Backpacker Wins General Excellence National Magazine Award

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There are good days, and then there are good days: Last night in New York, Backpacker Magazine won the American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence. This is like winning Best Picture in the mag world, so first thing’s first: We’d like to thank the Academy, er, Society!

In our circulation bracket, Backpacker faced tough competition from more-than-worthy rivals Cookie, New York, Wondertime, and W, but we pulled through with a combination of luck, pluck, and — oh, right — a pretty damn fine magazine. But enough blather from me; let’s hear what the judges have to say:

Backpacker specifically took home the Ellie for last year’s April, May, and September issues.

Speaking of online, Backpacker’s uber-talented map team, led by map honcho Kris Wagner, deserve special props for their work on’s GPS Rides Tool, which won Best Interactive Feature. From the judges:

You can find similar trailside GPS features here on, but keep your eyes peeled: You never know when those evil geniuses on the map team might drop brand new apps and tools on our site to satisfy your trail lust.

At the end of the day, we’ve only got two things to say: 1) Congratulations, magazine and map teams; you’ve truly raised the bar, and 2) Watch out, Ellies — we’re coming for ya.

— Ted Alvarez