Magazines for Hikers

OK, I'll admit my bias right away about magazines for hikers.

I'm not a big fan of the "man conquers mountain (or bear or glacier or insert-extreme-situation-here)" type of magazine articles. So there will be some conspicuous absences on my recommendation list.

It's not that I have anything against those types of folks.

It's just that the time I have to devote to hiking and hiking related reading is so limited, I can't spare any for those types of magazines. I don't find a lot of knowledge that I could transfer into my own life in the articles fueled by adrenaline and risk taking.

So for what it's worth, here's my highly opinionated, narrowly focused list of magazines for hikers.

Give each of them a look, and let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks.

Also, let me know if there's something I need to add to my reading list of magazines for hikers, and I'll pass it along here.


Diane's Hiking Magazines List

Women's Adventure Magazine

Why I recommend it:

I'm sure you're shocked at my top pick! After all, why would hiking-for-her readers be interested in a magazine with this title?

All kidding aside, it's pretty slim pickings for women adventurers inclined toward hiking boots. Here's an exception to the usual magazines for hikers.

This magazine used to be hard copy, which I loved because I clipped the photos and ads as motivators: places to go, things to try. Alas, now it's only on line, and I can't print out those glossy gorgeous photos anymore. However, the content is still pretty good.

HIKING UPDATE: As of 2012, they are offering hard copy again! Hurrah!

What I like:

The writers (did I mention that they're predominantly FEMALE?) are upbeat and honest about the amount of time and commitment required to be an outdoors woman. They tackle interesting topics. For instance, Fall 2010 has a feature article on one of Nepal's first female owned hiking guide services. Nepal is on my hiking wish list, so it was great to get this info.

Another Fall 2010 example: an article on hiking with a toddler. Since I'm in the grandmother age range, rather than a new mommy, I thought about this topic from that point of view and found the info useful.

Cautions:

Hiking isn't the top priority for these women: biking, skiing and running predominate. But to be fair, they do have a "Hiking/Backpacking" area which you should be sure to check out because of the useful gear reviews and hiking nutrition tips.

The target audience is pretty young, which leaves an old timer such as myself feeling a bit cranky sometimes. I'd like to see more emphasis on aging gracefully as a hiker. But hey! Sometimes it's amusing to hear the young athletic warrior types giving out about this and that ;)



Backpacker

You might enjoy the "Find hikes near you" feature using your zip code on their web page.

Why I recommend it:

An obvious choice in the list of magazines for hikers, right? I stopped subscribing to this magazine years ago, mostly because it didn't seem relevant to an aging hiker. I gave it another look recently, and signed up for a subscription for 2 reasons: because I want to support print media which addresses the concerns of hikers, and because I can see myself getting value out of some of the content.

For instance, the Nature section is quite extensive.

I like the fact that they pay attention to changing environmental and climate issues.

They write about plants, animals, and wildlife destinations in addition to hiking trails and the latest gear.

Also, they seem to understand that hikers come in two genders and various age ranges.

So it richly deserves a place on a "Magazines for Hikers" list.

Cautions:

Their gear reviews are useful, but should be taken with a grain of salt when the latest cutting edge (and pricey) stuff is featured. If the writing gets a bit too enthusiastic, beware! Remember that advertisers, not just outdoor enthusiasts, keep this magazine afloat.

Because they try to appeal to a general audience, some of what they say won't apply to you. Grab the good stuff and let the rest roll right off your cortex.

To see if this hiking magazine is a good fit for you, go to the nearest public library and leaf through a current copy. I'm sure there will be one of those little postcards stuck in the magazine, offering THE deal of the century for a subscription!



Here's one I've never tried, but it looks intriguing: Bushcraft and Survival Skills. Maybe I'll add it on my "wish list" when my husband is looking for gift ideas. Let me know if you have an opinion about its usefulness for hikers, especially female hikers.


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Magazines for hikers are an easy way to stay current on hiking gear and techniques. Here are some more ideas!