detailed explanations for for his choices with gear and techniques article would not necessarily have extracted this info!
More Podcasts like this would be great
10/10 for this addition to

Edited by andrew_browne on 01/19/2007 00:23:37 MST.

Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
Re: Podcast with GVP on 01/20/2007 05:40:30 MST Print View

I'd like to cast a vote requesting transcripts for podcasts in the future. As "BPL Subscriber" points out, a transcript is search-able (non-English speaking readers can even attempt a Google translation on a transcript). While I listen to a lot of podcasts, I never take away as much information from that format as I do from an article.


Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
carrying stuff in front on 01/20/2007 16:24:32 MST Print View

Douglas, you wondered if anyone carries stuff in front. Well besides my home-grown belly I don't really anymore (the biggest weight reduction I could achieve).

I have, however, tried front carry systems long ago. Years back I carried a Dana Designs Wet Rib. When I could get it snugged down so it wouldn't bounce around it worked acceptably well for water and snacks. However, overall I have found that keeping my water in water bottles in side pockets or using a hydration bladder plus keeping the days snacks in the top lid of my backpack is how I prefer to go.

I could imagine situations where I might go with a front pack again, but I'm not in a hurry to try any now mostly because I'm not a big fan of things bouncing on my front even a modest bit (why I don't like a camera hanging off my necks down my front; hanging across my shoulders, like a purse, is bad enough - though I do that often).

** Ken **

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: carrying stuff in front on 01/20/2007 21:56:25 MST Print View

Nice listen. I'm looking forward to more BPL recordings. If I could make one nitpicky minor suggestion, I would make some strong cuts on the introductory material. You have to listen to about 1 full minute of description, summary, & soundtrack before you get to the actual content. I'd contrast this with something like the 43 Folders podcasts, which are generally introduced and on their way in the first 2-10 seconds. I don't really think there's a strong need to imitate radio format here.

Speaking of water belts and their cousins, it'll be interesting to see where front packs go from here. It looks like Aarn has a good lead, but they're heavy. I wonder what the UL folks will figure out over the next couple years.


Edited by mlarson on 01/20/2007 21:58:23 MST.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Great listen on 01/21/2007 09:06:18 MST Print View

Very enjoyable .. .the pictures brought the podcast to life for me ....

Glen is always a great listen anyway ... loved his "lighten up" video from his website as well.

Keep up the Podcasts and Carol .... I don't think anyone could have a better "golden throat" than you ... you have a great interviewing style, talk at a great pace, and have a pleasant voice.

Greyson Howard

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Water belt on 01/22/2007 20:03:57 MST Print View

Anybody know of a good light-weight fanny pack that could double as a speeder belt for water carry?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Water belt on 01/23/2007 03:21:04 MST Print View

Brawny used to make them, but she's closed down her store.

I bet D.O. over at Oware could put one together to your specs in a very short period of time, but this is just a guess on my part.

In fact, I'd love to replace my 6oz 450in^3 cordura 25+ yr old EddieBauer fanny/abdominal pack with an UL silNylon one too. I'd probably take 2 or 3 of them as they won't last as long as 25yrs.

So, D.O., if you see this Post, what are the chances of getting some?

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Water belt on 01/23/2007 09:42:55 MST Print View

>Brawny used to make them, but she's closed down her store.

Yeah, I'm bummed because I wanted one of those fanny packs too, as well as the huge over-mitts/VB socks. (My Da Kine fanny pack weighs 7.0 oz.)

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Water belt on 01/23/2007 10:00:13 MST Print View

I bet the kind folks over at TiGoat might have some silNylon laying around, plus a zipper or two, and some webbing & buckles for belts that would make a nice fanny/lower-abdominal pack.

Both Oware & TiGoat seem amenable to custom orders.

I'm guessing that next to a stuff sack, a small zippered pack like we're desiring here might be the next easiest thing to sew (just guessing as i can't sew).

Ronald Gaulden
(ch1cote) - F
Transcript? on 01/24/2007 10:13:39 MST Print View

Would it be too much to ask for a transcript for those who would like to read the interview and for those who are hearing impaired?

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Podcast on 01/24/2007 17:20:15 MST Print View

Ryan Jordan,

I really like that you plan to include wilderness recordings. I'm not sure if this means 'sounds of nature' or podcasting in the wilderness, but I will say that one of my favorite podcasts to date has been's August 13, 2006 recording titled "Andy tries a tarp and bivy night for the first time!"

What made it so fun was that he gave his impressions of tarp/bivy camping while on the trail, rather than as a post-trip review. So you hear him talk about the tarp setup while it's still fresh in his mind, and with the sounds of the tarp flapping in the wind behind him. The next morning he describes his night, recording the section while still in his bivy. So while talking about how the system handled the showers that blew through at night, you can hear the birds chirping in the background and the stove lighting up.

Having these background noises provided much more of an immersion experience, like I was along for the trip. It used the audio format to its best, so that it was more than just an 'alternative' to text. Neither text nor pictures can provide that type of immersion, and video leaves less to the imagination (the audio can be supplemented by photos as you are already doing).

It was also fun that he brought along someone tarping for the first time, so there was someone with less experience with the gear to compare experiences, to have some humor with, and to carry the conversation forward (so it didn't resort to 'Survivorman-style' solo reporting).

This is just one of many types appoaches, but I think taking advantage of the medium in this manner will add significantly more value to the podcast section of this website. I would love to hear members of the BPL team giving a shelter review during a raging thunderstorm!

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Great to listen in on the conversation on 01/31/2007 05:31:14 MST Print View

I think it's great to be able to listen to two knowledgeable (and enthusiastic) people talk about a topic that interests me. Both the questions and answers are helpful. I have some Gossamer Gear equipment and have been very happy with both the performance and their customer service.

One suggestion on the podcasts would be to include the length of the podcast next to the download button to help plan how much time is needed to listen to it. With three kids, I have to reserve time around "Daddy Duty."

I also agree that Glen's DVD "Lighten Up" was enjoyable to watch and Andy Howell's podcast about trying a bivy provided other insights that you don't get from plain text. I miss Bob Butler's Trailcast, but just saw an interview with him on that I plan to listen to tonight on the trip home.

Lighten UP Link --

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Lighten up DVD on 01/31/2007 12:27:31 MST Print View


What did you think of Jackie in the Video .... she struck me as being very sincere ... not to mention cute!

I wasn't aware of this before, but apparently she's not just a hiking guide, but she also does a lot of Alpine Climbing ...

Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
Re: Lighten up DVD on 01/31/2007 12:29:25 MST Print View

You know, I just got that DVD earlier this week. REALLY well done! And, like you said, Jackie seemed very sincere...and cute. Just don't tell my wife I said that!


Glen Van Peski
(gvanpeski) - F - M

Locale: San Diego
Re: Lighten up DVD on 01/31/2007 12:29:45 MST Print View

Jackie is all of that, also happily married with a new baby boy...


Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
Re: Re: Lighten up DVD on 01/31/2007 12:41:27 MST Print View

Well just crush everyone's hopes and dreams there Glen! lol


Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Podcast: Sub-3 on the PCT with Glen Van Peski on 01/31/2007 16:31:18 MST Print View

Have been putting off listening to one of these podcasts because, with aging, I'm getting more & more particular about what kind of new stuff I'm willing to take the time to learn whatever's needed to make use of it. If it takes revisiting schooldays to master, then it had sure better be really good new stuff. I mean, how much more useless stuff can my computer take in???

Now it seems that delaying a plunge into BPL's podcast experience was itself a waste of good times. I quickly found that my learning curve for managing a quick listen to one of BPL's podcasts was almost vertical.

An excellent idea, and the Glen and Carol show was great. Look forward to more of the same. But I also agree with others who worry that the spoken word for all of the same material will not continue to be readily available at BPL for much easier reference and for anyone who disapproves of directions technology takes (forces upon) us everyday.

KISS would be a pretty good motto for many lightweighters, and podcasts are not only worthwhile, but very simple and [this] user friendly.

Thanks for another innovative chapter in BPL's success.