Any members or potential members out there?
Any thoughts on the club?
I'm very curious to know what folks think of the club - advantages of membership, the future of the club etc.
There's an interesting discussion on the go on the Backpackers Club website forum regarding membership, hence the enquiry.
(a member of the Backpackers club)
It's different things to different people. The Northumbria group is pretty active & has a core of members who get out regularly. If the club disbanded things would carry on much the same up here as the folk I backpack regularly with I class as mates. The BPC is pre-internet & I think the internet diminshes a lot of the need for actual clubs on a national or international basis. I run a couple of 'hobby' websites that would have been based around 'clubs' pre-internet. The communities are very successful & thriving. Similar pre-internet groups still relying on offline membership & newsletters struggle or have vanished. I think clubs work better on a more local face to face basis but still using online comms such as websites, facebook etc.
Bob from backpackinglight had a rant on OM a few years back about the club being secretive. Never been the case - just a very small club that's been overtaken (IMO) by the internet age. The rant was also bogus as he wanted access to stuff as a non-member that is reserved for members.
With it's aging membership I think the club needs to focus it's efforts online. It put the mags online a while back but membership is still a manual offline process. It could do more - have membership based around an online community with membership by way of subscription & access to member only resources. Even then I worry it doesn't have the membership & contributors to rival what is already available online - it's already late to that party - but it would still be able to help local groups organise under the club banner. There's an active club presence on Facebook - independent of the club - there are sites for local groups - independent of the club (I admin one of them). I worry that one day those independent online presences will be all that's left.
Member since 1979 (subs overdue!)
Montgomery Wick wrote (see)
Surprised nobody's quoted Groucho Marx yet.
I'm not going to rise to the challenge!
Back in the olden days, in a previous millennium, when I had no kit worth a tuppenny button and got by on the seat of my pants, I kept hearing about the Backpackers. At the time, it was described as 'the club for unclubbables', but as I'm a past master at unclubbability, having a fearsome loathing of anything that resembles 'committee structure', minutes of last meeting, date of next meeting, to the chair, through the chair, on a point of order Mister Chairman, constitutions, apologies for absence and all the rest, I really wasn't interested in joining. In any case, I couldn't afford the subs, regardless of the fact that they must be the lowest annual subs of any outdoor organisation in the country. In the end, it was the promise of a 'free Buff' that roped me in.
For my sins... I'm now organising the 2013 AGM... albeit without a committee!
I first joined the MBA in order to get The Book with all the grid refs in it. Would people do that now when it's all online?
Fairly typically, since joining the MBA I've spent hardly any time in their bothies... but I didn't join to get The Magic List, but because I'd spent a lot of time in bothies and wanted to contribute. They're a great thing and my subscription helps keep them as a great thing.
So I think the MBA is a more tangible resource-based thing. If nobody pays, no bothies. But if nobody pays the Backpackers Club, there will still be backpacking, so it's a matter of does the club improve matters for its members? Dunno, I've never been in it... My main club affiliations of more recent times are the local nordic ski and sea kayaking clubs, which I joined mainly to tap experience from in order to get better at doing them. Sound move too: I can now do both to fairly competent standards that would have been impossible otherwise without spending vast sums of money, and I've made some excellent friendships too.
I'm member of an old Dutch branch of the Backpackers that went independent a long time ago already. The things Paddy wrote actually still apply even in the Dutch 'branch', however we don't have that free Buff... Only a sub of about 7 pounds and 4 times a year a black&white mag. And a website with a forum!
The benefits are 4 times a month an 'organized' weekend on the agenda. I write 'organized' otherwise I couldn't attest Paddies words. Such a weekend is actually no more than two planned campsites and some tips on how to get to the first campsite and which maps to bring. for the rest no real regulations like you have to telle that you'll attend, you just show up or you don't and how and or when and with who you walk to the second campsite; suit yourself. Sunday you walk again in a same manner to a point that suits you to get home easily.
I remember Dutch member Bart used to come over to the UK for AGM's & such like.
Paddy - where is the 2013 get-together? Lakes?
Ulverston... as it's on my doorstep and I can count on the support of people around town. It's a 'Festival Town' where folks have no problem hosting odd events, and they're well used to meeting and greeting visitors, and have a lot to offer. Some information has already been posted on the Backpackers Club forum, and at some stage I'll put together a piece on the website nailing down the first few 'facts' about what's happening. Backpack magazine will, as always, carry full details about the venue and what's planned in the Spring 2013 issue. At this stage, the club has basically booked the camping area (NOT a campsite, but a park on the edge of town), booked the actual AGM meeting hall (the first EVER with tiered seating, so no more looking over heads), and the meal venue (which is in the park). The rest is down to me, and I'm planning on doing it without spending a penny or generating any paperwork. The idea is to give a bunch of grumpy folks a nice place to camp, with lots to do, even if they don't want to do any of it!
I'm aiming for a 'wild camp on the edge of town' approach.
Spiritburner wrote (see)
AGM in a town (or edge of) - that's a first for me. Breakfast at Hot Mango for me then!
Ha! As the days roll by, I'm becoming more and more aware that the membership knows more about 'Li'le Oostan' (Little Ulverston) than I ever thought possible!
Until a couple of weeks ago, the Hot Mango was one of the closest places to the venue where you could get breakfast, but now there's a brand-new restaurant in Ford Park itself, called the Coach House. The AGM buffet will be there, with the ability for folks to spread out on two floors, with upper and lower outdoor patios, should the weather play its part, with a nature trail on one side of the building and a kitchen garden on the other side, and the Sir John Barrow Monument towering overhead on its own rugged little fell.
(Then again... if dehydrated breakfast mush in a sachet suits some members... there's no pressure on them to go and get a proper breakfast!)
Edited to add... this is how we walk to the pub from Ford Park...
That breakfast buffet is clearly over the top for us Dutchies We yearly celibrate our anniversary on a campsite and on saturday morning the organization arranges a make shift buffet of eggs, coffee, tea or something along those lines on the camp site for those who want to part from their prepared self dehydrated or bought breakfast (or using both, me sooo hungry after pub evening on friday night)
And that vid of a procession to the pub is also not entirely unfamiliair here the numbers of pub goers however are a bit smaller
Yeah those sprinkles are actually in three main versions. The chocolate ones, the fruity ones (orange, yellow) and the white ones with aniseed tatste. All little sugar bombs. We call them 'chocalade hagel and fruit hagel and anijs hagel' and then we also have little bigger sprinkles (flat curled ribbons) made from chocolate. We call them 'chocolade vlokken'. And then we also have little round sprinkles white,pink and blue with a little aniseed in the core. We call those 'muisje' (Traditionally used for celi brating new borns with 'muisjes' on a round butterd biscuit. pink and white mix for new born girls and blue and white mix for new born boys.
These breakfast and lunch things you only encounter in private homes, B&B's or when ordering a Dutch breakfast or lunch in a restaurant.
But as you already may have figured out when we Dutch are hiking we all eat dehydrated grub muesli-like. So not totally bonkers
Visserspad is a nice and easy coastal path and if you're easily impressed and want to be impressed by huge waterworks hiking "Deltapad" is also a nice one. It's a path along the south coasts (below Hoek van Holland) of the Netherlands.
Bob C - backpackinglight.co.uk wrote (see)
From the current Facebook rants... and recent Facebook discussions...
I don't do Facebook... and from what I can gather... only 10% of the Backpackers Club membership are signed into their own forum... and I keep meeting Backpackers Club members who (shock/horror) don't even have access to the internet!
Edited to add...
Actually... I don't have access to the internet when I'm out and about... and that can mean ten weeks at a stretch without 'tech' stuff. To be honest... I never miss it either.
Cheap subs? My local club is £2 I think (don't know as I have almost dropped out and haven't paid for a year or so now). PLus you end up joining the LDWA too which costs a wacking great £10 (or did when I last did so).
Never joined BPC but was talking about it sunday. Tempted to join to get that list of farms which allow ppl to camp on their land. Heard the BPC holds a list of negotiated places. Is that a rumour or true? If true it might be worth joining the club for that every few years or so. Kind of like I planned to do with the MBA until they published the bothie list online that is. Bad isn't it!! I don't see the point of joining them now from a purely selfish POV. Mind you I do have to spend my cash on so many other things I have to rationalise my club subs down to manageable levels. That is why the OM meets are so good I don't have to pay out on subs to join in!!
Mr C - I'm referring to your post on 21 Feb 2007 9.15 which wound me up at the time of the planning for BPC agm & trade show at Bellingham. We were also getting criticism from blogger Darren Christie aka weird something or other about the venue or somesuch, who ended up joining & taking a role within the club. Looks like the club now has someone to organise the trade element so what many members & maybe the community in general want will happen. Gear is king. I've had my say at Bellingham re what I thought the club needed to do re it's online presence & it's slowly getting there in it's own time. The Northumbria group has been proactive online promoting our local group & the wider club since 1999.
I have to admit I pay my subs out of loyalty more than owt else & as a thanks for the good friends I've made, going back to the pre-internet days. Our local group is pretty tight knit & includes club co-founder Peter Lumley. Most local members get out regularly as do other groups around the country & we have a good crack & had some great trips over the years. Even though we have our own site & forum it's not busy by any stretch of the imagination - the emphasise is on getting out backpacking rather than talking about it I guess - a que for me to shut-up!
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