Website Update: Sale/Trade Listings, Better Search and More

I’ve been keeping pretty busy this winter with various projects, but one I really wanted to get done was gear listings on I’m happy to say that I finally got the time to sit down and get them done…

Used Gear Listings –

Registered users are now able to create 1 item listings. You’re able to select whether you’re looking to BUY or SELL the item in the listing, and in both cases you’re able to select that you’re also open to the idea for trades. You can add photos to listings easily, as well as set a price.

My goal for this system is to be very simple, just a place for buyers/sellers to find each other and open a line of communication. There’s no payment system in place, no feedback or anything of that nature. You’re on your own. Use the same precautions you would while using any other quasi-anonymous classifieds (ahem, craigslist).

Updated Search Technology

Mostly a nerdy update, but should also help the general users who are searching for gear. The search is now filtered to only threads from within the last 6 months (to view all historical threads you may use the  brand/keyword detail pages) as well as utilizes a more modern and robust search technology…meaning, faster, more accurate results.

Where to find GoLite gear after they’ve closed their doors

I’m really no expert in the gear manufacturing business. I didn’t see the GoLite collapse coming, it seemed to me that they were doing well. If you scour the various backpacking and hiking communities you’ll find lots of people chiming in about their business tactics and what not, which may be interesting to some…but when I heard GoLite was going out of business my first thought was to where we’re going to find a Jam 50 pack when we need to introduce someone to the world of lightweight!

The good news is, in the time GoLite was in business, they sold a lot of gear. With all of their gear in circulation there’s a quite a high volume of used GoLite gear being sold on the various communities.

If you’re looking for a specific GoLite product and new to, it’s pretty simple and I’ll give you a quick how-to.

How to find GoLite gear

  • Head over to the used gear search and search for your GoLite product.
  • Take a look through the search results, each row represents a forum post on an outside community. If you click the post title you’ll be shown the original post body. If you see something here that interests you more, click the link underneath to be navigated to the forum post where you can view the updated text as well as replies.
  • If you’ve found a forum post with the item you’re looking for and it’s still for sale (some items sell within minutes of being posted, which may have something to do with automated email alerts for new posts) make sure to register an account with the forum and contact the seller. If the seller hasn’t left their contact information in the post you’ll need to send them a private message through the forum software. (This is when it’s generally a good idea to look through a users post history to try to get an idea about them.)
  • If there’s nobody currently selling the item you’re looking for consider setting up an automated email alert to be notified when someone does post the item.


If you’re really a GoLite fanatic you can see all threads that GoLite is mentioned in listed here… GoLite Tagged Posts

Lift off! screenshot

About 6 years ago I fell in love with backpacking. It was my first overnight ‘backcountry’ camping trip, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Along with a group of friends, I packed my newly bought Dick’s Sporting goods filled pack up the Mist Trail at 3pm with 4+ liters of water. By about 8pm we made it to the designated campground, a whopping 4.3 miles. We were destroyed. Everyone in the group was complaining, or had the 1000 yard stare. We had only gotten to the base camp, and still needed to get up in the morning to continue UP, to Half Dome. Before the night was through my right knee had basically locked up, I decided there was NO WAY I could make it up to Half Dome, let alone up the cables the next day. Long story short, I made it. But I had a lot of slow walking time to realize two things…

I was in love.

And woefully unprepared.

So I did what I do when I face any obstacle…Googled it. What I found was that there are quite a few amazing backpacking/climbing/trekking communities out there, and I’m not the only gear junkie. I quickly found the gear trade forums, and felt as though I had stumbled upon a treasure trove…that was a huge pain in the ass to really filter or use in a consistent fashion. I kept missing things I REALLY wanted, because the post slipped by. That Bearikade Weekender you’ve always wanted, but couldn’t get yourself to pay retail for? Yea…they sell within minutes on BPL. You better be fast, and lucky.

I knew I could fix this problem, and set out to do so.

My background is that I’ve been a web developer for ~10 years now. I’ve been building tools to streamline my workflow or business needs from the start, and saw this as an opportunity to build something fun for myself.

The first version of was just a very basic aggregator of a few sub forums that I wanted to keep an eye on. Next I added a simple email that would get fired off to me if any of my ‘keywords’ were found in a new post. It worked…almost too well, I realized that there was a TON of GREAT deals on really great gear out there that I had been missing due to just sheer volume of posts. I thought that I should at least open the system up for people to be able to use if they wanted, and it turns out…they did. A few hundred people have now signed up to use the notification system which has sent out nearly 2,000 emails at this point.

A few days ago I rolled out a new version of the website. It’s been completely rebuilt on a whole new platform, and much more ‘modern’ in technical terms. It’s faster, more secure, more accurate and most of all…easier to find what you’re looking for.

But it’s also much more. Part of my passion for the gear is the small businesses behind so many of the community’s favorite products. These ‘cottage’ companies, people making incredible products out of their garages…turning them into real businesses and product lines. I love that, and I hope to help promote those companies and products – along with the lightweight philosophy – with the brand and product integration that’s been built into lwhiker. There are currently over 200 manufacturers listed in the system, and 400+ products already added. Registered users are able to add both manufacturers and products to the system, allowing it to grow with the community. When these brands or products appear in a forum post that is picked up by lwhiker, the thread will be ‘tagged’ with the brand or product so as to be easily found for anyone looking for those specific things. If you go to the “Tarptent” brand page, you’ll see its products as well as threads tagged to it. The same goes for a product page, for example, the Tarptent Notch. All threads, reviews, product information, etc is listed for each product in the system.

I hope to continue development on the system for as long as people continue to get good use out of it. I’m always up for feedback and ideas, feel free to comment here on the blog or head over to the contact page and shoot me an email.