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Changes to These Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions may change from time to time. Your use of this website, and the privileges associated with the purchase of your membership, constitute the automatic acceptance of these terms and conditions.


We didn’t really want to waste a whole page on this but our attorney said we sort of had to. If it was up to us, we’d keep it brutally simple:

Your mama ain’t watching out for you. Don’t do anything stupid.

But despite the fact that this one line should be sufficient, the legal guys tell us that it wouldn’t be enforceable in a court of law. So here’s the rest. This Web site is a compilation of information, perspectives, and opinions and is provided to the reader with no warranty whatsoever.

The content herein does not, in any part, comprise a safety manual. In contrast, it provides information about taking more risks when you enter the backcountry. Consequently, it is not intended for beginning backpackers or those that otherwise do not already know how to stay dry and warm in inclement weather, possess wilderness survival skills, and know how to recognize and avoid dangerous situations.

Therefore, be warned that you must exercise your own judgment in evaluating the accuracy, applicability, and utility of the information provided herein.


Membership Privileges

The primary purpose of paid memberships at this website are to provide you with access to content that is restricted from public viewing. There may or may not be additional benefits or privileges to membership, and the granting or withdrawal of such benefits and privileges are solely at the discretion of the website management.

Therefore, your use of a free, or purchased membership at this website may come with benefits and privileges that are shown on the Subscriptions page.

These benefits and privileges may change from time to time, and they may change during the course of your membership term. If these changes occur during the course of your membership term, and you are unsatisfied with the changes, you are entitled to a full refund of your membership fee.

Subscription Refund and Renewal Policy

Electronic subscription licenses are treated like software licenses. As such, we do not offer returns for electronic subscriptions because of the high incidence of piracy and copyright abuse. Thus, in order for you to see a fair preview of what we have to offer, we display excerpts / abstracts of all members-only articles (those designated by "M") when you click on the article link (Example: M SuperUltraLight: Breaking the Five-Pound Barrier). Consequently, please be sure to review site content to make sure that you feel that site membership is worth the subscription fee.

Renewal Price. From time to time, or perhaps permanently, we may offer a discounted renewal price to active premium members. Note that this price is valid only for active members who renew their subscription online prior to letting their subscription expire, and may not be available for previous members who have allowed their subscription to lapse.

Access to is available using any current, free, browser software, on Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms. Inability to access because of failure to upgrade current browser software to what is freely available does not constitute grounds for a subscription refund.

Help Center articles are available to subscribers that give step-by-step instructions for accessing premium content at Failure to use these articles, or failure to respond to our suggestions for accessing the Web site does not constitute grounds for a subscription refund.

Fraud Management Policies has invested in the custom development of sophisticated fraud detection software in its e-commerce platform that automatically flags suspect transactions. Every transaction is assigned a fraud potential score based on the following criteria:

If one of the above criteria do not match (especially the AVS/CSC/CVC), and/or the fraud score indicates a high potential for fraud, we may contact you by telephone (this is why a valid telephone number is required for all orders) for the purpose of:

  1. Confirm your cardholder billing information and CSC/CVC codes, or to ask you other questions about your order;
  2. Ask for the name and telephone number of the issuing bank of your credit card so we can call them and confirm the authenticity of the transaction.

What do we do when we suspect a fraudulent transaction?

If we fail to contact you because you left an invalid phone number, or we were unable to confirm transaction authenticity with the issuing bank, your order will not be dispatched and your order will be canceled.

If we receive a "Notice of Fraudulent Transaction" or a "Chargeback Request" (related to a suspected fraudulent transaction) from our transaction processor, we work with the transaction processor to ensure that the true cardholder is reimbursed within 24 hours by reversing their transaction. Second, we automatically file a "Report of Suspected Credit Card Fraud" with the local law enforcement intelligence jurisdictions (including local and state authorities) for the following localities: cardholder billing address (if known), shipping address of order, and claimed billing address of order. In addition, we file these reports with our transaction processor (Merchant Service Bank) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Fraud Division. For transactions originating from both open and closed proxies with international Client IP Addresses, or international shipping addresses, we submit the reports to the appropriate government law enforcement authorities.

We block user accounts and IP addresses (whether open or closed proxy) in cases where confirmed fraudulent transactions are originating from those accounts or IP addresses or IP address ranges. These are not subject to appeal. If you have an Internet Service Provider that is known for hosting fraudulent transactions at, then we'll block it from accessing the Website. In this case, the customer's only solution is to change Internet Service Providers.

Security Statement

Information that you enter online through's order gateway will be transferred via the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to an encrypted server to ensure that your personal information is safe. is a Thawte Secure Site. uses the most trusted name in the business - VeriSign - for our payment gateway, with enterprise-class merchant services provided by Wells Fargo. Please be assured that we take security very seriously and are committed to providing you with a safe and reliable environment for e-commerce.

Chat/Message Boards

By participating in a chat room or message board hosted at this domain, you automatically agree to all of the rules governing your use as provided below. We may revise these terms from time to time. If you continue to participate in a chat/message board after we post changes to these terms and conditions, it will mean that you accept those changes.

Backpacking Light reserves the right to remove for any reason posted materials from a chat/message board, and the right to deny in its sole discretion any user access to a chat/message board, without notice.

While “censorship” sounds like a dirty word, you need to understand that by participating in our forums, you are agreeing to allow us to exercise our discretion in deciding whether to allow your messages to remain publicly viewable. It is important to us that we maintain a certain level of decency and courteousness, and if we do not view your message as decent, courteous, or otherwise appropriate, it will be removed from public view. If improper behavior becomes a pattern, Backpacking Light reserves the right to publicly dishonor this user by blocking future message posting and flagging the user account with information for the public to view so that other Website users can evaluate the tendencies of this user to post inappropriate information. We thank you in advance for your understanding and your cooperation in maintaining the integrity of our website.

You agree not to submit, upload or post to a chat/message board any content which:

  1. libels, defames, invades privacy, or is obscene, profane, pornographic, abusive, or threatening;
  2. infringes any intellectual property or other right of any person or entity, including but not limited to, violating anyone's copyrights or trademarks;
  3. falsifies or deletes author attributions, legal notices or other proprietary designations;
  4. violates any law;
  5. advocates illegal activity;
  6. knowingly contains viruses, corrupted files, or other materials that may cause damage to another's computer; or
  7. advertises or otherwise solicits funds or sales of goods or services.

Please see the following link for additional guidelines regarding forum behavior:

The information and opinions expressed in materials posted by chat/message board participants are not necessarily those of Backpacking Light, and we make no representations or warranties regarding such posted materials. Participants should be aware that our chat/message boards are public, not private communications. When you voluntarily disclose personal information on a chat/message board, that information can be collected and used by others and may result in unsolicited messages from other people.

By posting any content on a chat/message board, you automatically agree to indemnify Backpacking Light, all other chat/message board participants, and any other person or entity affiliated with the chat/message board, from and against any and all third party claims, demands, liabilities, costs or expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from your breach of these posting restrictions. By posting on a chat/message board any content authored or owned by you, you automatically (a) grant to all other chat/message board participants, and any other person or entity affiliated with the chat/message board, a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable and unrestricted worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, and distribute the posted content for the limited purposes of discussion and commentary, (b) grant to Backpacking Light a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable and unrestricted worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from and distribute the posted content or incorporate the posted content into any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed, and (c) waive all “moral rights” with respect to the posted content.

Backpacking Light complies with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512. Pursuant to that Act, Backpacking Light will promptly remove posted materials in the event a copyright owner provides proper notification to us alleging that the posted materials constitute infringement. If your postings are removed under this procedure, we will notify you and provide the opportunity for response as provided under the Act.

Pro Purchase Program

Backpacking Light Magazine offers a pro purchase program, which provides discounts on publications.

The following groups qualify for our pro purchase program:

To apply: please submit your materials via Customer Support on our contact page.

Privacy Policy

Your personal information is never - under any circumstances - released to third parties. Period. Simple enough?

Our Commitment to Privacy

Our Privacy Policy was developed as an extension of our commitment to combine quality products and services with integrity in dealing with our users. The Policy is designed to assist you in understanding how we collect, use and safeguard the personal information you provide to us and to assist you in making informed decisions when using our site and our products and services.

What Information Do We Collect?

When you visit our site you may provide us with two types of information: personal information you actively choose to disclose (“Active Information”), and use information collected, in a way not visible to you, on an aggregate anonymous basis as you and others browse our site (“Passive Information”).

No Use of Our Site by Persons Under 13

While we recognize that persons under 13 years of age may browse this Website, no person under 13 should disclose information on this site in chat rooms, forums, or other unrestricted areas where "client" communications is available. You may learn more about protecting children's privacy online by visiting

Active Information You Choose to Provide

You are free to browse the site without disclosing personal information to us. In order to gain use of some sections of the site and gain access to premium content (i.e., become a “user”), or a contributing (posting) forum member, we may ask you to disclose the following information: first and last name, company name, job title, mailing address, email address, daytime telephone number, and keywords that best describe your profession. Contributing (posting) in our forums requires that you maintain an active, valid email address and real first and last names in your user profile. If you elect not to do so, your login and/or posting privileges may be suspended.

If you choose to participate in our community forums, your first and last names will be associated with your post. We discourage anonymity and encourage integrity in your communications so that your identity fairly reflects your reputation for appropriate communications.

If you choose to post information on our site or maintain email, snail mail or telephone contact with us, we may retain such information also.

Passive Information Collected

Our site utilizes a standard technology called “cookies” to collect information about how our site is used. Passive Information gathered may include the date and time of visits, the site pages viewed, time spent at our site, the sites visited just before and just after our site. Passive Information is collected on an aggregate basis without any association to your personal information so that you remain anonymous. This site uses only “temporary” cookies that are removed from your computer immediately after you leave the site. We do not use “user cookies” stored on your hard disk and used to track your site use activity on subsequent visits intended to be anonymous. If you do not wish to transmit “cookie” information about yourself, you may turn off the cookie function in your web browser; please consult the “Help” section of your browser to correctly do so.

Some of the passive information that we collect includes domain names, IP addresses, page visit statistics, and session variables.

What is a Cookie?

Cookies are a feature of web browser software (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, etc.) that allows web servers to recognize the computer used to access a site. They are small pieces of data that are stored by a user’s web browser on one site and can simplify subsequent interactions with that site by the same user or to use the information to streamline the user’s transaction on related web pages. This makes it easier for a user to move from site to site and to complete transactions over the Internet. Cookies should make your online experience easier and more personalized.

How Do We Use the Information Collected?

Broadly speaking, persons we employ directly, or as contractors or agents at our direction, use Active Information for purposes of administering our business activities, providing customer services such as support, and making available other products or services we think may be of interest to our users. We may use the Active Information or Passive Information you provide to us to contact you about changes to our site, new services, features or products we offer, or other information we think you shall find valuable. If at any time you do not wish to receive such information, please send us an email and we will promptly remove you from the appropriate distribution lists.

We use Passive Information to gather information about our users and to enhance and design our site to make it easier, faster and friendlier to use. Additionally, cookies help us know information about how many people visit our site, when they visit and how they use our service. We do not connect any of this information to your personal information or email address.* However, Passive Information may result in your viewing of particular content based on your user habits for your viewing on our site.

* The exception to this occurs when we are attempting to correlate user accounts with IP addresses when users are violating this Terms and Conditions of Use Agreement, or on an as-needed basis for troubleshooting technical problems of Website usage.

Your Information In Relation to Others We Link To

You may be able to access other websites through our site. When you do so you are doing so subject to their policies regarding privacy and data collection and you should read those sites’ privacy policies to make sure you agree to them before using such sites. When you choose to shop at such sites, you should read their privacy policies to make sure you agree to them before making purchases.

Sharing Information with Advertisers or Other Third Parties

We may disclose anonymous information about user habits, characteristics and user patterns, based on aggregate user statistics to third parties, including manufacturers submitting product reviews, sponsors for our donation and grant programs, or the press. We do NOT sell or otherwise share your personal information with direct marketing companies or brokers.

Sharing Information with the Government or As Otherwise Required by Law

We may be required by law or government agency to disclose both Active and Passive Information you have provided to us.

How Do We Secure Active Information and Passive Information?

We secure your personal information submitted by you by using reasonable efforts to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, or accidental loss or destruction of Active Information and Passive Information. Your postings on this site and other communications you may have with us via email or snail mail may not be secure unless we advise you that security measures are in place prior to your sending information. Therefore, if you choose to communicate with us through these means, you are assuming the risk of doing so and we request that you do not send or post sensitive information through these means.

How You Can Choose Not to Receive Information About Products or Services By Us, or to Correct, Delete or Access Your Information

If you desire not to receive information about products or services we think may be of interest to you or if you wish to access, delete or correct your information, please or modify your newsletter subscriptions settings on your My Account page.

We reserve the right to revise this policy at our discretion. Please check back on this site as this policy may be revised from time to time without notice to you.