Yesterday evening there was a short twitter conversation during which Martin Rye said he did not like Paclite. He acknowledged that there might be factors that influenced his opinion; he mentioned base layers, metabolism and regional factors. Chris Townsend chipped in with some sage advice as well. It was all very polite and reasonably brief.
I was surprised to then find a post on Hendrik Morkel’s blog “Hiking in Finland” entitled “[Theoretical] Backpacking on the Internet” It started like this:
“There is an increasing number of theoretical backpackers online – on Twitter, forums and bogs. They love to discuss gear, which in itself ain’t a bad thing- I love me gear talk as well. However my annoyance comes from someone trying to convince me that a certain thing is not good; even if I have used said certain thing and am perfectly happy with it.”
You can nip over to Hendrik’s blog to read the rest of the post, in which he goes on to say that gear performs differently in different parts of the world.
It was made abundantly clear from the ensuing comments that he was referring to the twitter conversation with Martin. I felt his post was unfair and also a little sneaky. Hendrik has history of having sly digs at well-respected outdoor commentators. I recall him having a nasty little jibe at Bob Cartwright recently, that then involved a very hasty climb-down when challenged.
His behaviour is one of the school bully. He chips away with sly digs, but never enough to get a damn good walloping in return. He sets himself up as an expert on all things to do with lightweight backpacking. He doesn’t like it when people challenge the wisdom he hands down from his self-erected pinnacle.
No one ever has the handle on absolute truth on anything. In the past I have made some glaringly awful pronouncements on backpacking, which slowly, like a rusty old supertanker, folk like Martin and Chris T have turned around. (I’m thinking trainers and tarps here.)
Because I felt Hendrik had been unfair of his treatment of Martin and because I felt he was also basically wrong in his assessment of the twitter conversation, I left a comment on the thread last night, which I found this morning had been removed by Hendrik.
This was the comment: 100% accurately copied down:
“Regardless of which country you are testing "Material X" in, Hendrik (and why are you being so coy about your twitter discussion with regard to Paclite with Martin Rye?) when it is peeing down with rain there is a fair chance that the Relative Humidity of the air around you will be approaching very high percentage figures (it's why it's raining... duh!) so it matters not a jot in which country you are testing it.
If it's peeing down with rain you want a waterproof to keep the water out and the humidity from inside the jacket down, to acceptable comfort levels.
All Martin said was that he thought Paclite was pants. If, of course, you enjoy wearing your Paclite jacket when it's not raining, then of course the country you are testing it in *does* make a difference, as RH values will differ appreciably. However, I think it is fair to say that in the discussion involving 140 characters, Martin was assuming that the discussion was centred on wearing Paclite in the rain.
There are loads of experienced backpackers (and I didn't like your "theoretical" jibe, by the way - sneaky that) who agree with him.Just sayin...”
So: Why did Hendrik remove the comment? Why did Hendik subsequently ban my IP address from accessing his blog? Well, school bullies don’t like being shown up for what they are: Snivelling little cowards.
If you feel this is a little strong, bear in mind that this is a young, arrogant German who had the temerity to call me, a Sloman, a “Denier” on twitter, with all the nasty holocaust connotations that come with that term.
“Am I bovvered” that I have been blocked from viewing his arrogant little blog? No.
One last question: I wonder where the $10,582 he raised for his Kickstarter Ultralight A to Z has gone?