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BPL in the Past
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Slaton Whatley
(AlpinistoOutdoors) - M

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
BPL in the Past on 09/21/2013 12:39:10 MDT Print View

Hey everyone,

I've been a member of BPL for almost a year now (about to renew my subscription) and I absolutely love it. I spend a ton of time reading posts on the forums and when I see good articles come out read through them instantly.

All this said it seems like there used to be a lot more offered from BPL (a store with gear, regular podcasts, a hard copy of the magazine, etc...) My question is why don't we have this anymore? Did BPL used to have a much larger number of members? Seems like with the growing interest in lightweight backpacking something like this could do well.

I'm really just curious. Makes me wish I was part of the site years ago when all this other stuff was offered.

Thanks in advance!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: BPL in the Past on 09/21/2013 15:03:02 MDT Print View

Neither the store nor the paper mag proved to be viable. They ran at a loss. Remember that BPL is advert-free - no advertising income.

Cheers

Slaton Whatley
(AlpinistoOutdoors) - M

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
I figured as much on 09/21/2013 15:22:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for that. I kind of figured that was what was going on. I wouldn't even mind paying for digital subscriptions of magazines or a higher membership fee but I may be in the minority on that one.

Still a great site and a wealth of helpful information!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: I figured as much on 09/21/2013 16:40:00 MDT Print View

"Thanks for that. I kind of figured that was what was going on. I wouldn't even mind paying for digital subscriptions of magazines or a higher membership fee but I may be in the minority on that one.

Still a great site and a wealth of helpful information!"

Slaton,
As a member, that is exactly what you are paying for. The forums are free (or nearly so, due to the extreme number of spammers out there.) You pay for the articles and access to the many years of past articles. Many are of historic interest only, but many have relevancy, in technique, skill development, and building a wider base of knowledge where application of those skills may differ…even today. Often the archives show obsolete gear or recommends older techniques. Techniques that are viable today and have entered the “mainstream.” An example: it seems Gortex, eVent, Pertex and other WPB coatings and materials have been around for a long time and mostly follow a pattern of usage and manufacture. Not something easily researched in a paper magazine, but easy enough to trace and read about here.

I opted for a life time membership…I still get my money’s worth every week. Some only join once every couple years. It doesn’t really matter. From trip reports, current conditions, innovations in gear, and a wide variety skills with light weight camping, hiking, canoeing & pack rafting, gear, foods, and more, this is the site. Could it be better? Sure. Most things can be improved.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: BPL in the Past on 09/25/2013 00:03:49 MDT Print View

I'm also a fairly new member here as well. I'm not so concerned with the lack of the gear store, pod casts, etc, but i've seen comments from older members about the vibe and culture of the forums that has changed, which is what i wish might change back some more.

From what i've heard, back in the earlier days, BPL and more of the members active then, had a much more pioneering, out of the box, experimental, multi-discipline, and progressive approach, vibe, and mindset's. I'm not saying that there isn't any of that here anymore, but these folks made it sound like it was more common and pervasive in the earlier days.

Dare i say, it's become more conventional, mainstream, and less open minded as a trend, but i would still say it's better than most other forums i've seen in those areas and still has a strong myog presence. And also, in some ways, it's probably become more practical, grounded and less extreme, so there is a give and take and balancing there.

Well, things tend to go in cycles, who knows, maybe BPL will again change back some, or some other forum arise that offers a more expanded experience.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: BPL in the Past on 09/25/2013 10:48:20 MDT Print View

I haven't been around that long but even since I started here the quality of available gear from mainstream and cottage manufacturers has made the need to innovate almost disappear.

A 24 oz single person shelter for $250 or less. 16 oz cuban tents, 4oz Cuban tarp shelters.

There is very little need for any additional skill to go UL or even the high end of SUL any more. You also don't even need to suffer at all to get to UL. In fact my current set up includes a 1.5lb chair and is still about 10 lbs. For roughly the same cost as going to REI and loading up your cart you can with a few good choices get an UL kit for the same price.

So I don't think you see the same drive to innovate and test and what exists now in the commercial market works and has been proven.

Edited by GregF on 09/25/2013 10:48:55 MDT.