If you’re a gear hound, you’re probably already one of Rocky Thompson’s devoted readers. If not, the back story: Rocky’s the guy Backcountry.com brought in to be the company’s tell-it-like-it-is gear blogger. I have no idea what they’re paying him, but I do know he’s starting to build an audience, because he linked to me twice in the past week and my traffic got nice bounces both days.

The example of Rocky obliges a little trip down memory lane. (You may want to skip this if you have no interest in the early days of blogging … in which case you’d pass the sanity test.) Anyway: Back when blogging was starting to become mainstream, when the InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds became the leading online apologist for right-wingery, a phenomenon emerged called the “InstaLanche,” which described the flood of traffic lucky bloggers would get if Reynolds linked to their blogs. A 50-visits-a-day blog could enjoy a 5,000-visit spike, which caused many a delusion grandeur that lasted for the 48 hours it took for the blogger’s traffic to return to its usual obscurity.

If it turned out the lucky blogger had anything Glenn’s readers wanted to read more than once, however, an InstaLanch could essentially launch a blogger into A-List status. This would, of course, require you to be a clever and engaging right-wing blowhard, but hey, the price of fame is never cheap.

One of the challenges for outdoors bloggers is we don’t have a Glenn Reynolds who can send us an eyeball avalanche (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?). But we do have Rocky, who’s always trolling for interesting tidbits having to do with gear and might be interested in the gear-related posts of outdoor-blogging types. I would caution you to be careful what you wish for — if you’re hoping to drum up some sales for your “gear store” affiliate schemes, he might opt to expose you as a buck-chasing lowlife. (I have no fear of this because no matter how fast I try to chase the bucks, they always seem able to run faster).

So here’s to Rocky, the closest we have to King of the Outdoor Bloggers. May he make us all famous for 15 seconds.