End of an Era

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Viewing 24 posts - 26 through 49 (of 49 total)
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    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member


    Locale: NePo

    Yeah he' s gonna go sit in the Weminuche and we'll have to go on a quest to find him to get sage UL parables.

    "Oh, Great Wabbit, what are the secrets of the wp/b cuben?"

    We'll miss y'all!!

    Kurt Lammers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Your reviews have always been incomparable @BPL, my best to you both

    Jolly Green Giant
    BPL Member



    Wow….with all the changes at BPL, quite honestly with most degrading what once was a pretty great product, this may very well be the most impactful.

    Thanks for all your effort and very professional approach to this industry. Best wishes for your retirement.

    Jim Fuller
    BPL Member



    Thanks for all the great articals and reviews! And most of all for you great advise and council!!

    Addie Bedford
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    (verbatim from an anonymous donor's PM to me)
    I've been trying to think of a way to say "thanks" to Will and Janet, and this is what I've come up with:

    In honor of Will's and Janet's wonderful reviews over the years, BPL is offering 5 non-members a one-year membership to BPL so they can read Will's insightful reviews and words of wisdom. Five more people who will get a chance to appreciate all that Will has meant to UL backpackers at large and, especially, to the BPL community itself.

    The memberships will be funded by the Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl Scholarlyship (since it ain't actually a scholarship….) Fund, a one-time fund for these 5 memberships, to be administered by BPL (meaning, I guess, you, Addie!).

    So here it is: the first five folks who PM me get a one-year subscription to Backpacking Light. Only rule is that you gotta be a newbie. And know that I'm leaving my computer for an hour or so, so I hope they are all snapped up by the time I get back!

    Thanks all, special thanks to anonymous donor.

    **** Update ****
    The subscriptions have all been claimed. Thanks folks!

    Chris Townsend
    BPL Member


    Locale: Cairngorms National Park

    Best wishes Will and Janet and thanks for all your excellent gear reviews. You set a high standard! Enjoy your days in the wilds.

    Will, I hope we can do another igloo trip together!

    Kathleen B


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Oh, man. I'd been skipping reading this thread, because I thought it was the one about baseball.

    Will, whenever I saw a new article on BPL that was written by you, I knew I was in for a treat. As others have said, I have learned a lot from your insight, and I have appreciated the high quality of work you and Janet have done. Thank you and best wishes!

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Will has done a lot of good work and helped sort out gear myth from reality. I hope he can give us a little reality check once in a while if we get too far off track :) I can't imagine giving up all those TOYS to play with!

    Dan Durston
    BPL Member


    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Clever touch securing the roll top of the main bag to the rear/center pocket. I'm diggin that idea. I may have to see if I can incorporate that idea in my roll top Zero.

    Dan Durston
    BPL Member


    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    Thanks for everything Will. Your articles rocked.

    Michael Richey
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern Utah

    Will, you Will be missed! Best reviews on the web!

    Eliot Levine
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western MA

    Will, your reviews were top notch and a great help. You gave all the information that a discerning, perhaps obsessive, person would need to make a well-informed gear choice. Wishing you all the best. — Eliot

    Will Rietveld
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest Colorado

    Wow, I just discovered this thread, two days after it was posted. I'm overwhelmed, because frankly I didn't realize I was that appreciated. Thanks so much for all the accolades and good wishes!

    But you are not going to get rid of me that easily. I don't like the term "retirement" because it seems to imply that I am going to disappear to the world of assisted living. Quite the opposite. I still have a few articles in the BPL pipeline that will be published soon, and I plan to write an article on SUL mountain backpacking next spring. I am just ending my tenure as BPL's Senior Editor for gear and apparel; I will continue on as a contributing editor, writing occasional reviews of UL gear.

    I am reducing my BPL workload to gain more time for backpacking and other pursuits. The Finis Mitchell quote is very inspiring to me: "We don't stop hiking because we get old; we get old because we stop hiking." Thanks for mentioning it, I want that to be my mantra.

    Thanks again for all your compliments and good wishes. My 7.5 years at BPL have been very rewarding and a second career for me (and Janet), one that combines several things that we love to do. And through my BPL association I have met, worked with, and hiked with, some really outstanding people in the outdoor community that I deeply admire. But don't write me off, I will still be around, but not cranking out as many articles as we have in the past.

    Best wishes, Will and Janet (WilliWabbit and BOS, which stands for Buns Of Steel).

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    We are remarkably blessed to have had the privilege to work with Will and Janet.

    Their work quality, professionalism, enthusiasm, knowledge, and willingness to sacrifice personal time to help BPL become what it is today is humbling to me, and I'm so grateful for it.

    Will and Janet: you'll be missed. Thank you so much for your years of service, it's been a real honor.

    Best Regards,
    Ryan and Stephanie Jordan

    Maxine Weyant
    BPL Member


    Well I'm glad you clarified that, Will. I was quite disappointed when I read the news this am. I remember my delight when I first discovered some of your posts a few years ago. I knew it had to be the same Will Rietveld I'd worked with "ages ago" in one of your former permutations as a forestry researcher (PhD in Plant Physiology, I believe.)

    Whenever I read one of your reviews or click on a video link, it's like a vicarious visit with an old friend. I'm glad you're not bidding us farewell. Best regards, Maxine

    Henk Smees
    BPL Member


    Locale: Spanish Mountains

    The Finis Mitchell quote: "We don't stop hiking because we get old; we get old because we stop hiking" reminded me of a trip, about 20 years ago, where I had quite a large group of people walking in front of me. When I finally could get hold of them (almost at the top of the mountain we all climbed), they turned out to a “Veteran’s group” (ALL over 65 years old – at least one was over 80, if I recall right). When I congratulated them with their pace & rhythm (I thought they were pretty quick), one of them told me there was no secret at all, only “Never stop doing this”. Before going down, we spent about an hour talking on top of the mountain and I learned a lot more things from these “Veterans”. I never forgot these 4 words and now I’ve almost reached sixty myself, I know they were right. I never stopped hiking and feel like I’ll be able to do this for another 30 or 40 years more.

    Will & Janet. Never stop hiking (I know you won’t) and enjoy your life in the outdoors — you deserve it. I’ll miss your input at BPL, although your last announcement “don't write me off, I will still be around” has put my mind at ease.

    Many, many thanks.

    Eddy Walker


    Locale: southeast

    I just wanted to say thanks to Addie and to the anonymous donor for doing this. I am looking forward to reading Will and Janet's reviews

    Joshua Billings
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca

    I really enjoyed all of your articals and reviews. Who know tent stakes could be so interesting.

    Richard Scruggs
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon

    Retire? How can you do that? Ya'll don't look nearly that old! Plus, you're among the very best "benefits" of BPL!!!

    It's great that you'll keep sharing your experiences and knowledge, though.

    Your articles and reviews are great; they've taught me a lot over the years.

    Many happy trails with your new "free" time — you'll probably wonder how you ever had the time to write all that stuff!

    Thanks again, and very best wishes.


    BPL Member


    Dang… I thought there was going to be the mother of all used gear sale!!

    (Kidding!!! You go traveling and then realize you've missed all the important stuff… and it's taking weeks to catch up. Happy Trails, Will!!!)

    James Marco
    BPL Member


    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Yes, it certainly is an end of an era. Not to worry, retirement is FUN…cept whan you can't get out.
    Good luck!


    Thanks Will for the gift of that first introductory BPL membership. Appreciate all of your reviews.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Will, congrats on your new direction in life. Though I'll miss your thorough reviews I wish you Janet all the best.

    Speaking as one who retired in 2002 I can tell you that retirement isn't easy. First you do 6 months of vacation and no sooner is that done then you have to turn around and do ANOTHER 6 months of vacation. ;o)

    Happy Trails guys!

    Hoot Filsinger
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest


    You have been a cornerstone and cairn at BPL. Hit the trails with Janet and throw us an occasional tidbit of insight.

    Thank you,


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