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In The Spotlight


"Charles ...  I got onto your website and I couldn't put the book down as we used to say!  Wow! ..."   

Coosa Carol Donaldson


"Charles ...Just a note to congratulate you on The Lightweight Backpacker web site. It's excellent, one of the best outdoor sites I've seen. Packed full of useful information well presented and with plenty of opportunity for people to contribute their own opinions and experiences...."   

Chris Townsend

Maria Hubbard

Subject: Thank You!
I came across your website in 1996. That was the year I took my first backpacking trip to Yosemite starting at Glacier Point and worked our way down detouring at Little Yosemite Valley to go to Half Dome then down both Nevada and Vernal Falls. It was an experience of a lifetime.

I want to thank you for making that first experience for me a great one. I was a beginner backpacker and your website back then was the most imformative then. Now 8 years later I'm searching your website for more information and got the shock of my life. You've made a good thing great.

Thank you and great job. Your website is still my favorite.

California Girl

Zan Thornton

Subject: Best Site!
Wow I have surfed for 2 days... finally found your page and I need NOT search any longer. In less than a minute, I had exactly what i was looking for. Of course I adapted it for my needs, but that was less than 2 minutes of work. Why didn't I find your site quicker! I rate it an A+!

Must admit fabulous site, down to earth -real checklist for real packers! Thanks for the awesome and easy and informative site!

Gerry Delorme

Subject: Well Done
I just read your article on light weight backpacking .... well done.. It is by far the best article I have come across..

Kent Forrester

Subject: Praise
I just wanted to drop a note to tell you what a great site you have put together. I'm taking a two-week hike in the Sierras this summer, and your site has been the handiest and most practical site on the Web in planning for that trip.

I find it even better than the Gear Guy (Outside Online).......

........... For my money, it's the best backpacking site on the Web !

I thought I knew most of the hiking sites on the Web, but your links have taken me places I didn't know existed.

William Muir

Subject: Way to Go !!
Just want you to know that you have developed one of the best sites on hiking on the WEB !!!

I have been surfin' for a while and I've gotten more information from your site than anywhere.

Keep up the good work. I will be back, looking for "NEW" gear. By the way, the decision to use (lightweight) graphics is a good one, they load fast and look great. I hate waiting around for a page to load.

Thanks again.

Bob Nicks

Subject: Thanks
Just a note to say thank you. I have found more useful information in this one site than in many others combined.

I also appreciate the minimal graphics used--makes everything go much faster. I plan on returning here frequently for any new information, experiences and news.

Bob Compton

Subject: Your Web Page
I never heard of you (before) and I stumbled on your page by accident while trying to learn my way around.

Just had to comment that I probably learned more good tips and ideas this afternoon than in the past 54 years of reading about hiking and camping.

Way to go!

Mark Duvall

Subject: Backcountry page
I was really impressed by your detailed backcountry pages. There is a lot of really useful info there. The attention to detail and thoroughness is better than most of the commercial outdoor websites I've seen.

I don't mind that you stick mostly to high-end gear, better to buy it once than over and over again! .....................................

Enjoyed reading your pages, Thanks,

Craig Ramsay

Subject: Great site!
Thanks for a great resource! Your site is a one-stop for any packer (novice to experienced) in preparation for a hike. Keep up the great work and minimalist attitude.

Peter Zana

Subject: Bridger
Was surfin' over the past several weeks for enjoyment and found your site to be one of the best I've seen. Your commitment to weight reduction and detailing of experiences was most appreciated. Thanks, I'd love to see updates, if you have more information.

........... Again, thanks for the site, I read it "cover to cover" if you will!

Jason Hall

I rarely take the time to email while browsing the web, but I felt compelled to do so in this case. You have compiled a uniquely useful and convenient site. I found myself exploring every link, but still returning to see what else was here.

I've just started backpacking again after a few years of neglect. I never realized how much I missed it until I started doing it again.

Thanks for your time and effort. The results are spectacular. Best wishes............

Jason Hall,
Andover, Connecticut

Jason Heindel

Subject: Great Site!
Dear Charles,
I came across your site in Yahoo's magazine. My compliments to you! You've put together some great information and I'm sure I will be referring to your page frequently. I'm backpacking in Sequoia Nat'l Park this weekend and needed some tips on what to bring. As a "weight fanatic" myself, I found your weight-saving ideas very useful.

I'm looking to purchase a tent soon, so I'll be interested in your tent section when it's completed. Thanks again for providing a great resource!

Best wishes,

James Siscel

Subject: Thanks
Great Web Site. I appreciate that you have very little graphics. This allows a searcher to get right to the information and other sites. It appears that you are a member of the Pacific Northwest hiking population. Maybe I'll see you on the trail someday.

John Hijjawi

Subject: Thanks !
Boy! I don't know if the organizer of this web site is an individual or a group, but hats off to you. For a city bound med student who is lucky to get out on more than a weekend trip twice a year, this site is a godsend. I can already see how it, and the links it provides, will maximize the time I do have. Thank you very much for the work you do maintaining this wonderful web site.

Peter Fulton

Subject: Web site
Great web-site. We have an adventure program in our school district which is administered by the police dept. in Windham,ME. Our main objective in this program is to teach kids low-impact camping with an emphasis on light-weight equipment..........................I will watch your guidelines for low-weight equipment packing very closely.

Thank you.

Rob Garcia

Subject: Thanks
I'm a new Scout leader with much to learn. I've seen too many Scout units that overload their kids, never taking in mind the packing limitations of these young guys. I've also seen a lot of money spent on "car camping" and oversized gear for junior.

I just wanted to thank you for the information and advice you've posted on the web... We don't have the funds to implement all of your recommendations but we will implement your philosophy when purchasing gear and planning outings.

Troop 92

Jim Quillin

Subject: Backpacking
Thanks for the time and energy you have taken to run your home page. I have enjoyed reading your opinions and insights into the nuances of backpacking. I appreciate your quest for the perfect backpacking setup. ............

Dianne Simpson

Subject: Backpacking
Thank You!
Very readable & informative. I've been out of the loop for many years, still have my $30.00 backpack bought at Venture Discount Store..ugg, and have wanted to backpack again. Your info helped me figure out what I need in a pack. I'm off to sample some & hopefully one will get me through a three day, 20 mile Guadalupe Mtn. hike next week.

You're a jewel!

David Brogren

Howdy, I really like your site and think it is cool to read from another point of view than my own. I concur on the quality issue and have several pieces of gear that I have repurchased to prove it............

Ray Solis

Subject: hiking supply information
Hello, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to put together this information. All the information is very useful and will prove to be very helpful when I am putting together my hiking kit.

Thank you,

A. Muga

Subject: Your www page
Thanks for such an attractive and useful web site!

Diane Bregler

Subject: Backpacking and Your Web Site
Many thanks for all the valuable information you provided us. Last week Glenn and his life-long friend took three 14-year-old boys backpacking in the Hetch-Hetchy region of Yosemite. I downloaded your information for all to read. What started off as a 60 lb. pack on Glenn's last trip was greatly improved this go 'round thanks to you. Great advice!


Subject: Very cool web site!
I just wanted to say "thanks!" for some very helpful advice. I'm just getting back into backpacking not having done it since my teens (some 15 years ago). Between lost memories and the change in technology, your site has been very helplful. I'm big on lightweight gear and it's great to get some honest opinions on equipment.

Are you in Seattle? I am as well. REI has long been a favorite. I'll have to check out Feathered Friends too.

Thanks again,

Mike Wilson

Subject: Good Stuff!!
Just found your page. I will be back. Am learning the hard way to pack light. Thanks for the tips.

Keep up the good job.

Christine Lowrie

Subject: Great Page
Thanks so much for putting together a great web page. I have found the information to be very useful. I am currently preparing for a 10 day trip to the White Mountains and was glad I stumbled onto your page.

Keep up the good work!


Subject: Right On The Money
Great Net site, agree with what you have to say, especially that you normally "get what you pay for". I too am not rich but do not go cheap when it comes to gear - I want no failures at 14,000-20,000 feet in snow, ice, etc. Keep up the good work.

....... John


Subject: Hiking Gear Information Galore
Hey man,
Normally I wouldn't bother thanking you. But the information I received from your web page is just so complete (if not definitive, for the information I needed) that I have to write this letter. I am a beginner hiker. After I read your web page I now know where to start and what I need. These pages are full of tips and information. It is very helpful and got me through a lot of humps.

Thank you. Happy trails...


Subject: Thanks for the page
Preparing for a couple of weeks in the River of no Return Wilderness in Idaho, I stumbled across your page. I really just wanted to thank you for your efforts. There's so much misinformation out there that it's great to remember the essentials--stay light and have fun.

In addition, I have been a minimal-cook water boiler myself for many years. I haven't ever read much about us. Most articles center on "gourmet in the outdoors!!". I nestle my MSR inside my one quart aluminum tea kettle--lightweight and compact.

Keep up the good work!

Marco Bernardini, AlpMaster

Subject: Thanks!
I learn a lot of things reading your pages.
I have too a small site about Western Italian Alps where I explain some tips about hiking (in Italian), but I add a link to your page because it's better than mine.

Can I translate some tips in Italian to add to my page?

Joseph Savant

Subject: Lightweight
Great web page! Really enjoyed the info and links. My son and I just did our first backpacking trip with Scout troop and are seeking info on steep learning curve! Bookmarked your site and will check back. Thanks,

Franjo Goluza

Subject: Re: Lightweight Back...
I found your page useful and I particularly liked the 14 essentials you recommend for travelling in the backcountry. Good work.

"The Wilderness Walking Staff Electronic Book, Version 2.0"

Well, that's a small sample of the feedback that I've received. Thanks to all ! Unfortunately, it just isn't possible to include all the comments that you send me, mainly due to disk space restrictions--I need to save space for "gear" stuff, you know.

I'd also like to thank all who engage me in stimulating discourse; provide gear reviews and suggestions for reducing weight; and, in general, make me feel like I'm doing something useful for the backcountry community. Thanks !

Also, you will find more feedback from "Lightweight" readers, in other places, at this site--specifically, gear reviews in the "Gear" page; suggested gear solutions for ultralight packing in the "Ultralight Backpacker" page; and gear innovations in the "Knowledge Nuggets" page.

Thanks again !


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