Are you tired of Backpacker Magizine?

6:22 p.m. on October 23, 2013 (EDT)
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If your tired of Reading most of the same articles on Backpacker Magazine there's an online magizine WWW.Trailgroove.com I was looking for a perspective from hikers and this was reccomended by two triple crowners..Tell me what you think...

7:52 p.m. on October 23, 2013 (EDT)
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I've been a subscriber for this past year because it was an inexpensive subscription. Not very much in there for Midwesterners, and it's becoming something of a GQ for outdoor gear. Rife with ads.

9:32 p.m. on October 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Yeah--I don't subscribe.  I do buy it in airports when I travel sometimes...but I don't buy the issues that focus on equipment, and there seem to be more of them,

 

And for God's sake, get off teh bear subject.  Every issue there is some ridiculous article about bears and citronella, bears and bad breath, bears and menstruation, bears and insect repellent.  Give it a rest.

11:24 p.m. on October 23, 2013 (EDT)
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I was looking for good content and free when Trailgroove was recommended to me.I was tired of the mass product placement and advertiseing..I like what trailgroove has to offer.First hand trips  not waypoints and a sketchy accounting of a trail..I think they do a pretty good job and hit a nitche..

1:33 a.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I look forward to getting my backpacker mag every other month. Its cheap. I get my entertainment value out of it. I like a lot of the photography and some of the articles. Adds don't really bother me.

8:18 a.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I find it interesting that people complain about the advertisements in a magazine, yet there are banner ads on every page of Trailspace.com and every time anyone reviews a product there are advertising links to suppliers attached to the review. There is even a current thread on Trailspace.com regarding buying from advertisers through the links. Nobody complained about that, and some offered thanks.

Curious. Very curious the human mind.

Me, I enjoy Backpacker magazine. Its one of several sources to which I refer for information, and generally speaking, I trust their gear reviews more than I trust those on this, or any, website, largely because when they do a review of a new whatever, it is done as a comparison against many other known products and their gear picks are the best of the best. But when we do gear reviews we do it in a near vacuum with comparisons to very few products. (yes, there are some rare exceptions) But how many of us try out a half dozen different sleeping bags in a season and compare them? Or try out a dozen different headlamps in a single season and then pick one that is the best overall? Best some of us can do, is compare a new boot to the now discontinued model we bought last year because we don't have the financial resources to try out 12 boots a year.

Backpacker Magazine perfect? No. Not by a long shot.

Backpacker Magazine about the best entertainment you can find at the airport kiosk for a flight to somewhere. Yep.

8:27 a.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I was saving articles on suggested hikes that caught my attention--making lists of places to go. Then after reading a completely botched description of a trail I know, I realized nothing they've published can be trusted.

I also scratch my head at some of their survival techniques. A recent article showed how to boil water in your Nalgene bottle if you didn't have a filter--so I have a Nalgene bottle, I have something to start a fire, I have cord to build a tripod and hang the bottle over the fire....but I don't have water purification tablets in an emergency kit?

The latest issue sat on my counter for a week before I opened it. I perused it and pitched it. Magazines are losing more and more subscribers to the internet everyday. It would be in their best interest to write compelling, accurate, and relevant articles every issue.

9:07 a.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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i prefer outside magazine to backpacker, in the pantheon of airport newsstand reading materials.  i'll buy backpacker's annual gear issue to look at what they think is new and exciting sometimes.  but i don't subscribe to either publication.

only magazine i subscribe to is New Yorker, though i'm contemplating re-igniting my subscription to the Economist.  

10:23 a.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I don't read backpacker much - but I like them a whole lot. It's a contradictory perspective, but I appreciate the fact that they are out there. While I can laugh about them being called "AdPacker," I'm sympathetic, because I know how hard it is to make a living writing about going outside.

Thanks for sharing some info about TrailGrove Denis - that seems like very interesting publication.  I'm going to read it!

12:23 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I used to read "Outside" and "Backpacker" all the time, but that was decades ago.  I get free copies of BP from Sierra Trading Post. The articles seem redundant, focus a lot on far away destinations and sell fancy equipment. It seems geared toward young people with high disposable incomes and a shortage of time.

3:48 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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melensdad said:

I find it interesting that people complain about the advertisements in a magazine, yet there are banner ads on every page of Trailspace.com and every time anyone reviews a product there are advertising links to suppliers attached to the review. There is even a current thread on Trailspace.com regarding buying from advertisers through the links. Nobody complained about that, and some offered thanks.

Curious. Very curious the human mind.

Me, I enjoy Backpacker magazine. Its one of several sources to which I refer for information, and generally speaking, I trust their gear reviews more than I trust those on this, or any, website, largely because when they do a review of a new whatever, it is done as a comparison against many other known products and their gear picks are the best of the best. But when we do gear reviews we do it in a near vacuum with comparisons to very few products. (yes, there are some rare exceptions) But how many of us try out a half dozen different sleeping bags in a season and compare them? Or try out a dozen different headlamps in a single season and then pick one that is the best overall? Best some of us can do, is compare a new boot to the now discontinued model we bought last year because we don't have the financial resources to try out 12 boots a year.

Backpacker Magazine perfect? No. Not by a long shot.

Backpacker Magazine about the best entertainment you can find at the airport kiosk for a flight to somewhere. Yep.

 I see the ads on the website,I also know that they pay for the webiste ac well as the links..Iam a member of two other websites that I help fund.Which I spend more time at and have very little if any ads..I still trust alot of the reviews if there done by long distance hikers and I get that from there reviews when they post them..Anyone who replaces gear atleast 4 times on a long trail resounds with me cause their using it in ever conditon their is from cold to hot..I take them at their word..Backpacker is getting paid by the manufacterer for a good review so who's to say it really works and they use it for a short duration..These same companies also pay for the advertising in that same issue...Hence I look to get rid of the advertising..

3:51 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

I used to read "Outside" and "Backpacker" all the time, but that was decades ago.  I get free copies of BP from Sierra Trading Post. The articles seem redundant, focus a lot on far away destinations and sell fancy equipment. It seems geared toward young people with high disposable incomes and a shortage of time.

 I have to agree with you PPine its made for the younger crowded more towards my demigraphic..The articles are repetious and boring..

4:02 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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If you don't like Backpacker mag or any other mag then simply don't buy it. Why whine and complain about it......  I don't get it.  

4:13 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I subscribed for one year - it was my first and last. 

There's nothing inside an issue you can't find online from them or another source, and really, it's too much of a national magazine to allow itself any kind of regional focus. 

Sites like this one make their reviews obsolete - ours can be updated and cover a longer time frame. They've the benefit of having folks who make a job out of testing gear, so at best, they beat the general public to the punch when it comes to initial reports.

After the aforementioned, there's not much left in the magazine that's of interest. 

4:50 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I have never subscribed to BP.  I do read it for free at our public library as it's one of the many magazines they offer.

Every now and then, when scanning it, I come across a hiking location they might highlight/feature that catches my eye.  It's how I found out about the Sage Creek Wilderness up in South Dakota and spent two days trekking there (no established trail system, BTW).

Sure, BP is mostly ads for what they consider the latest must-have gear, but.... just like the blind squirrel who finds an acorn, every now and then BP has a nugget of good information that some may find useful.

5:50 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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Andrew said,

only magazine i subscribe to is New Yorker, though i'm contemplating re-igniting my subscription to the Economist. 

Funny you should mention that, Andrew. I too subscribe to the New Yorker; on line addition of course; funnier still when you consider where I live. I suspect that many people in my small community have never heard of the magazine, and a few have probably never heard of the place, either.

As for BP magazine, I used to read it quite a bit some 30 years ago, but eventually I realized it wasn’t really for me or about anything that I was doing. I enjoy backpacking and hiking immensely, but I am in a different league, not a better one mind you, just different. Our methods of backpacking are determined by the environment in which we frequent and with my back door opening up onto a quarter billion acres of wilderness, which is next to another half billion acres of wilderness, I really don’t find Backpacker magazine all that helpful.

Others may disagree and that’s okay.

10:34 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

I used to read "Outside" and "Backpacker" all the time, but that was decades ago.  I get free copies of BP from Sierra Trading Post. The articles seem redundant, focus a lot on far away destinations and sell fancy equipment. It seems geared toward young people with high disposable incomes and a shortage of time.

 Yep, while I do read the magazine this is how I feel too.

8:53 a.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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melensdad said:

I find it interesting that people complain about the advertisements in a magazine, yet there are banner ads on every page of Trailspace.com and every time anyone reviews a product there are advertising links to suppliers attached to the review. There is even a current thread on Trailspace.com regarding buying from advertisers through the links. Nobody complained about that, and some offered thanks.

Curious. Very curious the human mind.

 I trust their gear reviews more than I trust those on this, or any, website

TS is a free service with a staff of 3 people. Their only income from this venture are the ads and links. They give the average consumer free access to the thoughts and opinions of other users. Long before I was a registered member, I relied on this site to help me select gear--I got, without any requirement to give back. TS freely allows you to review gear from which they make absolutely no advertising dollars. I can find reviews on many small, cottage-industry products like Dutchware and Clark Jungle Hammocks because anyone can post here. Then they conveniently allow us to do a price comparison of the sites that I would normally visit anyway. Some of their links provide them no income, but they post them anyway.

Backpacker is owned by Active Interest Media, Inc. According to the website Careerbliss, the average pay for their online media staff is $58K/year. I couldn't find the annual income for A.I.M., but I'm sure it's at least 7-digits. Does that make them evil? No! They, too, are providing a service--one users pay for and one companies pay for. Their reviews are 100% based on other companies trying to get exposure. They're not going to talk about Dutchware clips, because Dutchware isn't spending advertising dollars with them. If you based gear selection solely on Backpacker's reviews, you would think the only hammocks on the market are ENO and Grand Trunk--these two companies dominate the market, but there are faaaaaaaar better hammocks that Backpacker never mentions--ever. And if you disagree with one of their reviews, you have no voice to express it.


So as far as the "human mind" goes, I want TS to be successful. They give me free access, and I applaud their ability to attract advertisers to help them stay in business.

My attachment to Backpacker is the same as my attachment to Walmart--it's there. I use it. I prefer other options, but I wish them well in an indifferent kind of way.

11:20 a.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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About the only time I see Backpacker or outside magazine is when I am on the road and go into a super market grocery shopping and pass the magazine racks and stop and look for my favorite mags. I have not been to their online versions in a long time.

I like Trailspace better and all the available information we give each other here! Thanks for a great, best in the internet world site to all the founding members of this group and I hope it continues on for a long time. I am proud to be a member of it!

11:51 a.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I love Backpacker Magazine. Yes, some of the information is redundant and some of it does not apply to me, but I think it is overall very useful and very entertaining. I have found many new places to hike because of it (and I actually had my wedding in Yosemite National Park because of it). I love the pictures and I love the gear talk. I may be the only dork that actually LIKES the ads.

To actually get back to the subject of this thread, thank you, Denis for the useful information. I will check out the site for sure.

As far as TS ads go, keep them coming if it helps fund the site! Is it really that hard to look past them to what you are looking for?

2:01 p.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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I had a subscription to backpacker for a spell. I enjoyed it, but I did find it heavy on ads, hype, and repetition and a bit light on "meaty" content. I have to say that it's got to be a challenge to keep up a consistent level of awesome subject matter month after month, year after year. 

2:04 p.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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On the topic of Trailspace and any perception of commercial bias, I'd like to share a couple observations. These are my thoughts as a member, not as a moderator. 

All of the mods, myself included, give our time for this community entirely on a volunteer basis. We get no compensation except the satisfaction of helping contribute to an awesome place on the web. Well, other than a couple pints glasses and TS hats, Ha!  

Also, the Review Corps members are volunteers as well, and  only get to keep the gear they test *some* of the time. Those aren't big dividends, folks. But the value to those looking up and researching the gear is high.  Neither trailspace or the gear manufacturers have ANY input into the results of the testing or conclusions of the TSRC reviews. 

What we have is a website that provides enormous amounts of content and value to anyone and everyone, all in trade for a few narrow banner ads and a price comparison link from retailers who want to participate, and if I want a broader price comparison I find web searches work marvelously.  I don't know about the rest of you, but that is one of the sweetest deals I've ever had! 

7:24 p.m. on November 7, 2013 (EST)
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Have cheap subscriptions to both Backpacker and Outside. I don't have the fashion sense to make Outside applicable to me nor the disposal income to make Backpacker's style of backpacking feasible.

The major upside of this format is the variety of options... Which are largely unedited. Love it!

9:37 p.m. on November 7, 2013 (EST)
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I'd rather just be outside rather than sitting around reading a magazine.

11:57 p.m. on November 7, 2013 (EST)
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gonzan said:

On the topic of Trailspace and any perception of commercial bias, I'd like to share a couple observations. These are my thoughts as a member, not as a moderator. 

All of the mods, myself included, give our time for this community entirely on a volunteer basis. We get no compensation except the satisfaction of helping contribute to an awesome place on the web. Well, other than a couple pints glasses and TS hats, Ha!  

Also, the Review Corps members are volunteers as well, and  only get to keep the gear they test *some* of the time. Those aren't big dividends, folks. But the value to those looking up and researching the gear is high.  Neither trailspace or the gear manufacturers have ANY input into the results of the testing or conclusions of the TSRC reviews. 

What we have is a website that provides enormous amounts of content and value to anyone and everyone, all in trade for a few narrow banner ads and a price comparison link from retailers who want to participate, and if I want a broader price comparison I find web searches work marvelously.  I don't know about the rest of you, but that is one of the sweetest deals I've ever had! 

 I think alot of people needed to hear this and you put it so well Thanks..

11:38 a.m. on November 26, 2013 (EST)
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I enjoy Backpacker Magazine. I was buying it month to month and I've just subscribed.

Pros:

It's cheap.

It has some interesting articles.

Great photography.

Cons:

Every cover photo is so similar, you have to read the month to see if you already have that issue! Every cover features a darkish blue sky and a large snow capped mountain in the background. Why not have a photo of a homemade back country meal, or a boot, or a tent, or a mosquito, or any of the other millions of things we all go out to the back country to see?

 

For $6, no one should expect it to be perfect.

December 22, 2014
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