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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

2014 Be a Gear Tester Contest

Here's your chance to test gear for us in 2014!

by: Backpacker Editors

Gear tester Will Rochfort on a mid-summer afternoon in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
Gear tester Will Rochfort on a mid-summer afternoon in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.


Share our fascination with new products, cool gear, and upcoming trends? Join the team!

If you're selected, you'll win two prizes: First, you will get to test some hot new products in 2014. Second, you will become an elite member of the Backpacker Reader Reporter (BRR) team. We’ll send you on assignment to the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City to write, blog, photograph, and maybe even star in a video or two at the world’s largest outdoor industry trade show... a veritable Mecca of all things gear and gadgets for the coming retail year. Your job will be to give our readers a behind-the-scenes look at upcoming new gear and trends. We know...a dream job for sure. We want you to apply if you:

• Are able to commit to being in Salt Lake City from August 4-9, 2014, at our expense.
• Love being in the outdoors and being active.
• Enjoy writing and telling friends, family, and complete strangers about what you have experienced, seen, done.
• Think a garage full of outdoor products and the car parked outside because there is no room in the garage is normal.
• Have an insatiable fascination with products and what makes them work and work well.
• Can meet deadlines and communicate in an articulate manner.
• Are gregarious, outgoing, fun. And over 18 years of age.
• Think being a reporter where you get to roam the aisles and walk into booths to ask complete strangers about new products so you can write about them sounds exciting.

To apply, put your compelling pitch to us into video form (no longer than 3 minutes please —a YouTube link, or similar, is fine) and send it to Kristin Hostetter by June 27, 2014. Also, please send us a writing sample: Write a 100 word, first person, blog-type entry that describes one of your favorite pieces of gear and why you think it’s so cool. Grammar, punctuation, and style count! Obvious familiarity with how we’ve covered the OR show in the past—in terms of style, tone, and content—count hugely! Plus, please give us a sense of how tapped into social media you many Facebook friends and Twitter followers? Do you currently have a blog? If so, what is the traffic like? Do you produce and edit your own videos? If so, share one with us.

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Jun 03, 2014

Star Star Star Star Star
Apr 15, 2014

Is this an unpaid position?

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 25, 2014

Funny how people cant follow the well outlined instruction.

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 25, 2014

Funny how people cant follow the well outlined instruction.

Star Star Star Star Star
Dec 15, 2013

What email do i send it to?

Star Star Star Star Star
Rick Horwat(Rick-Pittsburgh)
Dec 03, 2013

Well, I was a gear tester for a web community for awhile.

So while I could post a long drawn out boring story about who I am and my solo travels on trail I can't due to the fact that I am at work at the moment.

But I can post a link to a review I wrote on my Hille Soulo :)

I have around 990 friends on FB.

I would love to be a part of the team but at the same time good luck to all of those who enter and congrats to those selected in advance.

Happy hiking.

Rick Horwat

Star Star Star Star Star
Mark Girardeau
Oct 18, 2013

Hey Backpacker Mag!!! I want to be a gear tester because I love spending time outdoors and being on trails, I am involved in search and rescue and have mulitple packs for overnighters, search and rescue, winter search and rescue, and day trips. I recently started making hiking videos and am planning on doing a lot more videos soon, I have 3 youtube channels with my main channel having over 7 million views and almost 700 subscribers and I also have a channel just for my snowboard videos and also here is my new channel dedicated to hiking and being outdoors which I will be adding more hiking videos and doing reviews on some of my current gear
I am currently taking care of my dad who has brain cancer but whenever I need to get out, I have family members that watch him so I can get out for hikes whenever and would love to do product reviews out on the trail when the air is clean. I am also very tech savvy and am very good at figuring things out without directions. Please please pick me!!

Star Star Star Star Star
The Ninja
May 21, 2013

Awesome contest! Too bad you have to be 18 to enter though.

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 30, 2013

what email address do we send this to?

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 29, 2013

what email address do we send this to?

Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 29, 2013

Would you consider an outdoor loving couple? We have hiked and backpacked for years and are now passing this love on to our two young children. This would be our dream job!

Star Star Star Star Star
Dec 16, 2012

Will the winner(s) be picked from the main submission or are there multiple stages? Around when can the contestants expect to hear something about their placement in the contest?

Star Star Star Star Star
Dec 10, 2012

When are the 2013 winners going to be announced?

kristin, BP gear editor
Oct 17, 2012

You must be 18 to enter.

Oct 14, 2012

What is the age limit to enter.

little kid
Sep 24, 2012

hey, this sounds like a amazing opportunity but i`m afraid i`m to young to enter. what are the age limits?

Cheryl Hopkins
Jul 19, 2012

Since I have missed the deadline for this year, when can I apply next year? My partner and I are out every weekend backpacking and have gone through quite a bit of equipment..

May 25, 2012

WOW.......I am the man for the job.....I had to come off the PCT due to a hair line fracture and am at home finally healed.....if anyone backs out.....please contact this retired Nat Geo/Ca Mountain trail explorer......who has nothing better to do than backpack around the globe and write product reviews and get reviews to you in time before print deadline. I am Dad....I am in Pain....and I want your vote.....if I don't win.....I am jumping back on the trail and heading north. DIP

Sergio Herrera
May 18, 2012

I cannot believe I just saw this! I am totally bummed, but it's on my calendar to watch for 2013!!! This is such an awesome opportunity and sounds like a huge amount of fun.

BP Web Producer
Mar 16, 2012

Canadians are welcome to enter.

Yes, feel free to enter per the instructions above.


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