The Top 10 Best Backpacking Magazines

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For those who want to improve on their outdoor hobbies and learn from experienced people of that subject, backpacking magazines are one of the best resources. Also, magazines are especially useful when it comes to displaying stunning photography. The glossy pages with bright colors and vivid contrasts are something you can’t replace with online media. Whether it be climbing, hiking, camping, or wildlife, there are magazines crafted for your specific interests. Here are 10 of the best backpacking magazines worth considering.


For anyone who wants to improve their skills in any type of outdoor climbing, you will find useful information in the U.S.-based magazine Climbing. Here, you’ll find advice on any type of outdoor climbing. There are articles about bouldering, technical climbing, sports climbing, trad climbing, or alpine climbing. This magazine includes award-winning photography and thrilling action stories on some of the most beautiful terrains. Also, you can definitely find valuable tips from experienced climbers in the articles. It explores various techniques for people of all ages.

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However, the magazine is published eight times a year.  It’s filled with industry news, gear reviews, and how-to articles fitting any kind of environment. Also, it serves as a buying guide for gloves, pants, jackets, and shoes. There’s also belay devices, crash boards, ice tools, and ice boots. Other relevant gear to aid in developing your climbing skills are included as well.


One of the most well-known publications focused on hiking and adventure is the Backpacker magazine. This is an American published magazine encompassing many outdoor activities. These outdoor activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, cycling, and fly fishing. Additionally, inside each issue, you will find trip reports, wilderness and survival tips, gear reviews, strength and conditioning advice, and destination recommendations. The magazine can be used as a guide during an expedition because detailed maps and navigation advice are provided. The first issue dates back to 1973 and was largely criticized at the time. Many claimed the backpacking community was not significant enough for a magazine.

Backpacker Magazine
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However, it wasn’t long for them to realize a noticeable boom in the backpacker community. In 2008, Backpacker magazine received its first-ever National Magazine award after having many nominations in previous years. This award is considered to be magazines’ highest editorial honor. Nine publications of the Backpacker are released each year.

National Geographic Adventure

If you want a magazine that provides scientific content with backpacking advice, take a look at National Geographic Adventure. The articles are focused on adventure travel, natural science, and environmental issues. Also, in each issue, you will find a mix of travel news, gear reviews, and safety tips. There are also weekend trip advice in the U.S. and foreign travel destinations. In addition to this magazine, you can find National Geographic Journeys which focus on an in-depth exploration of individual trips. These articles are discussed with environmental experts across the globe. These issues give more specific details on trips taken while offering several multi-day tour packages.

National Geographic Magazine - Backpacking Magazine
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Outdoor Photographer

For those looking for a backpacking magazine focused on stunning photography of nature’s most beautiful sites, consider the Outdoor Photographer. Along with backpacking advice, the magazine includes photography advice for the outdoors. This includes reviews on camera products and buying guides. Additionally, you can expect to read about the best lenses, tripods, carrying equipment, and charging stations optimal for outdoor images. Experienced photographers share stories of their trips—offering tips on alignment, techniques shooting wildlife, and photo editing. These issues often contain recent news on contests and photography awards.


For those who have an interest in climbing tall mountains, Alpinist is for you. It’s a magazine focused on alpine mountaineering. It gives advice on fast and light ascending and descending, often on snow-covered mountains. They pride themselves on detailing the methods for a clean climbing style and never leaving gear behind.

The magazines’ issues include stories from experts who reach unprecedented heights. However, it occasionally gives details on rescue missions about serious situations. Each article includes vibrant images and well-written descriptions of expeditions. A unique feature of the Alpinist is its inclusion of poetry. In 2004, it won the best overall consumer design for the Maggie Award. Also, in 2005, they won an award for being the best quarterly consumer edition.

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Field & Stream

If you are a fisherman who enjoys backpacking, you’ll find useful advice to develop your fishing skills in Field and Stream. This is one of the top magazines that specializes in camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Also, you’ll find useful advice on places to catch fish and the types of fish found relevant to the season. The articles give in-depth survival guides and fishing gear reviews for backpacking experiences. Furthermore, in the expert articles, the experts discuss the latest gear on the market to make for the most effective fishing trip. In addition, recipes on how to cook what you catch are included. Recently, the publication has taken a stance on the privatization of public lands.

Ranger Rick Magazine

For people who want to get their children more actively involved with the outdoors, this one is for them. Ranger Rick is one of the oldest and largest nature magazines for children ages seven and up. Additionally, The National Wildlife Federation who publishes Ranger Rick also includes two associated magazines for younger ages; Ranger Rick Jr. for ages 4-7 and Ranger Rick Cub for ages 0-4. The primary focus is to invoke passion in younger children for nature and outdoor activities.

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The magazines are published 10 times a year using environmentally friendly paper. Also, issues include enjoyable activities, nature-themed games, non-fiction articles of different environments, animal stories, and colorful photography. Nature-themed games are designed to get children to actively learn about the environment, often using riddles or jokes. You’ll find craft activities that use food or common household items. This allows children to explore their creativity.

All activities are created to be educational, taking the form of many common animals in the wild. Several ongoing stories also include Ranger Rick Adventures. This is where Ranger Rick sets off to solve environmental problems, engaging children on a journey to help the environment.

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors magazine takes a literary approach on lightweight backpacking trips. Also, it’s often referred to as the “thinking person’s outdoor magazine.” A British publication, it’s one of the best backpacking magazines that offers gear reviews, stories, and photography. However, most of their articles feature information and stories from European countries. You can expect to find advice on navigation, safety, and photography. Over the years, the magazine has brought in some of the brightest writers of today. These individuals include the comedian Ed Byrne. Through this magazine, he gives a different perspective on hiking. Also, survival stories are often welcomed in these articles as they offer a thrill for readers.

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National Parks

When planning a backpacking trip in the United States, you’ll want to read National Parks. It’s a magazine focused on the United States’ natural attractions and wildlife. Every issue explores various national parks within the United States—and there are 58 national parks. Also, it offers tips on tourist attractions, weather conditions, and guided trips. It prides itself on allowing the American outdoorsman to find his inspiration, peace, and open space. This magazine is produced by a non-profit organization. They are primarily focused on preservation and keeping the national parks in the best shape possible.

National Parks prides itself on American landscapes and educating readers on American history and geology. Each article brings you on a journey through a specific national park or national river. Here, they discuss everything you’ll need to know on a planned visit. Also, it focuses on up-to-date conservation issues. It discusses how everyone can help protect parks and wildlife from pollution and suburban sprawl. Additionally, within the articles, you can find historically relevant landmarks and national memorials to explore. Being one of the most developed nations in the world, America has fantastic systems of natural preserves, monuments, and seashores.

This is one of the top magazines and has few advertisements. It serves as a guide to identifying the rarest plants and wildlife. Also, it details the impact conservation methods have for specific parks. This magazine is issued four times a year. Furthermore, it ensures the provision of the most recent info on every national park.

Trek & Mountain

A backpacking magazine dedicated to getting through the hardest terrain is Trek and Mountain. It’s one of the highest acclaimed outdoor magazines. Also, it’s filled with updates from talk events, news, competitions, and recent books. Articles in this magazine focus on mountain landscapes, trek reviews, and the best routes to follow. Here, you can find useful information whether you are a scrambler, climber, alpinist, mountaineer, or trail runner.

It contains a full mix of editorial on expedition reports, outdoor gear, and mountaineering advice from all over the world. Also, outdoor gear reviews include sleeping bags, hiking shoes, ice axes, tents, clothes, cooking gear and more. Trek and Mountain cater to the more experienced backpackers. However, you will find relevant information for every skill level. Moreover, within each article, you’ll find detailed personal reports with recommendations on the latest gadgets.

Parting Words

Depending on your particular interests, there are many magazines to choose from. Each one of them will help improve your outdoor experience. Additionally, for those who have less experience, bringing magazines into your life is a great first step. It helps interested people to learn a new activity. Additionally, following experts as they bring their experiences to life provides the extra motivating piece to advance your outdoor hobby.


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