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Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 19:17:05 MST Print View

Apparently their single administrator in charge would rather ban you than allow you to debate against people who are Anti-ultralight. having a single administrator itself is wrong as any bias is uncontrollable.

repeatedly, people asking questions on hiking fast and/or light are discouraged from doing so by the members there and any retaliation against that attitude is promptly deleted and banned if you continue.

a certain member enters every topic involving lightweight backpacking and touts his preference for carrying a 70lb pack for 20 days without resupply in the snow. Apparently this is the only way he thinks backpacking should be done and will not stop until everyone has cupped his balls about it.

It is sad and pathetic that the most used site for Appalachian Trail information is so backwards in their leadership and membership that they discourage ultralight backpacking conversation.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 19:34:46 MST Print View

The anti-ultralight virus is spreading even to some who hang out on this website to sell you books, trips and foot ; )


Edited by jshann on 11/30/2012 19:35:37 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 19:44:56 MST Print View

Unfortunately WB isn't just against the term. the whole concept in general.

people have posted trip plans that include going faster than average and they are quickly smacked down and told they cannot possibly go that far and they should slow down with no knowledge of who they are or what they can do.

Hell Jen Pharr-Davis herself could post on there and they would say she was out of her mind and should slow down and smell the roses.

people are constantly told that if they have baseweights under 15-20lb they are unprepared, uncomfortable and unsafe. it is amazing how scared the main member group is and it is supported and coddled by the administrator.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 20:38:33 MST Print View

Not until my IP was banned from the site that the Owner Rick Towle responded to my PM's that i've been sending for weeks to deal with his admin who's personal feelings against my posts causes him to delete my stuff.

Shawn Forry
(porkpie73) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra
Whiteblaze on 11/30/2012 21:28:52 MST Print View

It's always been my experience that Whiteblaze is best for armchair arguing. Sorry to hear about your frustrations.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 22:37:04 MST Print View

hi Jake
"a certain member enters every topic involving lightweight backpacking and touts his preference for carrying a 70lb pack for 20 days'

yes,well,that is just typical...

Don't give up, it is a lot better than it was a few years ago.
Up to a couple of years ago there was a resident gang that attacked everyone that tried to suggest somewhat lighter stuff.
In fact about every question about a shelter (yes including for couples) had the obligatory "get a hammock" reply.
However if you read enough threads now, you will find that many just ignore the remaining sado-masochists and just use LW stuff anyway..

BTW, about 2, maybe 3 years ago I posted a thread called "rant" pretty much highlighting your point (purposely in the General Gear Talk)
The GANG had a great time making fun of me (as if I cared...) however one by one most of them have disappeared pretty much proving the point that all they wanted was to blow their own trumpets and not to help others.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: is Anti-ultralight on 11/30/2012 23:37:46 MST Print View

Franco, I am forced to give up. My IP has been banned from the site because the single administrator has always had an issue with me and found every way to get me into a situation where i would violate a TOS.

for example, he banned me for 2 weeks for making a comment about being warned not to comment about speed hiking anymore. Then blocked my PM's so that I could not discuss it.

He also has blocked me from multiple threads i was writing in so that I could no longer even see them, let alone reply.

A few months ago i received 5 curse laden PM's from a user and when I complained, he told me that he could not do anything because it was a private message matter and they wouldn't get involved.

What really pisses me off is A) dictatorship at the top.. the moderators can't do anything but monitor. the one admin has all the controls. B) the owner does not monitor the admin. he also apparently doesn't read his messages because i've PM'd him for weeks and now he won't help me now because I got pissed off and angry at the admin.

I'm disappointed because there were a few people on there I did like to talk to and the Long Trail sub forum was extremely useful for my thruhike this summer. It is a shame it is not run better.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 07:29:57 MST Print View

"You never gave me a chance to reply to you before you went off on the deep end by slamming Alligator" - Rick Towle "owner" of WB

I PM'd him MONTHS ago telling him that the Admin had a personal issue with me that he was taking out using his banning power.

what a f** joke (edited for Sarah)

Edited by JakeDatc on 12/01/2012 10:00:31 MST.

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 08:03:24 MST Print View

who cares if they are. I think you are mad about the fact you got banned than them being Anti-ultralight

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 08:21:31 MST Print View

No, They are hypocritical in their dealing with opinions from each "side"

people who promote going lighter and further are told to "cool it" while folks like Tipi Walter ramble on about 70lb packs in the snow in the middle of a discussion about ultralight backpacking.. IN the Ultralight Gear section are allowed to disrupt the conversation.

Also people are allowed all the time to tell people wanting to hike fast to slow down but when someone says they should lighthen their packs because they have extraneous things it is quickly met with "HYOH" bullshit

I was told straight up by the admin to stop discussion speed hiking.. When the thread I was involved in was in the Speed hiking subforum! (in which people were telling someone wanting to do a sub-100day AT hike to slow down and smell the roses or he won't have a good time)

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Re: Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 09:18:34 MST Print View

there is a whole section on ultralight hiking on WB. One thread by 10-k is always being posted on. Tipi's comments were made into a new thread.

WB is not like this site so don't expect it to be.

As far as the Speed Hiking forum there is a thread of someone wanting to do it in 60 days unsupported. So there are threads about that subject also.

It takes a lot to get banned on WB so it sounds like you pushed it and got banned...just sayin

Personally I don't care one way or the other..HYOH

Edited by Ewker on 12/01/2012 09:25:56 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: woah, potty-mouth alert!! on 12/01/2012 09:55:49 MST Print View

How did you using the F word here get by the forum filters????????

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: woah, potty-mouth alert!! on 12/01/2012 10:07:04 MST Print View

no idea, i edited it for you.

I am pretty annoyed at the situation. When the owner says "oh it's too late i never had a chance to deal with it" when it's been weeks.. is absurd.

Perhaps it is for the best, they are set in their ways over there and will continue to propagate inferior knowledge that UL is unsafe and 40-60lb packs on people who will hate backpacking afterward will continue. No wonder the AT failure rate is way higher than more difficult trails like PCT and CDT

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: woah, potty-mouth alert!! on 12/01/2012 10:36:47 MST Print View

Thanks for editing that out

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 11:20:01 MST Print View

Jake, I don't know if WB is anti ultralight or not, but I suspect it has more to do with how many forums are run. Many seem to have moderators that take it upon themselves to go well beyond their duties, policing not just language and offensive content, but any content they personally dislike. They also seem to have personal beefs and act upon them while in their "official" capacity. Reminds me of some of the problem cops we hear about.
This is one of the reasons I love BPL. Ryan Jordan and the moderators have done a great job in letting people express themselves, even when it gets uncomfortable.
What bothers me even more than owners or moderators that go overboard with their authority, is how Ok people are with it. Seems like people like to be herded, monitored, censored and so forth, because it gives them a sense of security perhaps?
Your experience is a bummer, but not unique. As long as the majority backs ups such abuse of power, we will see more of it.
I know, this is more Chaff than anything else, but I just had to..

a b
@ Jake on 12/01/2012 15:02:10 MST Print View

Jake, listen to Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show right now.
This song embodies the true spirit of the AT and the folks along it (though the will argue in the NE).
Whiteblaze itself is not to blame for your "rough" treatment.

Alright.. Just listen to the song please...
Makes more sense than words.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 15:20:32 MST Print View

Kat, I agree somewhat. There are people on that site that I enjoy talking to.

I believe that it is wrong to have a singular admin. in charge. there is no balance of power and the owner is extremely hands off to the point where moderators on there have told me he will not intervene. So you say one wrong thing once and the guy has you flagged forever just waiting to give you the ax.

I am used to very lightly moderated forums so I am not used to having to play with kiddy gloves all the time.

HYOH.. unless it isn't like my hike.. and then you are wrong.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 19:04:18 MST Print View

I am not going to try to defend WB but I think you are spinning this just a bit. Yes there is a huge part of the forum users that will resist any suggest of UL or high mile days. But there are several active threads on both of those subjects and many including myself are very supportive of the positions that you were advocating. I suspect that it was more the how than the what that resulted in the banning. Sounds a bit extreme based on what I saw in the threads but frankly you did push a bit more than was helpful.

I do think it is a bit tacky to go to another forum and complain about a site. Let it drop, move on and go for hike. A nice fast lightweight one. :)

Pick your battles.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/01/2012 19:55:24 MST Print View

Greg I did appreciate your posts and a few others.

The admin has shown a dislike for me for many months now and seems to treat my posts differently than others. I cannot reach my PM's anymore but he basically told me to stop posting about speed hiking after defending the guys doing the 90 day AT and the No Zero AT hikes. he had deleted many of my posts and banned me from the Cafe because I told them that I had been told not to post about speed hiking and the recent thread by 10K that Tipi geodeuced all over.

that Coffe-rules or whoever sent me seriously angry PM's and all the admin said was "ignore him and get over it" yet i make one post with a curse in it i get banned for 2 weeks.

So i disagree that it was the "how" because others have done the same "how" and it doesn't result in anything.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Hmmmmm on 12/01/2012 21:07:06 MST Print View

Look, I'll play devil's advocate here. The problem with ANY well-loved thing in life is there is a fine line between preaching to the choir and proselytizing.
Do you want to open the door to religious folks who tell you your beliefs are wrong? Most people don't. Do you like going to a shooting range or a gym and being told that you are "doing it wrong"? Again, most don't. If they want to carry a big heavy pack, ya know what? It isn't affecting YOU. And heck, they are probably pulling your chain to a point as well - since they know they will get a reaction.

So how do people react? Often with anger or mocking. The reason people get banned on WB is that they are causing too much ruckus or drama. There are plenty of light hikers on there - but not are all vocal. Look, it is the same reason why men get highly censored in the women's section there. They were having huge issues a few years back with "helpful tips" from men on how women should handle their period, birth control and wearing bras. And when told to knock it off, they just kept coming back and back and back.

I know - I got told once to knock it off. I did, learned my lesson and hey. life went on. Without a heavy hand, forums CAN and DO fall apart easily enough.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
FWIW on 12/02/2012 10:14:33 MST Print View

Your comments encouraged me to stop in the WB forums to see what was going on.

Ho hum. There are plenty of people on all sides, and enough curmudgeons to keep everyone entertained. Not sure it's where I am going to spend most of my time. And nobody is going to convince any of the curmudgeons that there is another side to the story.

But there are a ton of message boards on the internet, and I only participate in a few. Pick the ones you like, ignore the rest. Life is too short.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife is Anti-ultralight? on 12/02/2012 18:36:41 MST Print View

I think Paul has it right. I drop in on WB once in a while to see what's going on. There are some "ultra heavy" advocates and quite a few lightweight/ultralite advocates. However, I don't have much interest in the AT, which is their main focus. I agree that the curmudgeons on that or any other forum, or anywhere in the world for that matter, are not going to change their minds. (My mind is made up so don't annoy me with the facts.) I am a bit of a curmudgeon, or at least Luddite, myself!

If someone wants to go lighter, I'll help them any way I can. If they don't, that's their problem, not mine. I may think a few scoffing thoughts, but I smile, say "Hi" and chat about the weather. However, when I do help, I increasingly describe my own experience (for what it's worth) rather than making blanket recommendations. Every individual is different, for which fact I shout hallelujah!

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
Common sense on 12/02/2012 18:54:51 MST Print View

You sound entirely too rational, Mary. That's no fun. Now if you took a wildly outrageous position, and then defended it against all odds and all comers...we could have a flame war here.

Your approach just leads to helpful and rational discussion. sigh.


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest is Anti-ultralight on 12/02/2012 19:11:44 MST Print View

WB is pretty bad, even in the ultralight forum.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Oh the places we go... on 12/02/2012 19:31:47 MST Print View's just one base camper who extrapolates his limited experience (granted, he does know winter camping very well) to every type of backpacking. He has a small amount of vocal followers.

Most people try to get lighter, enjoy their time in the outdoors and carry on.

Then there are stubborn people like me who still try to teach the pig to sing. :D

If you look at on-line forums as entertainment in part, and don't take it seriously, it is just a way to kill some time.

Then you go outside and realize it ain't that important.

This is:

Cedar Wash

Edited by PaulMags on 12/02/2012 19:32:23 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: is Anti-ultralight? on 12/02/2012 19:37:24 MST Print View

Mary, there is having an opinion and then there is invading threads and sub-forums you just don't belong in. ie the 70lb pack guy spouting off in the UL sub-forum.. it only disrupts where people are trying to discuss their own thing, where they are supposed to. Or people telling folks asking about speed hiking to slow down and "have fun"
It is fine to have an personal style but impeding other peoples ability to learn a different style isn't right.

It is also funny to do gear list reviews over there... people say "what do you think" and then refuse to even consider changing things you bring up. And then when you tell them well you asked and you get cheerleaders saying "the list looks good! 29lb baseweight is fine!"

the fact that BPL was basically shut down and the UL forum over there didn't see a blip should say something.

edit: Mags you don't think T-W's rants and ramblings are disruptive when he puts them in threads where it has no place?

Edited by JakeDatc on 12/02/2012 19:41:55 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
just let it go my friend on 12/02/2012 20:23:06 MST Print View

Sure it is out of place..but does it really matter? His insights are something most people ignore and/or find laughable. After a while, he'll take his ball, go out into the woods on yet another trip he'll make out to be WILDERNESS (He brings a -10F bag and 4 season tent in thge summer. HE claims he wants to be prepared for blizzards. During the summer in TN??? OK. Maybe if this climate change thing goes really wrong. Even new comers won't fall for that) and we'll hear bupkis from him for three weeks. Just treat it as entertainment.

But, that's a different website. Different neighborhood. Kinda like RI transplants in CO discussing their favorite Dunkin Donuts back home. ;)

Time to move on..

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: just let it go my friend on 12/02/2012 20:40:42 MST Print View

I was lucky enough to find BPL as a source of learning to lighten my pack.. I guess i feel bad for folks who go to WB for similar (or many other topics that get derailed) and are given such poor information. having your question get bogged down with nonsense is not entertaining i'm sure.

I have 3 dunkins in 10mi before i hit the highway ;)

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Whiteblaze on 12/03/2012 05:52:15 MST Print View

Yea, I don't like the heavy hand of one of the mods there but it's their sandbox, I just play in it.

Jake, I remember your comments on the thru-hike in 60 days thread. In fact I posted a question on that thread and you took it in a way I didn't intend and made some not so nice comments about it.

Whiteblaze doesn't discourage UL, it's just that everyone has their opinions and some of them don't agree with yours.

Ever think maybe the problem isn't everybody else?

By the way, I run a 12 lb. base weight for spring and fall, less for summer.

Edited by DonH on 12/03/2012 06:00:02 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
WhiteBlaze on 12/03/2012 07:04:30 MST Print View

I found BPL through the UL forum on WB.

I do tend to avoid whiteblaze because the combination of newbies and quick to reply curmudgeons are often frustrating.

The common theme that comes up one the UL forum is when a newbie ask questions about UL gear and end up with a flood of follow up posts about why the person should avoid UL gear.

You might get a few good responses, but the newbie is going to be more likely to listen to the crowd and not what appears to be the few people on the fringe.

I remember one thread discussing trekking poles where the same loud mouths ranted about why trekking poles are the worst thing in the world. They'll make you a cripple and how they damage the trails. Trail maintainers keep having to reroute trails because of trekking poles and other nonsense.

And of course we all love the guy(s) that always tells everyone to get the 6 lb Hilleberg tent and they will never regret it. I even almost fell for that one by listening because of these posts:-(

Or a common theme about - where I hike you have to have all this heavy gear because our conditions are SO extreme. That UL crap won't cut it where I hike. You have to carry a good hatched, a giant heavy pack, a 4 season dome freestanding tent, ... and of course wear high topped waterproof hiking boots, ....

It seems like the best posts are the ones that advise people to go to BPL for UL advice instead of listening to the heavy packers rant. I know that was the best advice I have received from the WB forums.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 12/03/2012 08:39:10 MST.

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
dunk it on 12/03/2012 08:13:35 MST Print View

-For the sassy staff and exchanges in Portuguese: Allens Ave Dunkin Donuts (DD) in South Providence. Highly inconsistent coffee though.
-For 24 hour convenience and late nights of driving: Exit 30 DD.
-For waiting for a ride from the rock gym when my car's in the shop while eating a Venezuelan arepa: Lonsdale Ave DD.
-For nostalgia: Dexter Street DD, Pawtucket/ Central Falls line (near my old office). Never had a burnt cuppa there.

For those not from RI: we start drinking coffee milk in kindergarten. Provided by the schools, not parents.

Ooops, thread drift. Sorry.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Dunkies! on 12/03/2012 08:35:10 MST Print View

Many of us are rejoicing DD s coming to the Denver metro area. Oh yeah...

Beinga Pawtuxtet Valley boy (Coventry) , the one on Tiogue Ave was the DD of choice. Go more towards West Warwick, the one on Providence St by Royal Mills was a choice back when i was a young lad working at Kent Hospital on weekends trying to wake myself up from the fog of partying on Friday night.

I have a a cache of Autocrat coffee syrup in my cupboard. I pick up some every time I visit the family. :)

Thread drift indeed. ;)

Edited by PaulMags on 12/03/2012 09:01:42 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: WhiteBlaze on 12/03/2012 08:47:27 MST Print View

I sat let those cats keep their heavy packs... keeps em closer to the TH.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
... on 12/03/2012 15:24:33 MST Print View

DD coming to CO? cool. wait wait. Is DD Paleo friendly? ;)

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
DD on 12/03/2012 15:47:04 MST Print View

Paleo friendly? If you crunch the beans...sure! :)

As for CO:

There are some in Co Sprgs already IIRC...


Locale: Somewhere out hiking!!!
Come on, Jake... on 12/03/2012 16:37:25 MST Print View

I get ur upset with Alligator and Rick, but this was you posting just 6 weeks ago... Those are all your posts... Remember any of it??? You made disparaging remarks about Ryan on WB, and now you are doing the same about Rick on BPL... Hmmmmm...

Perhaps the Ultralight sub-forum here will see more traffic. it is sad how BPL has gone down the drain, it got me back into backpacking after a long hiatus. It was pretty evident last year when Ryan stopped posting all together, despite nasty criticism and complaints, that he was letting it burn to the ground.

New threads just created didnt last more than a few hours without being spammed. it's a ****show.. I showed a friend in the computer industry the site a while ago and he laughed at how old the software was..

Ryan makes money on his guided classes.. not on BPL or probably even his blog. if BPL goes down I don't think it hurts him.

They could have just shut down new registrations.... but no. another attempt to get more people to sign up for memberships... i highly doubt limiting Gear swap did much and this will have even less effect.. sad that a guy so smart in one field is so inept in another.

The membership is for the articles. I don't care about most of what is in the articles and could probably find a blog like Andrew's, Hendrik's, etc that would have similar. Having a forum to discuss and ask questions and share info is far more useful and has been ignored by Ryan for quite a while. Just the fact that he uses a software so outdated it is laughable is proof of that. the search function is unusable, no quote function, HTML needed for imbedding links and linked photos

In all forums the content and contributors are the valuable asset.. he ignores and dismisses that, that is why BPL is going down the drain.

spending money to help was the mistake of the people who paid for MLife's last time... i highly doubt they will get that support again.

where Ryan gets his actual money... when you're getting 600 bucks a day to hike... you're not worried about losing a few hundred bucks of membership fees

There were many threads of complaints. many suggestions for spam control, including offers by web savvy people to do code. many offers to help moderate spam. all ignored and it was shuttered up.

Ryan promised "new forum software" this year... uhh.. last year. didn't happen. he hasn't posted in more than a few threads in months and never in ones involving complaints.

he promised MLife people many things that apparently never went through when he begged for $ last time.

It is sad because BPL got me back into backpacking and dropped my pack from 25-30 for a weekend to 25 for a week with more room for improvement.

Yep, definitely the wrong approach, but what else is new there. I do not see many people paying 5 bucks to post on a forum that should be free. lots of MLifers have been talking a lot of crap about how "5 bucks is nothing blah blah" I am happy I found the site to lighten my pack and meet a few people but it has always had an elitist feel from the "members and Mlifers" just the fact that normal posters are categorized as "guests" is proof enough.

also doesn't change the fact that the whole board infrastructure is from like 1994 and the search function is less useful than a 4 year old with a set of encyclopedias. the complaints go back for years asking for better platforms and response in promises for improvements... which have never shown up.

every time i consider posting there I think that it is just positive reinforcement that they are doing something right and change my mind.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/03/2012 16:54:09 MST Print View

I just stopped itno WB and tried to read some of this. Its like an abortion arguement. No listining, just people trying to make a point to other people trying to make a point, but no one listening.

IDK what Jake said, or didn't say...

What I want to know is why is 'fast' always tied to 'light'?

Its not like ULers are running or jogging. Its that when your pack doesn't weigh >20% of your bodyweight you don't get as tired so you can keep going.

Everybody over there kept hammering 'fast n light' like it is a mantra. Its a marketing slogan.

Also why does everybody assume UL is uncomfortable? I'm plenty comfortable. I carry a chair for Pete's sake.

You call UL uncomfortable (even though you've never tried it) yet you strap a 70lbs pack to your back?

Maybe I'm weird, but a 70lb pack sounds uncomfortable.

And A GPS being "dead weight"? I guess a map is dead weight too then?
Maybe I dont need the actual GPS function, but having a 24K topo map of my entire state in a small, easy to read, waterproof package sounds... nice.

2nd edit: If BPL is elitest then why aren't there "contributing member" and "silver member" etc. like Whiteblaze. ...Silver I wish I had... NVM

Edited by WoodenWizard on 12/03/2012 17:02:43 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Come on, Jake... on 12/03/2012 17:01:28 MST Print View

I still think the way he handled the spam issue and the board infrastructure is terrible but that it is a minor blip on his radar. I was also not the only one frustrated about it

it also didn't do jack to raise the UL forum over there.. not a tiny bit. I was hopeful and wrong.

on WB, having to pay to edit things also does not help. Sometimes you say stuff when you are frustrated or comes out wrong and you get hung for it.

the fact that others here have seen similar over there means that i'm not the only one.

I am going to a post less attitude on here and not worry about it. I am glad to share what I know the best.. white mountains and the Long Trail and try to stick to that.

Edit: Barry, trying to give advice there is generally useless, the majority of the posters want you to say "you're doing everything right!" and confirm everything they think they know.

There is a poster who complains on a regular basis that the AT in the wilderness section of the White Mountains is not blazed (as per the Wilderness rules) Apparently 4' high cairns are too difficult. A map or GPS might not help that kind of stupid. (he is still bitter from his thru-hike like 3 years ago) When you walk in a fairly straight line connecting dots for 2000mi your brain goes mushy i think.

Edited by JakeDatc on 12/03/2012 17:09:43 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Come on, Jake... on 12/03/2012 17:26:10 MST Print View

"Ryan makes money on his guided classes.. not on BPL or probably even his blog. if BPL goes down I don't think it hurts him."

Maybe he's not doing it for the money?

I do not see many people paying 5 bucks to post on a forum that should be free. lots of MLifers have been talking a lot of crap about how "5 bucks is nothing blah blah""

This is an old complaint, so I'll post an old reply. If NOBODY pays anything, how do you expect the forums where you have learned so much to continue operating? It takes a server, telecommunications capability, website maintenance, etc, none of which pops up out of nowhere like one of those schmoos in the venerable Little Abner comic strip. It costs money. So, I'll ask you: Where is that money supposed to come from? Those Mlifer's are talking crap, my friend, they're talking reality.

"I am happy I found the site to lighten my pack and meet a few people but it has always had an elitist feel from the "members and Mlifers" just the fact that normal posters are categorized as "guests" is proof enough."

And yet you hung around long enough to milk the site for what you needed to get back into backpacking, lighten your pack, and meet a few good people, none of them, presumably elitist members. All courtesy of those elitists you malign, who did pony up for the same benefits, a lot more than 5 dollars. I don't get people like you. Maybe it's just a generation gap kind of thing, but I wasn't raised to expect things to be free. As far as I'm concerned, you can complain about what you're getting for the price; indeed, a lot of people are unhappy with the gap between what was promised and what they got, but don't expect it to be free. The world just doesn't work that way.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Come on, Jake... on 12/03/2012 18:13:01 MST Print View

None of the Rock climbing forums that I am on are membership driven. Just because people would rather pay than see a few discrete ads is not my problem. I don't mind them and it would probably have more income than $5 a person. Check out Mountain Project, SuperTopo,, (this is privately owned and used by a very small group and still has better interface than here)

I do not complain about the things that I do not get for free. I've read a few free articles but not that many. I do not wish I had read any of the non-free ones.


Locale: Somewhere out hiking!!!
Jake, to be fair... on 12/03/2012 18:40:58 MST Print View

I know you did not start that thread on WB, Eugene "Leaftye" did... I get ur frustration about being able to edit, but without having to pay, but I just let them do it for me, gratis... lol.. lets look at what he (Eugene) had to say, to put some of ur posts, maybe into context... They are from the same thread on WhiteBlaze...

Keep in mind these are leaftye posts from just the first 3 pages...

For years I've used Backpacking Light and this forum. BPL more for technical discussions, and this forum more for discussion long distance hiking techniques. Unfortunately spam at BPL has grown worse over the past year, and much more so in the past week. It looks like the owner and administration there is completely unwilling to take even the most basic, free and effective steps to save their forum.

I know quite a few people here participate there too, and I suspect more people will sign up here as the fallout at BPL continues. While the primary purpose of Whiteblaze is for the AT, I hope it can accommodate BPL refugees as well.

There is no reason to believe these attacks are going to stop. I don't see why membership will continue when the spam is dominating the forum during and after the attacks. I also don't believe Ryan Jordan cares enough about BPL to operate it in the red if membership does indeed decline.

ere's an example. The username of the spammer has been changed by Roger, the moderator, to "SPAM". I believe this is an indication that the spammer has been banned, and this has somewhat been confirmed. Why is this banned spammer still able to post?

In any case, I hope Whiteblaze is preemptively learning from BPL how NOT to respond to spam because I'd hate to lose both forums.

As expected, a bone headed move. Instead of even trying to add another moderator at zero cost, Ryan has...well, read on.

Originally Posted by Ryan Jordan
In recent days,, along with forums across the internet during the same time, has been hit with an automated forum spam attack from newly upgraded spamming software that is becoming increasingly sophisticated at circumventing anti-bot measures. The attacks on resulted in a level of spam that makes it nearly impossible to moderate manually with human moderators.
Consequently, we will be limiting forum postings and the creation of new threads to members only (M or MLIFE).

This is intended to be a short term change in policy while we evaluate a number of options as we move forward. One of the options we will evaluate is whether or not to maintain this restriction indefinitely, or at least until we are able to upgrade to new forum software.

My hope with this change in policy is that our forums will return to a very high level of quality, even at the sacrifice of some quantity from those users who have contributed in the past but have not been members of our website. To those of you specifically, I'm grateful for your contributions and will continue to explore options that allow for your participation in the future.

We will continue to make the forums publicly available so that the rich resource here can be read by the public.

I wanted to thank Roger Caffin for being an incredibly patient and persistent moderator during this time. Roger did a terrific job of keeping the impacts of the attacks to a minimum, of keeping me and our web developer informed, and working with our web developer to create tools for helping us efficiently deal with large quantities of spam.

Thanks for your patience with the spammers and with us this past week.

I didn't actually volunteer to moderate or provide technical assistance. All I did was make some threads reappear and try to pressure them to do something to make things better. Instead Ryan found a solution that's worse. In any case, if Ryan has been paying attention to my posts, he probably wouldn't want my help because I accused him of lacking the technical prowess to stop spam, much less ensure the security of my account and payment information. At that time I said I would not consider renewing my membership unless I could pay via Paypal or some other intermediary.

Okay, he did stop spam. So if we're going to be literal, I was wrong.

Originally Posted by deadbox
I certainly hope that another venue to blocking spam is pursued post haste before valuable members of the BPL community permanently “move on”.
Several of us have been strongly suggesting over the last year that more moderators should be added. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, then it could be said that BPL was insane to expect the spam issue to go away by doing absolutely nothing different to address the problem. Had Ryan allowed at least a second moderator to be added, BPL might not be such a favored target for spammers.

Adding more moderators certainly isn't the end-all for spam, but it's free and easy, and the logical stop gap measure until more expensive and technical solutions can be implemented. Ryan's stop gap measure is to destroy BPL before a more expensive and technical solution can be implemented. If BPL has any chance of surviving, it'll only be if no other good alternative ultralight backpacking site starts gaining any momentum whatsoever.

I think that's another example of insanity. Many people have paid, including some that no longer pay. Some have paid for a lifetime. What has Ryan Jordan done differently to show for it? He restricted Gear Swap, added ads to the forum, closed down the gear shop, didn't find a temporary replacement for Addie, he didn't add another free moderator, and he effectively banned anyone that isn't currently paying. In all but one way, members are getting less for their money.

I strongly disagree that anyone should pay for a continually degrading service and magically hope it gets better. That's insane.

I've already mentioned on BPL and here that I don't trust Ryan. That I would absolutely not pay him for a membership in a way that gives him access to my payment information, and that a payment service like Paypal is mandatory. I don't trust a website operator that can't remotely grasp how to address spam to be able to securely handle my payment information. Will Ryan make that change? Probably not, especially since it's a logical move and also because it might cost him 3%. Nevermind that it might draw more members.

As others have said in the thread I linked to, the forums are a way to draw people towards membership. Now more than ever, the primary benefit of membership is access to the articles. I doubt very many would have paid for access to the articles if it wasn't for the forum.

Originally Posted by jakedatc
spending money to help was the mistake of the people who paid for MLife's last time... i highly doubt they will get that support again.
Exactly. Extra memberships paid for a degradation of services. Every indication is that service will degrade further. Trying the same thing again is insanity. It'd be better to withhold payment and force Ryan to earn memberships. It's a business after all, not a charity. Some people seem to forget that.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/06/2012 17:10:55 MST Print View

I have never visited WB. But I would treat it like any other business or service. If I am unhappy I go somewhere else. Pretty simple.

Also here on BPL some folks get pretty zealous over gear that is not uber-light.

They are just websites. Nothing to get excited about.

Go for a hike instead :)

Perhaps we take ourselves too seriously.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: is Anti-ultralight on 12/06/2012 17:33:48 MST Print View

+1 Nick

If you don't like WB or BPL or whatever, then don't go there

If you paid for something and they didn't deliver what you expected, maybe you deserve to b**** about it a little first

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Spam? on 12/06/2012 17:56:15 MST Print View

I personally feel that people got too freaked out about the spam posts and although BPL were a little slow to address it, I didn't find it so annoying and I had checked a few time a day.

There were some people who were trying to make something out of it by saying that these posts can infect computers. But of course they can not and are really quite harmless.

These same people really got in a huff about it and posted all over the internet about how people shouldnt use the BPL formus because it will infect their computers with a virus.
I don't remeber who it was, and don't really care. Some of you know who these people are.
I try to ignore the trolls when I can.

I advise others to remember, do NOT feed the trolls. They are looking for replies, if you ignore their posts, they usually go away, or at kleast find a new method to annoy.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Elite on 12/06/2012 20:57:34 MST Print View

I paid up to be a member for life because I was grateful for the opportunity to support this forum.

You see I started out as an "ultralight" backpacker in 1970 wearing converse all stars and carrying a standard "frame less" boy scout canvas pack. I think I had some instant rice, a few cans of potted meat and some candy bars,a cheap aluminum pot and an ensolite pad. I hitched from Chapel Hill to Cherokee and got a ride up to Clingmans Dome and headed north. The first night at Collins I shared the hut with a doctoral candidate from Duke studying the red spruce blight. The next day I found out there was food to be purchased on LeConte. Hot meals! I can still remember walking out the Boulevard under the mature red spruce canopy with a visibility of a couple hundred yards at least and the ground carpeted with ferns; a sight you won't see again in this universe.. along with giant hemlocks and chestnuts and who knows what's next. Took me 4 days to make Davenport Gap so I guess that was fast and light but that wasn't on the radar in those days. I was 18 and hooked and the soles of my feet were really sore! but I digress

When I look back at some of the stuff we thought was "light" in the 70's 80's and 90's it almost funny. I remember going to Jack Stephenson's house on Hatteras Court in Woodland Hills, CA like it was a shrine back in 1974. Nobody was running around naked. The original Campmor store in Paramus NJ. Aspen Alpine in Aspen. Camp 7......

So whats the point of all this reminiscing and story telling except to to pull rank from experience due mostly to longevity? Well there's that and plus it's fun to reminisce! But more to the point there's hopefully some perspective.

Walk 2 moons. Who knows what Ryan is going through. Maybe BPL is winding down. Maybe there's a financial pinch. Certainly looks like it. Well let me tell you folks who don't have mortgages, payrolls, car payments, children (maybe in college or private school, or double yikes private college! You do what you have to to get by and sometimes things get squeaky. The last 6 years I've seen some hard men and women go down.

But what has BPL accomplished? I can tell you this. There was nothing remotely like this blog before. I can also make what I will assert are the following statements of fact.
1. Before the internet there basically were no "cottage" gear manufacturers and retailers. Couldn't build enough of a market.
2. Without the internet there would be none pretty soon.The very nature of much of the gear we classify as ultra-light; it's light weight and inherent degree of fragility; it's esoteric appeal and lack of a widespread, mainstream market, mean it will not be made and sold by larger, "general" mainstream retailers. The internet made the lightweight market or opened the niches that made the diversity and creativity of the products possible.

3. BPL had something to do with this and no small thing. I am indebted. and grateful.

BTW I met Teepee Walter on Bob Stratton and along with a couple of "lightweights" from Atlanta (they had a regular coffee press and had once hauled a keg up the same mountain) We spent a fun day and evening and had some great expresso. Walter was mighty skeptical of my gear (lots of cuben) and I could see how he could be a bit obdurate in his views but hey my hats off to someone who lugs a pack that big up the ball buster and he was good company. You spend your days spinning around the sun on this ball with the cast of characters before you. Cherish them!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Elite on 12/06/2012 21:05:58 MST Print View

"You spend your days spinning around the sun on this ball with the cast of characters before you. Cherish them!"

Both the days and the people, my friend. You never know when either, or both, will be gone.

Thanks for the post. Made me smile. And I needed a smile this week. Timing is a wonderful thing.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Give them the benefit of the doubt on 12/06/2012 21:26:05 MST Print View

I was resisting posting after some of the comments because frankly I thought this thread needed to just be forgotten but since its active again I'll speak my peace.

I don't have a dog in the fight over WB not my site, or my problem. I would like us to quit trashing people from either WB or BPL. I don't see how it helps.

I don't know why BPL leadership have made all the decisions they have but I give them the benefit of the doubt because I don't know all the relevant facts. I remember working for an organization that was (and is) going through a number of major changes. Everyone pretty much assumed the worst and assumed the boss was stupid. Since I knew him well I learned some details that for various reasons not everyone could hear. In the end the choices made perfect sense.

Now maybe there are reasons behind the choices made at BPL and maybe not but I'm not going to question another man's good character just because he doesn't tell me all the details of his business.

I joined BPL for the forums and articles and we still get those. Some of the more creative ideas were interesting but not what I joined for.

Edited by Cameron on 12/06/2012 21:28:13 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Elite on 12/07/2012 16:56:52 MST Print View

"You spend your days spinning around the sun on this ball with the cast of characters before you. Cherish them!"

Wisely and eloquently put! What a great post, a shining light in an otherwise dismal, depressing thread. Thanks, Cola.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: on 12/08/2012 15:36:33 MST Print View

+1 on Cola's eloquence.

I've been on WB for a little more than a year, and I've not seen much of any indications in any of the fora that its administration is "anti" anything (save for the usual obscenities, vulgarity, abuse, spam, etc.). Of course, I'm not as active in its fora as I could be, and haven't attempted to persuade anyone to agree with me (yet).

I think the BPL, while supposedly the place for all things lightweight/UL/SUL, seems to be a little more open to differences of opinion than WB. On WB, I've not seen much discussion of backpacking in general. Instead there is discussion of a particular kind of trek (like "thru-hiking"), a particular trail (like the AT), a particular speed (like "15-20 miles a day") and a particular goal (like "summit Katahdin before the snow falls"). Most everything on WB, in one way or another, comes back to hiking the AT, doing it as completely as possible, being as safe in that pursuit as one can be, and above all else, remembering (or rather, believing) that the AT is a place to be revered unto itself.

That's not "anti." It's more like "dogmatically focused, and therefore ignorant of and unwilling to admit diversity." That makes any difference of view seem foreign, radical, distasteful, or "wrong." On BPL I've seen plenty of open discussions, differences of opinion, and diverse means, goals, and interests. Discussions revolve around backpacking-- any kind, anywhere, for any reason. All that we're adamant about is the general idea that "carrying less weight makes it better"-- and that everyone is here to really help everyone else have a better time backpacking.

It's hard to get dogmatic about that, since everyone's likes/dislikes are different-- and that's easy to see if you open your mind to it.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
White Blaze on 12/08/2012 16:37:50 MST Print View

Here's a white blaze for ya. Lets see yours!Small Rhodo Tunnel AT near Carters Gap 12-09
Just north of Carter's Gap near Standing Indian.

I have others but must leave for a pressing engagement!

Edited by obxcola on 12/08/2012 16:39:57 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: on 12/08/2012 17:04:04 MST Print View

Harrison, I agree with most of that. It seems on BPL people show/tell you how something can be done. How to make a quilt, how to shave ounces from pack, how to bring lighter food etc etc. If something new comes along folks want to know more and how it could help them.

WB they would rather tell you that you can't. "you can't thru hike with <10lb base weight" "you can't be safe with sub x baseweight" "you can't enjoy yourself at x miles/day" New ideas seem to scare and intimidate WB members and push them away.

You can only go so long in a place where everyone tells you that the activity that you do is wrong and not fun. With no respect or moderation by the administrators it is a pretty frustrating thing.

(Cola, i never said i did not like or appreciate the posts and posters here, i just did not find that the way Ryan handled the spam issue was the best method. It is because of the posts and posters that this place stays alive, despite the shortfallings. Content and contributors will always be the most important piece)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: on 12/08/2012 17:53:25 MST Print View

If the folk on Whiteblaze want to be like that then leave them off drinking the Kool Aid, Bpl is still the best gig in town, its not perfect, but if it was it would not be Bpl.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Elite on 12/09/2012 03:31:41 MST Print View

"But what has BPL accomplished? I can tell you this. There was nothing remotely like this blog before."

Well to be fair ..... there was TLB, which some here are also still active on.

Edited by Arapiles on 12/09/2012 03:33:30 MST.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 08:19:31 MST Print View

Dare I say that everyone gets intimidated by any new ideas? Especially if those ideas aren't presented as alternatives, but as "the right way?" And isn't it so much easier for anyone to tell you what you can't/shouldn't do than to help you understand how to arrive at a decision?

Someone who says something like "you won't enjoy yourself if you do this" is assuming their audience will follow exactly along with their point of view, will find exactly what they find enjoyable to be enjoyable as well, and to find them an indisputable source of direction. But if you think about it, someone who responds negatively to someone else's suggestions, and then can't explain why they are responding negatively-- why the suggestions don't mesh with their view, their ideas, their feelings, their knowledge, etc.-- suddenly, they are the ones starting the conflict.

It's perfectly fine to "agree to disagree," but the disagreements have to be explained. Otherwise, it's just "head butting." The bottom line is that if someone responds dogmatically to someone's dogmatic suggestions, both are equally responsible for any disagreement, misunderstanding, and/or conflict.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 12:54:01 MST Print View

The most common thing i saw was people wanting to X miles a day or a trip in X days and people would immediately jump on them and say to slow down and enjoy themselves. As if going their speed is somehow prevents them from having fun.

WB'ers have an inability to comprehend that someone could be having fun while doing something other than their exact idea of a hike. Things like this were seen in the Speed hiking and also the ultralight forums so it's not like OP's aren't trying to narrow the focus with like minded people. just folks can't keep their mouth shut and have to butt into every thread and be disruptive.

so it's not just one idea arguing with another. it is one idea disrupting people trying to discuss another idea. I don't sleep in a hammock, so i have no reason to be in the hammock forum telling people they should sleep in a tent.. Just like people who hike 8 miles in a day have no reason to post in a thread about hiking 20mpd. it should be clear the views are not going to match.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 13:11:22 MST Print View

Jake D -
You've going on for a week about a culture which you can not change.

What do you expect to accomplish here, or anywhere, with such a constant negative diatribe?

Just wondering ....

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 13:21:25 MST Print View

really, to me it seems i didnt say a thing for 5 days and was responding to Harrison.

a b
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 13:35:17 MST Print View

I understand your frustration Jake.

That is why i suggested listening to that song.. as a reminder that the trail and people you meet out on the actual AT are totally different than those you meet online.

I got some pretty negative responses and even a few PM's from Whiteblaze because I hiked the AT in 100 days with a 7 1/2 lb pack.
Even though i never posted that, some folks figured it out from my journal and felt the need to send me mesages telling me i was going too fast and could not be safe carrying only 7 1/2 lbs.

I responded as politely as i could. (Something that does not come easily to me..)
The type of people i work with as a plumber are not exactly "gentle" folks and some of that attitude transfers over to other parts of my life.

But put me on a trail.. Then i am a totally different person.
I am kinder, and friendlier.
Wish it wasn't so but i tend to revert back to my "city" persona after a long hike quite quickly.

Just can't wear my feelings on my sleeve in the field i work in. They would tear me up.

I think what you are experiencing is a similar phenomenon.
A lot of White Blaze regualrs are writing out of their city personas.
On the AT itself I only met a few jerks. Almost every single person i met on that great trail was kind and non confrontational.

The most crap i ever got on trail was for carrying my umbrella.
Even that completely did a 180 when they saw me using it in the rain.

Know i am not going to change your mind here.. just wanted to share.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 13:51:10 MST Print View

I am perfectly fine on the trail. I can generally choose who i'll be around and the people that think I am doing something wrong are usually still asleep when i move in the morning and won't see them again.

i do think i should be allowed to vent some online when I got a ton of crap from multiple users on there with no response from the ass admin but a few steps near the line and i get watched with a microscope. then given no chance to discuss things. When the single person with the ability wants kick you off, he will find a way to do it.

if this gives folks a heads up what kind of attitude is over there, then i'll be happy.

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 18:39:22 MST Print View

Forgive me, all, for keeping the discussion going. I'll shut up now. Carry on. :-)

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 12/09/2012 18:55:39 MST Print View

hey... taking time to post here distracts them from getting the Flame war to 4000 posts.. i mean THERE is a worthwhile waste of time.

whiteblaze on 12/16/2012 14:13:02 MST Print View

Im not going to read all 4 pages, I read the first.

You have a gripe you want to air. Great.

But you are also wrong. Whiteblaze is not anti-ultralight. There are all kinds, from UL to ultra heavy. There is an ultralight forum there as well.

A case can be made for more robust shelter and raingear and spare clothing for a 5-6 mo hike, as opposed to shorter hikes, mostly in the arid western US. Especially given the very wet cold nature of the AT in early spring.

I preach UL there under a different name, as I hike several hundred miles per year on it. They havent banned me yet, nor have I had any conflicts with anyone. Just respectful conversations. I can see both sides, I know when ultralight is a good approach, and when it may not be, and also for whom it may not be.

Some of the older hikers there have seen poorly equipped hikers suffer in early spring when it rains 2 out of 3 days and is cold.

By the time they get halfway, most thru hikers that are successful are hiking 20-30 miles per day. To say they are opposed to high miles is just ridiculous. But you cant start that high for a sustained hike. The body has to adapt slowly or injury WILL occur. It is best to start slow and build up slowly, and that is exactly what most there reccomend, from their own experiences and observation of others.

Edited by livingontheroad on 12/16/2012 14:16:36 MST.