May 17, 2012 at 3:47 am #1290001
Kathy A HandysideParticipant
@earlymusicusLocale: Southeastern Michigan
Is it my imagination, or is Backpacker becoming rather light on content and heavy on ads? There aren't very many hiking articles – it seems more and more to be lists of trails, a little gear, some short coverage of some tips, but I don't seem to see the depth that I used to see in the magazine.
I stopped reading Outside several years back when it seemed to turn more into a men's only outdoor magazine, and all the writers I enjoyed – David Quammen, Tim Cahill, and Jon Krakauer among them – disappeared.
That's why I'm so glad I found Backpacking Light!May 17, 2012 at 5:18 am #1878528
Sad isn't it? Was a good read in the 80's, early 90's. Dorn and crew have not done a good job. I get a subscription free with my PCTA membership. It's hardly worth that sometimes. I have gone through a copy in 5 minutes and found nothing of value or interest.
A paragraph is also not a review.
They have a lot of work to do there.May 17, 2012 at 7:49 am #1878573
Daryl and DarylParticipant
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
"light on content"?
Perhaps it is their way of addressing the "light" backpacking trend? If one tore out all the ads the magazine might be light enough to carry while backpacking.May 17, 2012 at 8:42 am #1878595
Most of the reviews are little better than ads!
I don't think the Backpacker staff ever met a piece of equipment they didn't like!May 17, 2012 at 8:58 am #1878599
@qiwizLocale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
I get less PO. I still find some of the trail descriptions helpful and use them to make a list of trails I might want to try some day. Last year I did a Wind River Crest trek with some friends that was pretty much right out of Backpacker and it was great. I agree that the gear info is not that helpful to me.May 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #1878627
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
Basically if you look at all the magazines they have become super thin and less content because of the bad economy. When the economy is bad less advertising is being placed by companies because they have no room in their lean budget to run advertising.
This is not a Backpacker magazine problem only look how thin TIME,NEWSWEEK, other magazines have become. Magazine thickness are very good bad or good economic times are coming down the pike indicators.
I had a couple editor friends one worked at Transworld Skateboard magazine the other Power Edge skateboard magazine.
The way it works with magazine publishers is the more color advertising they sell that means they can put in more color photos on the opposite page,the black and white advertising allow black and white written parts of articles to go along with the photos. This may not hold true in larger magazines because all they do is color, but it holds true in smaller niche magazine. Less advertising they have to print less content in the magazine also.
Now if the magazine does not sell enough advertising they have to drop some or a lot of the content, lay off people. Then magazine goes in to survival mode trying to survive the bad economic times till money starts pumping in from advertising again and they can grow their product again.
TerryMay 22, 2012 at 6:28 am #1880072
I saw a big change when Jon Dorn took over and not for the better, who's son is he anyway? I liked it alot better when John Veiman was head editer. Nice to see a cast iron dutch oven get a editers choice award this yearMay 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm #1880559
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I was getting some service work done on my Civic and in the lounge I flipped through 'Outside' magazine. I felt it had quite a few ads.
DuaneJun 2, 2012 at 10:17 am #1883289
@djaaronreedLocale: Central Rockies
Backpacker magazine seems to be less of a backpacking magazine and more of how to "survive" the endless, savage and cruel outdoors!
With the main articles usually being a survival story, or a harrowing flee from robbers, or a test of manhood, etc. I'm losing a little faith in it's direction. I will say that as long as they post maps and trip reports, I will keep my subscription! This is what I most look forward to anymore, just ideas on where I would someday like to go to…Aug 28, 2013 at 10:29 am #2019478
@tyemax2Locale: SF Bay Area
I went up into the attic and found some old issues from the 90s. Yes, the have fallen off the wagon here. Barely any articles anymore.
Outside is slightly better, but they have a serious MACHO thing going on. Their latest issue was full of Muddy Buddy race tips :-(
Think I'm going to let my subscriptions lapse on both of them..Aug 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm #2019545
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
They email Outside to me weekly (?)
I don't remember even signing up for it
They have interesting articles sometimes, like "the 9 best foods for athletes" which could have just been called "the 9 best foods"Sep 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm #2020812
I started reading Backpacker Magazine in 1979, when I was 9 years old and had just joined the Boy Scouts. I used to read my older brother's copies. Yes, it has gotten MUCH worse over the years. It started in the mid 90's to go down hill and really escalated with Dorn's promotion to editor. Although, they did do an entire "What to wear when you are between expeditions" issue in the 80's, complete with swimsuits and hair dryers.
Here is a look at what Backpacker used to be like when they were actually a good magazine:
MattSep 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm #2021140
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Mainstream backpacking gear? Not interested.
Trip reports lacking detail? I would rather look to the internet.
Generic survival tips – already know all of that.Sep 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm #2023011
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
The reason they started an annual survival issue was one of their interns lost her life on a trip (don't recall, but don't think the trip was official).
The new survival issue is out and love the cover photo. Still every year is overkill and I wish for more destinations … plus a return to advocating more wilderness and wildlife.Sep 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm #2023019
Another issue chucked into the recycling. Can't pass it on. That would be like a recommendation. Don't want that.Sep 13, 2013 at 8:25 am #2024509
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
When they recommend and have staff rappelling on duct tape twisted into a cord?Sep 17, 2013 at 5:19 am #2025371
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
I decided not to renew after I saw how they introduced the new chief editor: updating his Facebook status on top of some east coast mountain.Sep 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm #2025670
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Snort…here it comes: "OMG! I go into the wilds to leave all technology behind!!!!"
PS: Most don't. Some of us even like to multitask on our smartphones while enjoying the views.Sep 18, 2013 at 5:54 am #2025726
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
It does sound pretty easy to catch a cell phone signal in Seattle, but I tend to go where a facebook app would prove useless. Snort.
Ps. There are many other content related reasons why I won't be renewing my BPer membership.
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