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The Bylaws
v. 0609

This document changes over time. Please check back frequently if you have questions. If your questions are not addressed in this document, please send your questions to the group or to the Moderators for answers.  If you have suggestions for changes in this document, or would like to recommend a policy change, please email the Moderators.



The BGT Survival Guide
How to Become a Tester in Three Easy Steps


Introduction: What is BackpackGearTest? 
Chapter 1: Requirements for participation

Chapter 2: Mailing Lists
Chapter 3: Owner Review requirements
Chapter 4: Tester applications
Chapter 5: Test report requirements
Chapter 6: Minimum Report and Review Requirements
Chapter 7: Sending files to the list
Chapter 8: Editing Reports
Chapter 9: Uploading files to the site
Chapter 10: Test Monitor Requirements
Chapter 11: Including Pictures in your Reviews 
Chapter 12: Beta Testing 
Chapter 13: Miscellaneous Rules and Regulations 

Chapter 10 : Test Monitor requirements

A Test Monitor is a tester who volunteers to track and supervise a Test Series.  This is a very important role within the BackpackGearTest organization.  To facilitate management of the Test Monitor role, the List Moderator maintains a Test Monitor pool. From this pool, individuals are asked to take responsibility for a test and they become the Test Monitor for that test.  Monitors track a test, edit Test Reports, and help resolve issues.


  1. To become a Test Monitor
    1. In order to be a Test Monitor, you must be an approved tester in good standing, and have completed at least two Test Series.
    2. If you have fulfilled the requirements, and would like to become a Test Monitor, send an email to the main list indicating your desire to join the pool. 
      1. Your email should indicate the date you last read this chapter of the Bylaws. 
      2. The List Moderator will acknowledge your offer and include you in the pool, pending his approval. 
    3. In due course the List Moderator will contact you about monitoring a specific test series.
    4. A report detailing the Test Monitor Queue is regularly posted to the BackpackGearTesters list.
  2. Test Monitors Role
    1. The Test Monitor's role is to oversee the day to day running of the test series.  This involves:
      1. Monitoring the list and tracking the progress of the test.
      2. Editing the Test Reports.
      3. Following up on late reports.
      4. Working with the Test Moderator and Testers should issues arise with the gear being tested.
      5. The List Moderator will post various reports to the list.  You should examine these reports carefully and act on them if necessary.
  3. Initial Preparations
    1. The Test Moderator will contact you with the names and email addresses of the testers at the start of the test.
    2. Once you have this list, watch the list for gear receipt notifications from testers. 
    3. The notification email starts the clock running, with the tester's initial report due within seven days of receipt.
    4. With the first posting of an initial report, the test will begin to appear on the management reports sent to the list.
      1. You should examine these reports carefully for anything that needs your attention.


  1. Monitor Pool Management
    1. Allocation of monitors to tests will be from the Monitor's Pool, generally on a next in the queue basis.
    2. You will be contacted after the close of the test call to verify that you are willing to take on this test.
      1. You always have the right to refuse an assignment.  If you refuse, the next Monitor in the pool will be contacted.
      2. If there is a particular test that you would like to monitor, you should notify the List Manager at the time of the Test Call, and he will try to accommodate you.
    3. In assigning tests to monitors in the pool, your current tests (if any) and their status will be taken into account, and where possible you will not be overloaded with tests.
      1. You may be asked to monitor more than one test series at a time.
      2. You may set a limit to the number of tests you monitor at any one time. 
    4. You will not be assigned to monitor a test in which you are participating as a tester.
    5. Once in the pool you will be rotated through tests as required, up to your maximum limit, unless you let the List Moderator know you want to be taken out of the pool. 
      1. If you want out, this is fine, you will not be penalized. 
    6. If you are not going to be available for monitoring for a period of time, just let the List Moderator know.
    7. If, for any reason, you cannot continue monitoring a test series, notify the List Moderator and the Test Moderator immediately.
  2. Reporting Dates
    1. A normal test series consists of three reports - Initial, Field and Long-Term. 
    2. The standard due dates are detailed in Chapter 5.
    3. The actual due dates are established by the List Moderator and reported in the Tests and Monitors Database at
      1. The List Moderator also establishes these dates in the calendar. The calendar emails two report due reminders to the list. The first, two weeks before the due date and the second, three days before the due date. Reports may be posted to the list anytime on from the two week reminder.
    4. When a tester assigned to a test you are monitoring is late, action may be required on your part.  
      1. Once a Tester is three days late, and you have had no contact with that tester explaining the problem, send them a note stating that the report is overdue.  Carbon copy (CC) the Test Moderator and List Moderator.  Be polite.
      2. Once a tester is six days late, the List Moderator will send a reminder. A second remainder will be sent at the 12 day point. If no response is received within six days of the second reminder the Test Moderator will be notified.
      3. The Test Moderator will handle the situation from there.
  3. Editing Reports
    1. Test Monitors, when performing their duties as Editors, fall under the direction of the Senior Edit Moderator and the Edit Moderators.  
    2. Test Monitors, when performing their duties as Editors, must follow the guidelines in Chapter 8, in addition to those below.
    3. As each report comes in, read each report carefully.
    4. Report to the List Moderator and Test Moderator any inappropriate statements such as those that include obscene comments or disparaging comments about the item or manufacturer. 
      1. To do so, forward the offending message List Moderator and Test Moderator, adding the word ALERT at the beginning of the subject line, and add comments describing your concern to the top of the report.
      2. Negative comments such as those that describe a problem with the gear that are supported by the testerís observations are not to be censored. 
      3. Vulgarities are not permitted.
      4. An example of a disparaging comment would be any slanderous or libelous comment.  
        1. Example: "If they try to sell this for more then 10 dollars, they're just a bunch of thieves."
        2. Example: "This item is total junk.  Of course, everything this manufacturer makes is junk."
    5. As best you can, proofread the report with an editorial eye and bring any spelling or grammatical errors to the attention of the tester. When replying to their email, add the word EDIT to the beginning of the subject line. Please refer to Chapter 8 for further guidance.
      1. You should also check the Test Folder on the website and make sure that the tester's report is free from display problems, and that all links are working.
      2. You should ensure that the report meets the minimum report requirements, and that the report complies with policies.  Please refer to Chapter 8 for further guidance.
    6. Edits should be done within five days of the report being posted to the list.
      1. If you cannot meet this deadline, please let the List Moderator know so that support can be arranged. 
    7. Each tester must upload their report, once edited, to the Reviews area of
      1. You can use this area to determine which testers have submitted which reports.
      2. Please check that any URLs (web addresses) included in the HTML copy are clickable, i.e., take you to the correct website. 
        1. Any problems with the URLs should be brought to the attention of the tester.
      3. Approval to upload is not required. 
        1. Testers can upload their reports at their discretion, once they have included your edits.
        2. Testers should be encouraged to upload their edited report within five days of being edited.
      4. A report is not completed until it is uploaded and all links are working.
      5. The format of the HTML copy is the responsibility of the tester. Where you feel that there are problems with the format, you are welcome to bring these to the attention of the tester.
        1. Should the Moderators determine that a formatting issue is serious enough to address, they will take it up with the tester at that time.
  4. Lines of Communication & Chain of Command
    1. The day to day supervision of a test is undertaken by the Test Monitor under the supervision of the List Moderator.
    2. The main communication takes place on the BackpackGearTesters Yahoo! Group. 
    3. The List Moderator reports each week via the Test Status Report, which is posted to the list. 
    4. Any issues raised in that report, will be brought to the Moderator Group's attention by the List Moderator. Normally such issues are related to late reports, and overseeing any technical problems in a test.
      1. The List Moderator is responsible for reporting only. 
      2. The Test Moderator for that particular test is responsible for timely action on all reported issues.
    5. Where an issue arises needing the manufacturer's involvement, the Tester should either contact the Test Monitor or contact the Test Moderator and cc the Test Monitor. Dealing with manufacturers should in the first instant be handled by the responsible Test Moderator, with the Test Monitor being kept abreast of developments.
Chapter 9: Uploading files to the site


Chapter 11: Including Pictures in your 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