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Any guess as to where we'll wind up?
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Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 20:38:07 MDT Print View

All the guest and members that have left/ been forced out, where are you headed?

Knowing that BPL is unlike other forums, both in a positive and negative way.

What else is out there? In over 10 years I have not felt the need to stray into other forums. Blogs don't have that conversational quality to them.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 20:59:07 MDT Print View

I see a lot of them on Whiteblaze and the Backpacker mag forum, but neither of those forums is as..............personable (for lack of a better word) or informative as BPL. As a general rule, people on BPL are pretty decent.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 21:33:08 MDT Print View

Why don't you start something Ken. You have always been one of the most vocal and negative about BPL. This is your chance to create something you would enjoy.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 21:58:53 MDT Print View

Well Randy, BPL is already here.

Edited out my own thread drift.

So any other forums for you Randy?

Edited by kthompson on 10/27/2012 22:53:08 MDT.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 22:28:37 MDT Print View

MLIFE costs $100. I think 2-3 times before spending that much money (yeah, I'm of Scottish descent), but let's put it all into the proper perspective. Ryan abandoned his Ph.D. focused career to start BPL about 10 years ago. We've all heard your frustrations and verbal outrage. You obviously spend lots of time out on the trail and on There are several other great websites/blogs that I enjoy. Maybe it's time to put up or...

I'll check into your new blog to see how well things are going with your next $100 investment.


Edited by TomClark on 10/27/2012 22:29:49 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 22:49:01 MDT Print View

"There are several other great websites/blogs that I enjoy."
-Great! These are? My original question.

@Joe Whiteblaze, can't do it. Backpacker, only looked at it once for about 30 seconds. It's special here.

Edited out thread drift.

Edited by kthompson on 10/27/2012 23:05:55 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 23:01:00 MDT Print View

Sometimes things don't live up to what you hope. Not that knowing that makes it easy.

Sure wish I could make it all the way out to one of your GGGs, though. Looks like a good time.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 23:10:27 MDT Print View

"thread drift" ???

How does that compare to all of your negative comments over the past ~6 months...and BPL's contributions over the past 12 years? Sorry that was a rhetorical question.

I am just suggesting (hoping) that you will put your time to better use. I see plenty of value there because it does seem that you are a smart, passionate, and organized person. No sarcasm there. I really, really wish that I could have made the GGG event. It seemed like there were lots of cool people there, but I was not able to sway my wife. Face-to-face discussions are MUCH better because I suspect that you were really ticked off my my previous post, although I didn't say anything rude. Curse of the internet. I saw some photos from the event, but would love to hear some of the late night fireside discussions about BPL and other interesting topics.



Ken, I see that you edited your previous post. I appreciate that, but think that a comment of why you deleted those comments and what was said originally would be informative...or you could leave it as you typed it (because I suspect that you hate it when posts are deleted without explanation ). Maybe the best thing would be to leave your original comments and then state why you deleted them? I had some silly spelling errors (i.e., gin & tonic) in this post, so I corrected them.

Edited by TomClark on 10/28/2012 00:07:13 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/27/2012 23:52:39 MDT Print View

@ Tom I edited my post because we all know the story here about me and my critique of BPL. In this thread I was wondering aloud where people who post here also post will be posting.

And it's Saturday night and I am not looking for a fight. Just entertainment, thanks.

The GGG's are a blast. Keep working on the Mrs.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/28/2012 11:14:32 MDT Print View

edited out is a theme Tom, one that I have had thrown my way on more than one occasion. If you don't agree or have an opinion about a certain members post you will get a diatribe that lasts an evening and then disappears the next day.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/28/2012 18:35:23 MDT Print View

In direct response to your original question Ken, I will remain here at BPL. There is frankly nothing like it out there. Nothing nearly as collectively deep with knowledge and interaction that the Forum provides. There are plenty of Blogs out there but of course those are one way for the most part and only address what the blogger wants to address. I use the Blogs mostly for in depth informative reviews of gear and for in depth trip reports of areas I want to visit myself.

I have been over to Whiteblaze some but it's generally too focused on the Appalachian trail for my interest. Whiteblaze is mostly just useful to me for gear related insight that people provide.

I noticed that the price of a BPL annual membership dropped when I renewed recently to $20. In my own opinion, that is money very well spent, the equivalent of a book purchase. Having said that the knowledge I have gained simply from browsing the forum history at BPL is enormous. I am extraordinarily grateful for everything it has taught me.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
reading on 10/29/2012 14:52:40 MDT Print View

Ken, reading John Muir, that's a good one to do. Also far more educational than posting a lot in these forums, there's only so much you can really say about gear in the end, you have a tent, a backpack, a sleeping bag, you cook or you don't, you walk around, maybe you even hear and see something you hadn't before, if you managed to slow down enough to do that. Muir is also far more unabashedly reverent of nature, and not once you do see him brag about how many miles he did in a day while passing through as much nature as possible in the least time. I find him refreshing, despite his faults and blindness to certain things, I hadn't actually read a full book of his, just excerpts, so if you're looking for a better way to spend your time, that's one. Edward Abbey is fun too, though not quite as deep, though he too also brings up good points now and then. Wendell Berry shows that there is life out there in the American wastelands still as well, a delightful writer/thinker/liver. All these guys really help put bpl into a more reasonable perspective, since they tend to focus on what really matters, though, as someone who doesn't mind doing some gear geeking as a hobby when there's nothing better to do, I like bpl for making me massively over-think every part of my kit and practice, something I never did before.

I see the discussions about your tone or whatever, but I guess I don't spend enough time reading these forums to actually know what they are talking about, or to care (really, there are much much bigger things to care about nowadays), I don't see it, you seem in general one of the more coherent and reasonable people here, at least that's my non insider perspective, as someone who finds lot of other things to read and do online than one single gear forum dealing with a niche of a niche of outdoor gear use,

I see you organizing trips, planning events, putting out, for free, your time/energy. As someone who has done a LOT of volunteer work over the past years, I have always noted the huge difference between those who actually do the work and put out their energy and those who don't. I'd be a lot more impressed with your critics if I saw their names attached constantly to event organizing and other free volunteer stuff, of any sort. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of trying to monetize a community resource, 99.5%, at least, of what I use bpl for is the forums and the member generated ongoing knowledge base, the reviews I find mostly useless, though links to other reviewers out there can be really good.

I do think however that by narrowing the focus / bias so much to ul stuff, bpl really limits what it can achieve, but that's just how it turns out, hard to control where web stuff goes. But ul has this problem, that once you sort of figure it out, you have so little gear that there's really not that much to talk about, I mean, we know that thin raingear will wet out, and some of us even know, having used it, that thicker stuff doesn't, but beyond that, there's only so many words you can write.

What's interesting about Muir was that he really found city life vile, and spent as much time as he could out there, and only took time to write it up when he got older, a lot older. Ie, when he basically couldn't do it anymore. Food for thought. I still haven't had an UL trip that was better than a heavy pack trip, except for the hike itself, but even that I don't really think was that much better, just a bit easier. I need to work on slowing down a bit more I think, then I should start hearing/seeing what makes it all worthwhile in the end again. There's so much cool stuff to learn out there, gear is a tiny piece, but shouldn't be more than that.

bpl will end up where it ends up, but forum chitchat should never take the place of real life of any sort, so bpl is always going to have some pretty built in restrictions based on its biases and focus. Here's to recovering health and well being enough to hear the voice of nature when it decides to speak, and here's also to knowing when to stop doing things that lead away from that goal.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 10/29/2012 15:35:31 MDT Print View

No idea where we will end up but I'm hoping we will still be around for atleast the next 12 months. When my yearly membership came up for renewal about a month ago, I had decided to let it lapse. I wasn't anticipating using the Gear Swap Forum anytime soon and I wasn't getting much out of the articles. My main enjoyment was the forum and I could, up until very recently, continue to participate in the forum as a non-paying member. Unfortunately that option was taken away as the forum came under a relentless SPAM attack. I was hoping for a solution to that that would have allowed me to continue participating in the free forum but, alas, no such solution has been found yet. Therefore, I've just renewed my membership. I'm sad to see that some of the familiar names of active, but non-member, participants are now gone somewhere else. I'll miss their participation but life goes on. I certainly hope the BPL forum lasts atleast for the next 12 months.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 11/04/2012 10:32:41 MST Print View

Great post Harold. Reading is quite enjoyable, yes. I'm reading "Up and Down California in 1860-64" Very interesting. Incredible amount of change in a hundred years.
Books don't talk back though. I like the forums for a conversational substitute for when you can't be with your backpacking peeps.
Renee does not want to talk gear, backpacking.

I hope that the situation here can be resolved before I die of old age. 46 in Jan.

Anyone want to give odds? Those forums are slow.

Edit: Edited out inflammatory remark that was never there.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 11/04/2012 17:20:10 MST Print View

We've had some BPL posters come onto "The Lightweight Backpacker," It has been around longer than BPL but (at least in the 7 years I've been on it) doesn't have as big a crowd. IMHO, this can be an advantage. Of course as a moderator on TLB I watch newcomers, as a few turn out to be spammers who like to make half a dozen innocuous posts and then insert their spam links. I of course recognize most BPL "refugees" and alert the other mods that these folks are good guys!

I remain active on both forums, but my first love is with TLB since that's where I learned to lighten up!

Edited by hikinggranny on 11/04/2012 17:25:25 MST.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 11/10/2012 11:03:00 MST Print View

My 2 cents --
This will be an interesting experiment in paid social media. I decided to be a paying member for the articles, but have seen the quality decrease significantly. I miss the podcasts. I miss non-member postings, they added to the diversity.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 11/10/2012 16:33:37 MST Print View

"I miss non-member postings, they added to the diversity."

Stick around, Tim. I predict they will slowly reappear as the word gets out that the orignal non-paying members are still free to post without paying. Most of them love the Forums as much as we paying members, and from most of what I hear, there really isn't any other place that comes even close to what BPL has to offer, for all its warts and pimples. That is what people like Ken can't seem to get their heads around, the basic reality that nothing will ever be perfect, and that it is often best to love something for what it is rather that what you want it to be. Or go out and create something as you want it to be from scratch. Maybe someday, when he grows up.... He's only 46, you know. ;0)

Bruce Tolley

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Where will I end up? What do you get for $20/year on 11/10/2012 18:35:09 MST Print View

The difference between $5 and $24.99 per year, According to RJ's post the extra $20 gets you

-Member discounts on goods and services offered by Backpacking Light
-Subscription to the Members-only email newsletter
-Access to Members-only forum for the discussion of issues unique to Backpacking Light membership

Except for the courses in Montana, there is nothing to get a discount on.

The email news letter just alerts me upon the rare event of articles being published

A Members only Forum? Where is that?

Am I missing something?

At renewal time, $5 seems like the way to go.

Andrew Weldon
Re: Where will I end up? What do you get for $20/year on 11/10/2012 20:00:42 MST Print View

"A Members only Forum? Where is that?"

Down at the bottom of the forum list. There's essentially nothing there worthwhile.

Honestly, once the spam and related membership issues are sorted, the only real fix for the community is to shrink the number of subforums. ~20 sub forums is the death of a community this small, and an extremely common mistake in forum management.

Edit: Sorry, it's closer to 40 subforums here.

Edited by hypnolobster on 11/10/2012 20:03:09 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Any guess as to where we'll wind up? on 11/10/2012 22:40:39 MST Print View

Mary, it is good to see another person mention TLB. I haven't been on those forums in a very long time, but that is where, long before BPL, I first learned to start going lighter (aside from reading Jardine and the blogs by Michael Conner, Onestep, Adventure Alan, Ultralight Joe, and early Nimblewill Nomad, Will Reitveld, and Ryan Jordan). I've always wondered why TLB never made it the way BPL did. Perhaps because it is harder to navigate and not as flashy. Not did it subscribe to the cult of UL the way BPL did. It is through TLB that I first learned about and asked lots of questions about the then still new Hilleberg Akto. Have to go back and look around again.

Edited by butuki on 11/10/2012 22:42:20 MST.