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Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip on 04/01/2013 12:47:04 MDT Print View

A few weeks ago I created this comprehensive guide on how to (and what to) pack for an overnight winter hut trip with the emphasis on keeping your pack light

Hope you find it useful. And please don't be shy to add your comments and / or feedback

You can read my packing light guide here

happy trails!
Mike

Edited by MikeyB on 04/02/2013 10:04:53 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip on 04/01/2013 12:54:24 MDT Print View

You could get a dictionary. It might help.

--B.G.--

Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
Re: Re: My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip on 04/02/2013 10:11:53 MDT Print View

I appreciate the keen eye B.G. Would you mind pointing out my spelling mistake?

Jim H
(jraiderguy) - M

Locale: Puget Sound
Writing Style on 04/02/2013 11:24:56 MDT Print View

I read your article. I can't speak to the intent of B.G.'s comment, but the article was awkward to read. A few things that broke up the flow for me were changes in narrative mode, awkward sentence structure, and odd formatting and syntax. I didn't even get to the list because I was put off by the introduction. If there is a language barrier at play, it would be worth mentioning so readers cut you some slack.

Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
Re: Writing Style on 04/02/2013 11:34:56 MDT Print View

Thanks for that Jim H. I really appreciate the feedback, just so you know I'm an engineer by training not a journalism major :-)

Would you be into helping me rewrite some of it?
The list is good you should see if you can take a look through it for completeness.

I just came back from a 3 night backcountry trip with a friend who never skied with an overnight backpack and following my list she managed to fit everything into a40+10 pack which weighed approx. 27 lbs. We ended up skiing over 40 miles with about 3000 foot elevation gain and she came back refreshed and not bagged (which has often been the case on some of my very early trips)

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Writing Style on 04/02/2013 11:36:47 MDT Print View

Good info but your sentences are too long. About 14 words is an average limit to a typical sentence in English. Blogs should reflect the personality of the writer but run-on sentences are a killer.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip" on 04/02/2013 12:18:21 MDT Print View

No worries Mike, some people focus more on grammar and spelling than on perfectly understandable content.

Thanks for sharing your article.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip on 04/02/2013 12:22:29 MDT Print View

"Would you mind pointing out my spelling mistake?"

How many would you like?

One extra problem is that robot search engines can't easily figure out what the human means with spelling problems. So, it is necessary for us to write for humans and also for machines.

--B.G.--

Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
Re: "My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip" on 04/02/2013 12:30:55 MDT Print View

Thanks Dena, it's my pleasure to share some of the experience. I'm an engineer and a ski instructor and not an English major but some of the feedback has been useful and I will definitely keep it in mind when writing the next post.

Here is another one I wrote on why you should never go into the backcountry :-)

Edited by MikeyB on 04/02/2013 12:32:37 MDT.

Andrew Zajac
(AZajac)

Locale: South West
good article on 04/02/2013 12:50:48 MDT Print View

I agree with the long sentences comments. A good example is that your first paragraph is made up of two sentences. I also looked for these heinous spelling errors. I spotted an 'easies' when I believe you meant to say 'easiest.' I also found this 'I often bring two, one thick and a thin one for when Iā€™m seating up the hills.' Is seating some term that I am unfamiliar with?

The only other comment that I have is to go into specifics some more. For example, what is a good first aid kit, good blister kit, or good repair kit? How many calories are enough?

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Writing Style on 04/02/2013 14:25:08 MDT Print View

I agree with some of the comments on the writing style. For myself it was more an issue with rhythm than length, but then I still remember the golden age of semicolons.

What you might try doing is reading the text aloud. See where you naturally pause for breath and adjust the text to accommodate. Use punctuation to guide the flow; that is probably more important than simply placing it where required.


I fell over backwards onto my pack while skiing down
Here each prepositional phrase adds to the tension (imagine a rubber band stretching). This might be a good time to allow it to relax rather than driving onward into "and I felt...."


Besides stream, lake or glacier water has no taste.
In this example I initially parse "besides stream" as the introductory phrase. A comma after "besides" fixes this:
"Besides, stream, lake, or glacier water has no taste."
If that's too many commas in close proximity, try:
"Besides, water from streams, lakes, or glaciers has no taste."


In terms of spellink and punctuation a simple re-read should catch most errors. Be aware your brain, in a sort of mental auto-correct, will still ignore some; allow a decent break before reviewing.

Here is another sentence that could use a bit of tidying:
How embarrassing ā€“ I was thinking to myself the entire time .Why did I bring all that extra clothing and gadgets?
A dash is actually quite appropriate here, but the flow feels off. Try:
How embarrassing ā€“ I was thinking to myself the entire time, "Why did I bring all that extra clothing and gadgets?"
Or alternatively:
"How embarrassing," I was thinking to myself the entire time. Why did I bring all that extra clothing and gadgets?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Writing Style on 04/02/2013 14:56:23 MDT Print View

"spellink and punctuation"

I rest my case.

--B.G.--

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: My guide on packing light for an overnight winter backcountry hut trip on 04/02/2013 15:12:11 MDT Print View

WHAT? BPL has become a literary society?

Eleven replies concerned with style and hardly a hint about content?

I'll start, not much to quibble about but ... no emergency shelter for the event you are caught out over night? Just a sleeping bag liner if you know the huts have adequate blankets?

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Thank you! on 04/02/2013 16:18:09 MDT Print View

"WHAT? BPL has become a literary society?

Eleven replies concerned with style and hardly a hint about content?

I'll start, not much to quibble about but ... no emergency shelter for the event you are caught out over night? Just a sleeping bag liner if you know the huts have adequate blankets?"

Thank you. Honestly, the guy submitted his thoughts for our consideration and review, not for us to get out the red pen to take him to task on spelling and grammar.

Edited by EagleRiverDee on 04/02/2013 16:18:44 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Thank you! on 04/02/2013 16:39:18 MDT Print View

"Honestly, the guy submitted his thoughts for our consideration and review, not for us to get out the red pen to take him to task on spelling and grammar."

I'm betting his "thoughts" are just cyber marketing to drive traffic to his website and up its Google search profile. Everyone looking to get paid from the internet now. Ever notice the Tiny URL gear link "alerts" across the web forums with hidden affiliate links embedded?

Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
nice to see more feedback on 04/03/2013 09:36:16 MDT Print View

Thank you all again for positive feedback and even writing style tips (Jeremy thanks for the detailed examples). It's much appreciated.

And Dena good idea about adding "emergency shelter for the event you are caught out over night". I added it to my original blog post under Emergency Items.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Feedback on 04/03/2013 10:42:00 MDT Print View

Mike, that was actually Jim Colten's idea, I was just quoting him.

Mike Blarowki
(MikeyB) - F - M
Re: Re Feedback on 04/03/2013 10:51:56 MDT Print View

Ahh ok, I see that now - thanks for the suggestion Jim Colten.

I'm fairly new here and still have not figured out how to quote others. Perhaps it's something that comes with a paid membership. All I can do is post and reply.

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re Feedback on 04/03/2013 11:42:04 MDT Print View

Any quotes you see are purely manual: simply copy and paste, and mark them any way you like. My personal preference is to use <i>italics tags</i> around longer quotes; quotation marks alone are harder for me to keep track of.