2012 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable 2012 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

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    Stephanie Jordan


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to:

    2012 Backpacking Light Staff Picks

    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Alaska

    My favorite gear was gear we got our parents for Christmas/Birthdays. Our project has been to outfit them both with UL gear so they can keep hiking.

    Packs – We got my mom an Osprey Exos 46. She loves it so much that she uses it for day hikes. We got my dad a Absaroka pack. For years he'd stuck to his old external frame pack because he liked the way it fit. We finally found one he liked and that was a lot lighter

    Tent – We got them a Big Agnes Fly Creek 2. Mom hates tarps and we hate for them to have heavy packs.

    Prolite Pads – My parents have used Wal Mart blue foam pads for years, this will be a major upgrade.

    Backpacking Gear Favorite (with a replacement because it got destroyed)

    Absaroka Pack

    BPL Absaroka Pack – It handled close to 40 pounds well, only weighed 2 pounds and had a great pocket setup. I'd still be using it if it hadn't been run over in the parking lot. Since it was destroyed I'm including the replacement.


    Chris Zimmer Custom Pack – This replaced the Absaroka. It weighs about 2 pounds and has worked well on several weekend trips. I have tested it with 40 pounds and think it can handle that weight but it would be better if the hipbelt was a bit wider and curved rather then straight.

    Other Outdoor Activity


    Tomahawks – We tried these with summer campers and they were a huge hit. There's something epic about painting yourself up with warpaint that throwing "hawks" at a stump. This kid looks ready to scalp some redcoats doesn't he?

    Everyday Life

    Imagination – Kids don't always develop this nowadays with video games and such but some still do. Who would have thought that a funeral pyre for a pair of boxers and twelve boys standing at attention, saluting and singing "God bless my underwear" could be so funny?

    Robert H


    Just a heads up, the hyperlink to the Sole Runner FX Trainer is wrong.

    alice fogel


    Are you telling me you have NO women on your staff? How can that be? Don't you think you might want to spread the love a little, and help bring a female sensibility not just to the office but to those hikers who have somewhat different needs because of our smaller height and weight, and various other backpacking concerns? I am just flabbergasted.

    Alex Eriksson


    Locale: Austin, TX

    Know your place, maker of food and massager of man-shoulders!!

    Oh god I'm totally kidding…

    Seriously though, a little female (as in, a small woman) would be nice and would certainly make choosing gear for my beloved girlfriend a lot easier. You know what question I wish BPL could answer? If the Eddie Bauer Downlight Jackets are long enough to cover my 5'2" girlfriend's butt in camp when she's cold? In regular? How about petite? Long?

    Just how light can someone's base weight be if you're that small? I bought her a short air mat but it's still several inches longer than she is tall. If the outdoor industry can see fit to provide all these women's specific products, it would be nice to actually get some women specific reviews (i've seen a few on BPL, I'm not hating, just saying the more the better).

    In other news, the article was good but pretty lackluster on the product-front. I appreciate trying to think outside the box and give answers for things that aren't gear, but past pick lists did a much better job of opening my eyes to things I may have missed.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    Nothing from Chris, nor Addie huh?

    Actually I am surprised to see so many listed as staff.

    Kinda funny actually.

    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member


    Locale: NePo

    There is Addie. And many moons ago Carol Croker. She resigned.

    Only male whiteys so come on all you minorities: Pile it on!! BPL is racist and sexist. Even a dog gets a job before non-white males! (of course she is a black female)

    Maybe no women have applied. Maybe the ones that did apply didnt cut the mustard.

    Start doing in depth reviews of womens gear and build a portfolio. Maybe it'll get you a job.

    Michael Gillenwater
    BPL Member


    Locale: Seattle area

    Here is a proposal. BPL should commission an article written for significant others (i.e., primarily wives and girlfriends, but not exclusively) explaining to them why their partners are backpacking gear obsessed. If done really well, with some humor, then it will be your most popular article ever.

    Alex Eriksson


    Locale: Austin, TX

    "… didnt cut the mustard"

    That doesn't mean what you think it means. ;-) I believe you meant, "pass muster".

    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member


    Locale: NePo

    Well according to Wiktionary 'cut the mustard' is idiomatic for 'suffice' or 'good enough'. Possibly derived from 'cut the muster'… so you get .5 points.

    so nice try but at least colloquially, it is correct.

    BPL Member


    Locale: .

    Addie left early this year to take care of a growing family. I left not too long ago, but since I wasn't asked for input I doubt Addie was either. To the best of my knowledge, the only female that is part of the current "staff" is Ryan's wife, Stephanie.

    In regards to the office thing, there isn't one. Everyone in the article lives, for the most part, very far apart. I guess you could call it a virtual office, if you want.

    Cayenne Redmonk
    BPL Member


    Locale: Greater California Ecosystem

    It is unfortunate Ryan didn't put someone who cared in a position to assist the members of BPL before embracing his detachment. 2012 wasn't a great year for relations between BPL and the members.

    Bob Gross
    BPL Member


    Locale: Silicon Valley

    It sounds like Ryan needs to hire a management consultant before the business is completely dead.


    Javan Dempsey


    Locale: The-Stateless-Society


    Jay Wilkerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Bay

    This is very funny in a sad way.

    Raymond Estrella


    Locale: Northern Minnesota

    Any woman that wants to can submit an article proposal.

    It's easy.

    It's fun.

    It's a way to listen to endless angst…

    (I am pretty sure Endless Angst is an Emo group;-)

    Ken (summmitboy)
    BPL Member


    Locale: Ottawa, Canada

    Great travel/hut/camp shoe as an alternative to hiking boots. These are the most comfortable shoes I've every worn.

    Weight: 280g/9.9oz per pair (42.5/9.5)

    Price: $90 on Puma website but $62 on Amazon

    Mine are darker blue than this (available in other colours)

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > Ryan needs to hire a management consultant before the business is completely dead
    And you know what is the first thing a management consultant does?
    He submits his account.
    (Come to think of it, that's not so silly …)

    One might be hard-pressed to define BPL as a business at the present. How about a labour of love?


    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Alaska

    "One might be hard-pressed to define BPL as a business at the present. How about a labour of love?"

    Long as you guys keep the lights on and the articles coming I'm happy.

    Jeffs Eleven
    BPL Member


    Locale: NePo

    ""Long as you guys keep the lights on and the articles coming I'm happy.""

    Big +1

    Cheers, Roger!!

    Sam Haraldson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Gallatin Range

    It made my day to see my old Suby up here, Daniel!

    If I were to post my "Picks for 2012" they would be as follows:

    1. GORUCK GR1
    2. Surly Pugsley Necromancer
    3. Time with my fiance

    Ron D
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado

    "One might be hard-pressed to define BPL as a business at the present. How about a labour of love?"

    "Long as you guys keep the lights on and the articles coming I'm happy."


    Daniel Paladino
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern Rockies

    With Addie gone, there is a definite lack of female staff. Kristin Tennessen has contributed some excellent material, and I asked for a Staff pick from her… What BPL needs are articles submitted by females, so come on ladies, get writing!

    Don't be afraid to add your own favorite gear picks!

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Labour of love…
    I see that with the many that start at full speed with their blogs flooding the forums with links to them , loads of gear/pictures and even video clips and then….nothing.
    Easy to understand why : eventually you run out of energy,inspiration and will power to do a lot of work for little or no no rewards.
    BPL is not all that different from that.

    Cut the mustard
    Always tricky picking on idiomatic expressions because often others use them (correctly or otherwise) differently than we do .
    I used that particular expression myself (no idea where I picked that up from) for decades and always in the past tense and in the negative sense, that is "didn't cut the mustard"
    Here is one explanation :

    There has been an association between the heat and piquancy of mustard and the zest and energy of people's behaviour. This dates back to at least 1672, when the term 'as keen as mustard' is first recorded. 'Up to mustard' or just 'mustard' means up to standard in the same way as 'up to snuff'. 'Cutting' has also long been used to mean 'exhibiting', as in the phrase 'cutting a fine figure'. Unless some actual evidence is found for the other proposed explanations, the derivation of 'cutting the mustard' as an alternative way of saying 'exhibiting one's high standards' is by far the most likely.

    Anthony Weston
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern CA

    1)Led Lenser H7 -brightest headlamp I've ever seen
    2)ZPacks™ Hexamid Long Tent or Tarp, wonderful to be able to stretch out and not come
    near the tent walls.
    3) This isn't new but the framesheet in the golite continuum backpack is truly amazing.

    I love bpl.

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