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You must be a registered member of the BackpackGearTest website in order to test gear.  If you are not registered, go to now and click the 'Register' link. actually uses several Yahoo! groups to allow communication between members. These groups are BackpackGearTest, BGTFileUploadHelp, and BGTWeb. The BackpackGearTest group is the mechanism by which you submit owner reviews, receive test calls, submit test applications, and receive relevant news and information. In order to be a tester, you MUST at least belong to the BackpackGearTest group, and in order to join it, you will have to have a Yahoo! ID.  

If you do not have a Yahoo! ID, click here to jump to Yahoo's groups page, then click the 'Click here to register' link.  A new browser window will open so, so you will be able to switch between this page and that page.  If you have any questions or problems with Yahoo! Groups, click here for their help page.

If you already have a Yahoo! ID, or once you finish creating your Yahoo! ID, you are ready to join the group.  Click here to jump to the BackpackGearTest group, then click the 'Join this Group!' link.

That's the only group you need to belong to in order to be a gear tester.  There are three other groups associated with BackpackGearTest that you can join if you wish:

BGTFileUploadHelp - This is a group manned by veteran gear testers who have volunteered to help you become - and stay - a successful gear tester.  Any questions you have or problems you encounter should be directed to this list.  Additionally, if you don't know HTML - or don't even know what that is - these brave men and women will take your text based report and convert it to HTML for inclusion on the website.  You don't have to know anything about HTML - or even know what it is - in order to participate.

Upload Notification - Join this list, to receive notifications of new reports uploaded to You may receive these notifications as either individual emails or as a daily digest. You do not need to be a member of the main list to join this list, and members of the main list are not required to join this list.

BGTWeb - This group is for those members who would like to help with the technical details of the website. As a gear tester, it will be of little interest unless you also have interest in web site design, user interfaces, or technical writing.

So, that's it.  You've now joined the group and will quickly become a part of the BackpackGearTest community.  Welcome aboard!

From time to time the various groups will generate a lot of mail, and you may wish to create a separate folder in your email software and route these messages into that folder.  Most email software supports this.  Refer to your email documentation for instructions on how to do this, or post a message in the BGTFileUploadHelp group, and someone will be happy to assist you.

You now have two options:

Return to the Introduction page or Continue to the second step - Create Two Owner Reviews.

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.

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BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson