I have avoided dealing with the BSP and custom images for Galileo. I downloaded the image via the "getting started guide" and have been operating off that while I learn linux commands, basic projects, etc.
If I want to get more complex and import a package (such as an smtp, or usb camera) would I need to make a custom image using BSP? Or is there some other methods to installing packages?
What scenario really requires making custom images through the BSP?
Regarding your last question, there are some different reasons to compile a custom kernel. For example, if you want to replace an existing driver. That’s just one of many reasons, I would suggest you to check this article for more information http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-reasons-compile-kernel-linux/.