What’s Up With That?
In The Business of Backpacking I took a jab at gear reviews on personal blogs. Specific blogs were not identified, as I have no interest in pointing out any individuals.
Apparently a blogger was put off by my comments, and a “Cease and Desist” email was sent to me via a PM (private message) hosted by an Internet forum. Since there are no Comment or Email capabilities on this Website, it is rather difficult to contact me unless you are a friend or a business client. This is intentional. I really don’t care about what others think.
Cease and Desist is not applicable to the Business of Backpacking article. But apparently the author had his panties in a knot over my comments. It really wasn’t worth my time to respond. Good news is that I have never seen this person’s blog, so I can only say, “Don’t flatter yourself in thinking I wasted my time on your blog.” I will surmise that the Cease and Desist message from this person indicates he is guilty of crap reviews, or doesn’t have the requisite skills or experience to say anything of value. Whatever the reason, the email doesn’t bother me. It is of no consequence and doesn’t merit a reply.
The real purpose of my comments in the article was not really directed at any blogger, but those who seek gear – or those who must constantly seek out the opinions of others before coming up with their own skewed opinion, based on the Internet collective.
If you have a backpacking kit, just go out and use it; as is – and do this often. With time you will figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and how individual pieces can be integrated into an efficient kit. If you want to learn about gear, you need to get out and use gear – a lot. Experience is the best teacher, and mistakes are an even better tutor. There is an old saying that I like, “If you learn from your mistakes, I must be a genius.”
As your experience increases, you can look at designs, materials, and construction to determine if a product is good on your own. You will not need to seek out the opinion of others. This learning process is superior to reading reviews or playing with pseudo gear lists.
THOUGHTS ON BLOGS IN GENERAL
It may seem I am being critical of blogs. Not at all… your are reading one now. And I do read blogs of interest when I have time; some are excellent. To me a good backpacking (or camping) blog has articles about why, where and how. Why the author enjoys the sport, where he or she recreates, and how. The how is not about gear, but how the activity is enjoyable; what challenges may be encountered, and what was taken away from the experience. I particularly enjoy bloggers from the UK, especially Scotland. Many of these folks get out a lot and it is not about the gear, but about the experience. I, like many others, enjoy the pictures and or the commentary.
These blogs do talk about gear at times, but the focus in on the journey — gear is just tools to use along the way.
Backpacking Technology Patent Attorney Bob Shaver has been backpacking since 1967. Today most of Bob’s posts are about backpacking trips with his son’s Boy Scout Trip.
Backpackingbongos James Boulter and his dog, Reuben, backpack all over the UK, often camping at the trail head in their camper — a Bongo.
ChrisTownsendOutdoors Chris Townsend is probably Scotland’s biggest wilderness advocate and he walks it more than anyone. And Chris is even more…
OUT.LIVING. Brendan Swihart’s journeys. Outstanding photography.
Outdoor Adventures Buck Nelson does it all and on many long trails and trails few have heard about. Highly recommended!
self powered David Lintern hikes all over and posts excellent photos.
Summit and Valley Martin Rye walks all over Scotland and other places.
SWEEPING THE GARDEN Craig Wisner hikes, walks, runs and surfs to the beat of a different drummer. Also a good friend and hiking partner.
The New Nomads Kimberlie Dame opens her heart and soul on life’s trails. Highly recommended.
Tjanrog’s Weblog Tom Jamrog hiked the Triple Crown with his MeGaTex team. Many musings and stories on all things outdoors.
Box Canyon Blog Mark Johnson’s hilarious stories, hikes, and journeys in his RV.
Two Lane Highway wonderful outdoor black and white photography by John Doddato.
More links can be found on the right hand side of the my Home Page.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WILDERNESS
Read everything John Muir ever wrote. Not much about gear… he used very little. We should emulate him.