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#206709 - 11/11/22 02:43 AM What's the Deal With These Sites?
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 318
Loc: Portland, Oregon
This may belong in "off topic." You guys
decide.

Lately I've run across a number of web
sites that purport to give advice
regarding backpacking gear, as well
as other subjects, but they're obviously
written by people who know very little
about the subject, and who often seem
as though English may not be their first
language. So do these guys just somehow
make money when someone lands on their
site, or what?

Some examples:
https://hikingvoyager.com
https://thehikingauthority.com/
https://outlifeexpert.com/about/
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#206710 - 11/11/22 07:35 AM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2134
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Packlite can probably answer this better than I can.

All three of the sites you mentioned are part of the Amazon affiliates program; they disclose it on the front page of their website or in the "about us" tab. So, basically, they're shilling for Amazon products and all of their gear links take you to Amazon to buy; they receive a commission. I don't know who furnishes the content for these sites, but my guess is that it's not original with the site. I also noticed that there's no "chat room" on these websites - don't want to take the chance that somebody will trash their "choices," I suppose.

To me, they prove two things:
1. Anyone can set up a website.
2. You can't fix stupid.

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#206730 - 11/20/22 10:13 PM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 404
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Yes I suspect they get paid when someone simply clicks on an item and is sent to another site. In general, I don't find much really good advice on the subject of backing online (present forum excepted). If a person is new to the game, they should hike with more experienced people and learn from them and trust what they learn by doing it. Trial and error is a learning process. Each person is different and will know what they like and need through experience. That, to me anyway, is much of the fun of the sport.
_________________________
Jim M

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#206740 - 11/28/22 09:07 AM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
AndyP Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/28/22
Posts: 2
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By Bill Kennedy
This may belong in "off topic." You guys
decide.

Lately I've run across a number of web
sites that purport to give advice
regarding backpacking gear, as well
as other subjects, but they're obviously
written by people who know very little
about the subject, and who often seem
as though English may not be their first
language. So do these guys just somehow
make money when someone lands on their
site, or what?

Some examples:
https://hikingvoyager.com
https://thehikingauthority.com/
https://outlifeexpert.com/about/


Hi Bill,

I'm the owner of one of the sites you list (https://outlifeexpert.com).

My initial idea with the site was to share under appreciated hiking gear from cheap Chinese vendors (most stuff is produced in China these days anyways...).

I am not trying to scam anyone, and I only make a small (2-5%) commission if you actually buy something through the links.

This "affiliate" along with display ads is used by 99% of internet sites these days - including the one you are on right now! (Look to the corner and sidebar - clearly sponsored by Backcountry Gear and Amazon!).

Anyways, heres what I earn from helping 1000s of people saving money on their gear.

For example this post: [deleted link]

I make about 10$ a year from that post and I literally spent days writing it. Not sure how you feel exploited here?

I admit some of my early posts are a bit messy (i'm a scientist not a journalist...), but I have got a lot of positive feedback on collecting a list of all ultralight tents in one place.

I would love your feedback on any of my posts. Any suggestions for improvements are very welcome. I have a contact page where anyone can contact me and I will gladly reply.

I started the site by basically listing the gear I'm using to easily share it with friends (who would always ask me about my weird Chinese gear...).

I own and use (or know someone who does) most of the gear I talk about and genuinely appreciate it.

I admit that I am not a native speaker - does it really matter?

But I have been hiking for +20 years in Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway) where I live. We have a strong hiking culture here, albeit slightly different than in the US perhaps. I would love to include the US audience more.

Thanks,
Andy



Edited by aimless (11/28/22 04:53 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted link that was contrary to board rules

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#206741 - 11/28/22 05:45 PM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: AndyP]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2134
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Andy:

One big difference between this site and yours is that Packlite isn't posting on your site trying to drive business away from you and toward him.

Another difference is that he's not shilling for Amazon. He gets a commission if we buy there and if we use his link to get there - he's not trying to convince us to only buy Chinese gear he recommends.

Which ties into the third big difference: he is primarily running a forum, and welcomes other hikers to review their gear, even (especially) if it isn't Amazon off-brands. He also encourages discussion of other hiking topics that wouldn't be expected to result in a sale. When I looked at your site, I couldn't find any such interactive feature.

Don't post links to your own site, and you're welcome to post here like the rest of us.

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#206742 - 11/29/22 03:35 AM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: AndyP]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 318
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi Andy,
My complaint is that there is misinformation on your site, which claims to be "expert." I only mentioned the language because it seems to be common to similar sites. As an example of the misinformation, here's a quote from your site:
_____

"What do the 20D and 210T stand for in tent fabric designations?

The D stands for “Denier” and the T for “Tex”. So for both nylon and polyester, the fabric density is denoted by a number, followed by the letters D or T. These are both measures of density and are defined as follows:"
______

This is not correct. The "T" indicates thread count (threads per inch). 210T poly is usually 68-75d.
The above quoted article goes on to discuss the relative waterproofness of nylon and polyester without mentioning the coating, which is what makes the fabric waterproof.

I never meant to imply that you or the others were a scam...just not knowledgeable enough to represent yourselves as experts or authorities.


Edited by Bill Kennedy (11/29/22 03:38 AM)
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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#206743 - 11/29/22 08:36 AM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: Bill Kennedy]
AndyP Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/28/22
Posts: 2
Loc: Denmark
Thanks for your reply Bill!

And thanks for mentioning the confusion with tex and thread count - a was also a bit confused myself (therefore i wrote the article).

How would you know wether 210T refers to thread count or Tex?

According to wikipedia (I know, not necessarily the best source, but the article seems "expert written"):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_textile_measurement

"Various units are used to refer to the measurement of a fiber, such as: the denier and tex (linear mass density of fibers)"

If you can give me a better source(?), I will go ahead and change it right away!

And you are right about the surface treatments as well, I will add a section on that (had it included in a newer article, but should probably add it here as well...)

Thanks,
Andy

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#206750 - 11/30/22 02:24 AM Re: What's the Deal With These Sites? [Re: AndyP]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 318
Loc: Portland, Oregon
It's just convention.
The TEX system is usually written as TEX followed by a number, like "TEX40." It's usually only used to describe thread rather than fabric. This might be different in Europe, I don't know.
Denier also really only applies to thread, but it has become common to use it to describe fabric woven from a certain size thread.
There are at least two other systems for indicating the size or weight of thread. One is an older system, used for cotton thread, and the other is a "commercial" system, which is apparently the denier divided by 10, with a preceding letter indicating the material. "V46" is 460d polyester, for example. A "Z" apparently indicates nylon.
To add to the confusion, some manufactuurers use their own numbers to identify thread. For instance, Gutermann "Mara 70" thread is a TEX40 thread.

As far as coatings, I think, for clarity, it's best to differentiate "coatings" and "surface treatments."
The term "coatings" generally refers to a factory-applied permanent waterproof coating, usually polyurethane or silicone in tent fabric.
"Surface treatment" usually means a chemical treatment applied to the other side of the fabric, (not visible) to increase water repellence or UV resistance, fairly durable, but not permanent, and renewable by the end user.

Regarding sources, Wikipedia is pretty good, but mistakes exist. A lot of what's on the internet is just stuff that has been copied from another site, and so both good and bad information proliferate.

I've never found a really comprehensive source for information on thread and fabrics. I started making some of my own backpacking gear in the 1970s, and have just picked up knowledge over the years. I don't consider myself an expert, but I like to think I have a reasonably good "crap detector." I suspect the only real experts are those who have worked in a related industry for many years.
_________________________
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

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