It is with mixed emotions that we announce today the discontinuation of what has been one of our flagship products since 2004: the print magazine. Details behind this decision can be found in the press release.
While it’s a sad day, it’s one worthy of positive reflection as well.
Issue 1’s humble roots featured the article “Backpacking Alaska” by Peter Vacco, the first person to have walked the length of the Continental Divide from Mexico to the Chukchi Sea. Kevin Sawchuk wrote of his fastpacking trek across 200 miles of the JMT in four days in Issue 2. Justin Lichter’s beautiful photography from the Great Divide Trail graced the pages of Issue 3, and Brian Frankle’s contemplative cover of Issue 4 inspired us to discover our own Haydukes in the desert. Issue 5 featured a blazing Bushbuddy on the cover and began to focus on critical issues facing wilderness advocates: road building and commercialization of our National Parks. Issue 6 highlighted both the serious side of wilderness (the roadless Absarokas) and the very serious side of wilderness (lightweight techniques for brewing coffee), while Issue 7 featured Jason Geck swimming the Ipnavik River en route to his 500+ mile traverse of the Alaskan Arctic without resupply. We celebrated the grandest of wilderness residents, the grizzly bear, in Issue 8, packrafting in Issue 9, and BPL’s Wilderness Trekking School in Issue 10. Issue 11 (to be mailed in mid-November) will feature the best photography we’ve ever published, and its final page is a fitting end to our print run: a photo of my 10-year old son, Chase, sitting down exhausted on the side of the trail after hiking late into the evening (photo above).
I sort of feel like Chase did in that photo when it comes to the print magazine: feeling rewarded for hiking a hard journey, but rather exhausted.
But like Chase did a few minutes after that photo was taken, I’ll get up, grab a handful of GORP, start walking again, and BPL will continue its journey – this time, however, with a bit more focus. I’m really excited to move forward and redirect energy on things we’ve neglected in the past because of the print magazine: the website, our online content, and continued gear and apparel design and development. I’m also eager to lessen our energy footprint and minimizing printed waste is a large part of that.
I’m grateful for all of your support during our print magazine publishing run. It’s a project I’m proud to have delivered to customers, and I know that I’ll treasure my own copies while they occupy a pretty special spot on my bookshelf.