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Topic: The June 2013 Issue Of Backpacker Magazine, Thoughts?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 2:58 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I liked this issue. The "Year of the Reader" stuff met with considerable respect from me however much I personally wish for longer articles with more pics of fewer places. When I first came to the forum and back to the magazine 8 years ago I felt it was just one big advertisement for manufacturers. While I'd still appreciate far less gear reviewing and more substantial location and issue articles its clear the magazine has listened to readers and forum members over the last several years.

Reading about Tracie Williams' dream job victory on page 14 moved me. With increasing entrance and access fees and often times prohibitive fuel and other travel costs it is refreshing to see someone and an organization recognize that the greatest asset we can give our public lands is more enthusiasm for them from more people, and the sooner we do that in their lives the better. I am motivated to look into Outdoor Nation and see if they are as worthy an organization as they appear to be from the snippet on Ms. Williams.

The dream trip winner was a big surprise for me. I love archaeology as much as most of us but Comb Ridge has a road all along one side of it along the length of Comb Wash. I've camped there several times and love the more remote areas of Cedar Mesa but I'd think there could have been a better choice on that one.

At almost 50 I learned a couple of things from the skills section. It is good to see more empahsis on drowning than bears for a change.

One dissapointment for me was the description and suggested route for the Teton Crest Trail. The mileage is off a bit without explanation of the photo implied side trip near Avalanche Divide, and as always what is for me the sensational Southern section of the trail between Marion Lake and Hwy 22 is deemed unworthy of a visit. They also suggest Upper Paintbrush camping zone while I adamantly suggest nearby Holly Lake as one of the best sites in the core of the Range. The note to bring an ice axe is IMO a bad one as stated since they mention lingering snow into August but not the fact that on the whole "Complete" Crest Trail that does not include the Old Skyline Trail to the North rarely does anything require an ice axe beyond Paintbrush Divide until about the 10th of July. Although snow can linger on the passes until they fall again in the fall let alone August my guess is the writer based that on the very abnormal Springless year of 2011. I think they should of mentioned that Grizzlies are now seen in the Range and that habituated black bears have been a problem in Alaska Basin.

So, although I'd still publish a substantially different magazine if I was pulling the levers behind the curtain I'm ceretainly not displeased with the present incarnation of Backpcaker. My thanks to Denis Lewon for continuing the IMO very positive direction of the Magazine Jon Dorn set the course for over recent years.  

So, what do you hinking hunnies and hounds think?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 3:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's a magazine?  :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoyed it.  Thought it was one of the better issues in a while.  Helpful info and some spread out trips, not just a bunch of stuff 2000 miles from me.
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(BradMT @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm)
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I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

I lost interest after several full page ads for SUV's.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 5:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tipi Walter @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:56 pm)
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(BradMT @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm)
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I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

I lost interest after several full page ads for SUV's.

Walter do you think subscriptions and over the counter sales cover the cost of publication and distribution let alone staff and facilities? I wish more urbanites and suburbanites didn't neelessly purchase SUVS but the market is what it is. You don't like SUVS but think the carbon foot print of your computer is just fine? WTH?

Brad, you can find it at the Library. Or you can get subscritpions for like 4 bucks a year at some places. Like I said 8 years ago I found it to be tripe. Its still not what I'd like it to be, but at least it appreciates its readers every bit as much if not more as their advertisers IMO. I was dissapointed with how our Reader group contribution thing went a few years ago, but they have to keep up with their demographic however much I'd love the publication to revolve around me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 5:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DC - The Teton Crest in the Mag is the hurry up easy version.  Never been one for the easy route on a trip...You are right, the area south of Marion is very nice and north of solitude along the ridge on the 'Old' skyline is pretty darn nice......both especially since people are more absent......but quit telling everyone   :;):
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 8:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi, this seems like an opportune thread to introduce myself. I'm the (relatively) new editor of Backpacker and I appreciate your feedback—good or bad, all of it is helpful. Whether you read the magazine or not, it's great to hear directly from hikers like you. I'll pass the Tetons tips to the appropriate editors. And later this summer, we're going to assemble reader panels again to give regional trail advice in our January issue. I hope you'll participate—and let us know how we can improve the process from a few years ago.   

Dennis
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 8:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Reader panels?  What an innovative idea.  Good luck, Dennis.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 8:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Once they stopped printing it in Sanscrit the prose just lost its song.
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(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 11 2013, 8:42 pm)
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Once they stopped printing it in Sanscrit the prose just lost its song.

I love our people.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I liked most of the issue, though the Nirvana Now thing was dumb.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 10:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been subscriber for some years now and will continue. I just hit six decades and have been backpacking and hiking since my pre-teens and the magazine still provides new directions and ample reasons to hunker down and avoid the next thing...there is a balance that only print can provide.

I have a bias toward print and my selection of the magazine subscriptions carries a strong imprint of social and political views. Backpacker Magazine is the only recreational one of the lot. So from Mother Jones to The Nation to last gasp of TIme BP Mag is the only uplift I get.

if corporate fools and Mad Avenue want to fund my recreational reading I can find some affection for them, but not my wallet.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I find the tiny type size that the magazine adopted a few years ago when they went to pamphlet thickness to be unreadable. I'm 48, have worn glasses since I was 7. While glasses improve my vision vs not wearing them, the type size used by backpacker mag is simply too small for me to read comfortably. Sierra Trading Post kindly gave my a free subscription this year, but it goes mostly unread due to the tiny type size. My 11 year old daughter is I am convinced half-bat, she's a voracious reader and often does so in near total darkness, so I guess I should pass on my unread backpacker mags to her.

I haven't been crazy about some aspects of the art direction in recent years. The overall vibe is that many of the people involved in the magazine must not be actual backpackers.
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(ogg @ Jun. 11 2013, 10:36 pm)
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The overall vibe is that many of the people involved in the magazine must not be actual backpackers.

That is an interesting observation. I wonder how many of the staff actually are.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I haven't seen this issue, but think Backpacker mag is fairly well done and enjoy reading it.

Rumi


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I wish they had more advice on how to make bongs in the backcountry.

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(Tipi Walter @ Jun. 11 2013, 1:56 pm)
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(BradMT @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm)
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I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

I lost interest after several full page ads for SUV's.

I can understand that not everyone is going to like the mag and subscribe.  But I don't get the repeated attacks on the magazine from people that frequent the website that same magazine provides them free of charge.  

I think the magazine could be improved, but it's the best BPing magazine I know of.  I'd rather thumb through the pages of BPer than many of the other mags on the rack.  I haven't yet read the June issue though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ogg, I'm 49 and have just recently started using reading glasses myself. Your point is well taken.

Dennis, my apologies for mispelling your name. Thank you for being receptive to input, that's pretty special in these days of increasing self absorbtion and agenda driven arrogance and dismissal. That's the beauty of walking, hiking, and backpacking; the people you meet on the trail are generally pretty darn good eggs.

One thing I would suggest for the reader panels: I was with a 2009 reader panel and we felt quite constrained and had someone added to the group that did not participate in our discussions. That person ultimately got the most substantial contributions put into the magzine. We were the Rocky Mountain Section; this person's contributions were for the Grand Canyon; not only out of place in most minds of the geographically aware but out of place with respect to the setup of our regional forums here. In particular this person's choice for best view in the Rocky Mountains got published. The Big Ditch is wonderful, but it does not have the best view in the Rocky Mountains by the stretch of any aesthetic or rational imagination IMO.

I would make the reader panels contributions significantly larger than they were in that issue. I realize you have constraints but IMO you should at a minimum double the allotted space we got then. I would look at the reader panels as an opportunity to share far more depth than you might have been prone too in the past.I also think the magazine passed up on some pretty darn great photographs for our contribution.

I am far from the most accomplished backpacker here but I do know my favored areas pretty darn well. There are some great folks in this forum your staff could consult and have help go a long way to discarding that vibe Ogg and in all honesty I would imagine most of us get.

I do not backpack as much as I did just a few years ago, but I remain an avid dayhiker that on occasion still guides folks in 3 "local" wilderness areas. Please keep the dayhike stuff coming, but please just consider adding a few more pages dedicated to backpacking locations .

I'd also like to see some stuff on "trail towns" again. I think several of us could help you get some more advertising to accompany any such features. There are a lot of folks here that cringe when we give up "secrets." However I think just about each and every one of us would rather see our loved towns and area wildlands fuller of hikers and other recreationists than resource extractors.

A few years ago Backpacker published a great article a woman wrote on wolves. As someone that's on just the other side of the proverbial fence on this issue from most of my friends here I thought it was one of the best such articles I've read even if it ultimately came down on the other side of that fence from me. Our environment is of course a monumental issue. I understand you have to walk a fine line on that given you have to have advertisers, but I think you can do it more often.

Thanks again for the coutesey of stopping in.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hbfa @ Jun. 12 2013, 9:52 am)
QUOTE

(Tipi Walter @ Jun. 11 2013, 1:56 pm)
QUOTE

(BradMT @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm)
QUOTE
I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

I lost interest after several full page ads for SUV's.

I can understand that not everyone is going to like the mag and subscribe.  But I don't get the repeated attacks on the magazine from people that frequent the website that same magazine provides them free of charge.  

I think the magazine could be improved, but it's the best BPing magazine I know of.  I'd rather thumb through the pages of BPer than many of the other mags on the rack.  I haven't yet read the June issue though.

Totally agree.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 5:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dlewon @ Jun. 11 2013, 8:01 pm)
QUOTE
Hi, this seems like an opportune thread to introduce myself. I'm the (relatively) new editor of Backpacker and I appreciate your feedback—good or bad, all of it is helpful. Whether you read the magazine or not, it's great to hear directly from hikers like you. I'll pass the Tetons tips to the appropriate editors. And later this summer, we're going to assemble reader panels again to give regional trail advice in our January issue. I hope you'll participate—and let us know how we can improve the process from a few years ago.   

Dennis

Hey ... welcome & congrats on the new posting!

I've subscibed to BP since 1990 or so.

Two things ...

I don't get email reminders of when my subscription is running out. It's happened twice in the past 5 years, and I usually don't get 2 to 3 issues before I realize I've been missing my BP mag in the mail. Can't for the life of me figure out why BP doesn't have a fairly aggressive renewal program in place for people whose subscription is ending about 6 months out - especially when you have my email on file (I'm thinking you do anyway). I certainly don't get anything snail mail about renewals. I think I chose not to have promtions & stuff emailed to me on my BP file, but that's to cut out on useless spam - I would welcome subscription notices. Might be one area to address that would help your readership numbers.

Second thing is to maybe get over the Canada phobia BP seems to have. I see BP Mag on tons of newstands up here, so I'm guessing you have some readership in Canada - but you'd never know it from the magazine's content. I'm guessing there are less than 2 to 3 articles a year that have anything to do with Canadian destinations. Kind of strange seeing how I know that Jon Dore hiked Jasper's North Boundary Trail one year in his youth. I would think anyone who has done that trail would have a special place in his heart for Canada and all that it offers, because that trail is the total package that fits everything BP stands for. Just something I've often wondered about when Jon was the chief editor.


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In fairness to BPmag, I think my earlier criticism regarding art direction and non-backpackers was overly harsh. After scanning through some of the more recent issues, I think the magazine has phased in many  improvements and toned down a certain style of artwork that didn't really fit the type of magazine.
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(dlewon @ Jun. 11 2013, 6:01 pm)
QUOTE
Hi, this seems like an opportune thread to introduce myself. I'm the (relatively) new editor of Backpacker and I appreciate your feedback—good or bad, all of it is helpful. Whether you read the magazine or not, it's great to hear directly from hikers like you. I'll pass the Tetons tips to the appropriate editors. And later this summer, we're going to assemble reader panels again to give regional trail advice in our January issue. I hope you'll participate—and let us know how we can improve the process from a few years ago.   

Dennis

Before this goes any further, we nee to know where you stand on:

bacon
kilts
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Well, I wore a kilt on the entire Kesugi Ridge Trail in Alaska, which I think suggests my position on all five.

And yes, our staff does indeed go backpacking. Quite a lot. But even backpackers make mistakes—we can take the criticism so let us know.  

As far as subscription renewals and Canada: I'll bring the email question to our circulation department. And no argument, Canada does deserve plenty of attention (though we did put British Columbia on the cover last November!).

Thanks for the warm welcome and lively conversation.
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@dlewon ... So, when are you going to go to Denali and moon an airplane flying low disturbing your wilderness experience.  Jon Dorn did it so I think you should carry on the tradition.

Seriously, thanks for stopping in and interacting with us.

Rumi

PS: If you see Jon Dorn running around HQ, tell him he is still welcome to come by and enjoy our special brand of humor here.


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(dlewon @ Jun. 12 2013, 5:42 pm)
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Well, I wore a kilt on the entire Kesugi Ridge Trail in Alaska, which I think suggests my position on all five.

Photos or it didn't happen!  Plus the ladies would greatly appreciate the contribution to the kilt thread.

Rumi


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I don't subscribe (to any magazines) but I fly over 100,000 miles a year, and Backpacking is one of my "go-to" magazines in airport newsstands.  

I know it runs counter to your basic business model, but I do get tired of the constant steam of equipment promotions/articles.  I have the equipment I need, and I think backpacking is about what you DO with the equipment, not the other way around.

And enough with the bears.  Way too many "OMG what if I see a bear?" terror stories.    That's newbie talk.  People who really do a lot of backpacking know that bears aren't the single biggest issue in the back country...


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(hbfa @ Jun. 12 2013, 10:52 am)
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(Tipi Walter @ Jun. 11 2013, 1:56 pm)
QUOTE

(BradMT @ Jun. 11 2013, 4:18 pm)
QUOTE
I quit my subscription in 1978 or 79... I doubt I could be tempted back.

I lost interest after several full page ads for SUV's.

I can understand that not everyone is going to like the mag and subscribe.  But I don't get the repeated attacks on the magazine from people that frequent the website that same magazine provides them free of charge.  

I think the magazine could be improved, but it's the best BPing magazine I know of.  I'd rather thumb through the pages of BPer than many of the other mags on the rack.  I haven't yet read the June issue though.

Well, this forum and this thread webpage doesn't have full page ads (of SUV's or anything else) and as of yet doesn't have pop up ads blocking the page which you have to close to return to the page you're reading.  In fact, as I type this there are no Chevy Suburbans.  :)

As far as a free-of-charge forum "provided" to us, well, most of the time when I click on here the magazine has a pop-up advertisement to subscribe---no problem and I just click off.  It's not for a Chevy Suburban anyway. :)

Plus, being free doesn't mean the forum doesn't get expert backpackers and knowledgeable experienced hikers chiming in to add their insights---and they do this free of charge, too.  These folks actually help the magazine and add to the quality of this forum.

I had a subscription for several years back in 2004-5-6-7 or something and grew weary of the touristy aspect of the magazine, with short snippet articles and glossy pics.  When you show a hundred different backpacking destinations, none of them will be dealt with in-depth.  I'd like to see a 10 page article with pics on Dolly Sods or Mt Rogers (or wherever) with some substantial text and a full written report---bring back Colin Fletcher and a thousand mile summer or a man who walked thru time.  I'd like to see a detailed gear review of something that has been worn out after 5 years of hard use to the point of failure---as no piece of gear is perfect.  

No problemo, I can get this stuff elsewhere on the mighty Interweb.

But hey, I'm a hypocrite cuz I criticize the magazine while enjoying its forum---but I'm not the only one.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 11:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

@TW,

There's nothing wrong with a little constructive criticism like you just shared.  In fact they are encouraging that.  

It's just whenever the mag comes up in threads, it seems there is an abundance of flippant and derogatory comments coming from forum members which have no inherent value.  Just criticism for sake of criticism.

I look at that like being invited in to someone's home for dinner, and then sit and criticize the way the home is decorated as you eat the free food.  It just seems like bad form to me.
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 Post Number: 30
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 1:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll have to dig up the kilt photos, but I can prove that I've not only mooned a low-flying airplane in Denali, I was with Jon Dorn when he did it! Check the photo in the May 2002 issue of Backpacker.

I like the idea of reviewing gear that's stood the test of time. We did it in the Gear Guide a few years ago (Tough Gear Hall of Fame), but it's something we can do more frequently. As far as the bear coverage, I understand that veteran backpackers might not need it. But every year we have new readers who are beginners and they often have questions/concerns about issues that experienced hikers take in stride.

Hope everyone has some hiking plans for the weekend! I'll be taking my 10-year-old on a charity hike in Vail, CO.
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