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Backpacker Magazine –

Employment and Internships


Editorial Internship
Score a BACKPACKER magazine internship and learn to create inspirational stories about the outdoors. BACKPACKER is looking for self-starting, detail-obsessed journalism students with writing, editing, and new media skills for semester-long internships.

As an editorial intern, you'll work alongside BACKPACKER's award-winning staff to help produce our monthly print magazine and its associated ecosystem of products (website, iPad editions, ebooks, etc). Exact duties vary based on intern interest/skills and on what we've got going on, but in general, you'll:

• work side-by-side with staff
• attend planning and editorial meetings
• write bylined stories, blogs, and trip reports
• fact-check and copy edit
• help plan future issues
• learn the art of great story pitching
• tackle interesting research projects
• possibly help with gear testing
• obtain essential web content management and SEO skills
• learn InDesign Basics.

Positions are on-site in our Boulder, Colorado offices.

At least 20 hours per week, exact schedule is flexible.

This is an unpaid internship position and you MUST be able to receive academic credit for the experience.


  • Demonstrated interest in writing and journalism
  • Excellent writing skills
  • High attention to detail
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • Demonstrated interest in backpacking and the outdoors
  • Can receive academic credit for the internship

We typically hire juniors, seniors, or grad students for this position, but we will consider exceptional freshmen or sophomores. Internships are in our offices in Boulder, CO. We do not provide assistance with housing. 

How to apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to BACKPACKER Senior Editor Rachel Zurer at Please include the following information in your cover letter:

  1. Your preferred semester
  2. Your student status (Please apply only if you are able to receive academic credit and willing to relocate to Boulder, CO for the duration of the internship)
  3. Your backpacking experience

Time frame/start date
We have internships available year-round. Position start and end dates are flexible, and the application process is rolling, but in general:

Fall: August-December; apply by July 1
Spring: January-May; apply by October 15
Summer: May-August; apply by February 1 *updated!*

***For school credit only.

Gear Guide Internship in BACKPACKER's Photo Department

Each fall we look for an intern to help with the huge task of calling in all the gear for our spring gear guide photo shoots. The intern should have very good organizational skills and be very excited about outdoor gear. You do not have to know about studio photography, but an interest in helping each product look it's best is a must.

This internship would not only be beneficial to photography/art/design majors, but also for anyone majoring in communications, or hoping to be involved with PR or marketing. You will have daily contact with the major PR companies in the outdoor space.

If you are hired:
Beginning in October you will be contacting companies to request specific pieces of gear. You will communicate with the other members of the photo department what's here, what's coming, and any companies not responding. Then the photo shoots begin. You will help on set, steaming sleeping bags, stuffing packs, setting up tents, touching all the newest and best gear for the upcoming season. 

Time commitment: 20-24 hr/wk in our Bolder office. Specific days and hours are flexible

Dates: Flexible, but approximately Oct - Dec, with option to be continued into the spring semester
(We have the 2013 Gear Guide intern selected.)

Please send your resume to Genny Fullerton at

***For school credit only.

Photography Internship

Backpacker magazine has a photography internship in the summer, fall, and spring. The main duties of the intern are assisting with photo research, communicating with photographers to obtain hi-res files, helping produce and assist on gear photo shoots, and communicating with gear companies about their products. The intern will have access to our stock request list and be encouraged to submit his or her photos if they have anything that fits our needs. In addition, the intern will be creating photography slideshows for the Backpacker website and digital editions and learning our content management system. There is an opportunity to create and develop a slideshow of your own. The theme of the photo project will be developed by you and the photo department.

This is not a shooting internship and while appreciated, it is not required to have great photographic abilities. An interest in photography and good communications skills are priority.

REQUIREMENTS: Ability to spend 2-3 days per week in the office from 9 to 5pm.

Summer dates: May/June - August/September

Fall dates: September - December/January

Spring: January - May

Please send your resume to Genny Fullerton at
Currently accepting applications for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 interns

***For school credit only.

National Parks Trips (part of the Active Interest Media company, which also houses BACKPACKER) is looking for students who are self-motivated, web and social media savvy, and able to write/edit and assist with photo editing. NPT runs five national park websites and several print magazines, and is in the process of moving all sites to a WordPress platform. Key duties include: optimizing photos and content for the web; uploading the content to WordPress; writing/editing blogs and press releases; photo research; Q&A; and search engine optimization. This part-time (20 hours) internship is a for-credit only and is based in Boulder, CO. If interested, please send resume and cover letter to with the subject line: NPT Intern. In your cover letter please briefly answer this question: What is the most pressing issue affecting national parks today?

Full-Time Employment

Please visit the Active Interest Media corporate website--Backpacker magazine's parent company--for information regarding employment.

Click here.


Larry Dodier
Dec 16, 2010

I am interested in becoming a a gear tester and was wondering what was the best way to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Larry c Dodier(Barry)


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