Welcome back, everyone! I hope that you are off somewhere, enjoying the long weekend.
This week’s magazine is designed to encourage your adventures. Backpacker aims to provide useful information for active people who do stuff in the outdoors such as biking, rock- or mountain-climbing, trail running, fly fishing, cycling, and so on. This is a niche title, but it has taken advantage of the web has to connect its niche across the world. Backpacker’s website includes, besides gear recommendations, trail and trip recommendations and advice, pointers to skills training and checklists, upcoming events, and an extensive, active bulletin boards for readers to share their experiences, plan trips together, and etc.
The magazine’s founder, William Kemsley, reminisced that it took three years for he and his crew to put the first magazine together, because they weren’t sure that there was enough American interest in a title based on wilderness exploration. However, in spring of 1973, Backpacker was born.
From the beginning, the editors sought to limit advertising because of the amount of gear they reviewed regularly. Kemsley sold the title to publisher Ziff Davis in 1980, and it has changed hands twice since then.
Backpacker grew consistently because it was a great central place for outdoors-people to exchange experience and information before the internet struck. This core group of subscribers has allowed Backpacker to remain solvent despite the financial ups and downs of the 2000s. As then publisher Keith Ebersole said in 2009, “I don’t think people who aren’t enthusiastic about the outdoors have a huge desire to read this magazine.” (Ad Age 2009 (10/19), 15)
Our holdings of this title begin with the January 1985 issue. You can request it at the 6th floor PERS desk.
Come take a look!