I’ll be honest: a desire to read several of Dave C‘s articles and the two recent ones (not by Dave) on depression have me again considering joining BPL. I probably will not for some time yet, if at all. The current lack of transparency about where the site is headed feels to me like being asked to buy passage on a ship when the captain won’t say where it is going. I still maintain that it’s a weird business model. People are generally willing to donate to support something they enjoy. Every other hobby site (and for the vast majority of BPL participants, it *is* a hobby) I’ve joined has functioned on this model, and I can think of half a dozen off the top of my head where I’ve chipped in with amounts ranging from a dollar or two whenever I could up to $20 or so annually. When you turn it into a strictly business transaction, however, those same people are going to be a lot more critical of your product both before and after they pay. But I wasn’t around when the site was more than just forums and articles. Maybe at that time the subscription model made more sense.
The above was a bit tangential to the reason I started this post: I was thinking it’d be nice to read those depression articles, because I’m actually headed out to camp tonight for what are definitely mental health reasons. (The peak of the Leonid meteor shower will hopefully be a nice bonus.) Unlike some of the more advanced trips and technical articles, this is a topic to which I can contribute knowledgeably. Current forum threads aside, I think that the cognitive and emotional facets of outdoors experiences are pathetically underrepresented in the current body of work. There are a number of reasons for this, some structural, but I believe a major contributor to the silence is that people who struggle with mental illness are less likely to make it out their door in the first place. Knowing it’ll do you good is often not reason enough. Sometimes that fact can even be an active deterrent: the brain is especially cruel when it’s telling you you don’t deserve even the simple good feelings getting out of doors can bring.
But enough. The car is packed and I am merely wasting time.