Best All-Around Outdoor Adventuring Mag - Though has Slid a Bit
I've been looking for a good outdoor magazine for some time. Most focus on hunting or fishing, while there's nothing wrong with that, I just don't do those things very much anymore. Some, like Outside, have become political rags written by people who know virtually nothing about the outdoors. Backpacker, however, focuses on hiking and camping like it should. The skills and survival issues are priceless. Sometimes they go overboard on gear reviews, but many are also valuable, better than one I read in Adventure magazine (if you are spending hundreds of dollars on jeans for hiking, something is wrong with you). However, sometimes all of the gear reviewing does get to be a bit much. Most hikers/campers aren't constantly buying new gear. Only the weekend posers are. There used to be a lot of good articles on people and places in the hiking and camping world, though as late not as many. Overall, a great resource for hikers, geocachers, campers and climbers - but after two or three years the magazine will get kind of repetitive for experienced folks.
This magazine is even more than I thought it would be. It covers so many aspects of hiking that there isn't room to list them all. I would also recommend this to any outdoor enthusiast.
This is a great way to lose those extra pounds, while having fun.Keeping your mind busy planning the trip,getting there;and your every move along the trail.
I just got my first issue. So far, so good! Lots of good advice, lots of interesting stories, and locations to go.
This magazine has lost a bit in the past couple years....
This magazine used to be a great resource for hard core bakcpackers with articles about transcendent survival stories and epic backpacking opportunities all over the world. In the past couple years they have changed their format drastically and have focused on "regional" editions and over the top gadget and gear coverage for total gear-wonks.
Don't get me started on the useless monthly section entitled "Social Climber" where people write into to ask what's socially acceptable on the trail with regard to fashion and things of that nature. You are backpacking for crying out loud...who cares?
It seems to have lost some of its humanity and original vision. I have subscribed to this mag for about 10 years and I used to be able to read it cover to cover, now I am lucky if there is one or article worth reading.
Since AIM Media bought Backpacker from Rodale Press and brought on a former Outside magazine editor, some of the down-to-earth relevance of this once dependable, informative, readable magazine has gone out the window in favor of more titillating fare. It hasn't reached the bottom of the barrel like Outside (with its emphasis on macho self-indulgence), but recent articles like the one describing how the father abuses his daughter on camping trips (Feb 08) make one wonder where it's headed.
Changed a lot over the years
I stopped my subscription because the magazine has changed a lot through the years. Not enough hikes, backpacking information. Too many adds, bizarre contests, not enough content.
Great to okay
Like everyone else, I think this mag used to be far better. It is now too glossy and sales oriented, but hey that's where the money is, right? I do like the personalized touch of regional maps (most of which are pretty useful). It is a good mag to get you to trails if you are new to hiking. I always appreciated that Backpacker isn't as over-the-top, Xtreme like many outdoor mags. I have no desire to climb Everest or jump out of a plane with a snowboard. I hope the editors will get back to basics, but, as for now, it is a good pick for people who want to get into it or for people who just like to drool over cool gear and imagine that they are into it.
too much random information
I got this magazine in order to see some great photos and read interesting stories that I couldn't get from the [...] site. I'm sadly not impressed. Each issue seems to be filled with lists: trails to try, new equipment to purchase, etc. There's lots and lots of content but it's in a format that might be better suited for the internet. In fact, it seems like they're taking the [...] website and stuffing it into a glossy printed format. I really like the website but I will not be renewing my subscription to the mag. I guess I was hoping that this magazine would be a companion piece to the site, instead of the same old stuff.
This magazine shows off some great areas and cool gear as well. There are neat recipes and most of the articles are pretty good too. I could do without the whole "man is the destroyer of the earth and any day global warming will burn all of our beautiful places to the groud" aspect but I can look over that because the rest of the magazine is good.