Boulder, CO—Date, 2008—Backpacker magazine, the authority on outdoor adventure, today announced the launch of its newly redesigned website www.backpacker.com. Rebuilt from the bottom up, Backpacker.com now includes more than 1,200 editor-approved GPS-supported hikes, daily blog posts from experts devoted to survival, fitness, news, and trends, on-the-scene videos featuring Backpacker editors, and a database of approximately 1,900 products that can be searched and compared in the site’s interactive GearFinder tool. Backpacker.com’s extensive online community can now also post and share gear reviews, photos, GPS coordinates, and reports of their favorite trips.
“The new website brings the heart and soul of Backpacker to our online community,” said editor-in-chief Jonathan Dorn. “Since last September, we have been architecting what our readers said they wanted: more multimedia content, GPS-enabled hikes, current gear reviews, and loads of interactive trip tools. This site is not only a reflection of Backpacker magazine, but also our readers.”
The new website delivers on Backpacker’s tagline mission, “The Outdoors at Your Doorstep” with close-to-home hikes, skills features that make the trail safer and more accessible, and stories, told both editorially and through audio/visual applications, that inspire users to experience the world outdoors.
“We’ve packed Backpacker.com with every tool and feature we could think of to make it the ultimate one-stop-shop for preparing for and learning about the outdoors,” said Backpacker.com editor Anthony Cerretani. “And this is just the beginning. We’ll be adding new content every day."
New features include:
Interactive Flash Map
Featured prominently on the homepage and the destinations page is a new interactive Flash map directing users to more than 1,200 edited and approved GPS-supported hikes, from the Appalachian Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail. Another 10,000 trips are accessible to site users. The hikes, which are submitted by volunteer Backpacker readers and staff contributors, can be searched by city, state, park, and long trail. Each week, 10 new trips are featured, and each month, 50 new trips are added. Also included are Trip Tools—interactive features pointing users to menu planners, gear lists, information on permit centers, and expert advice.
Readers said they wanted an improved GearFinder, and that is exactly what they got. The new GearFinder includes approximately 1,900 pieces of gear searchable by product type, size, cost, and weight. (backpacker.com/gear/) (Gearfinder.com)
Expanded Community Section
Backpacker.com currently boasts more than 20,000 active community participants. The new community pages allow participants to share photos and GPS coordinates in their own personalized trip reports and link to their favorite and past trips. They can also create personal profiles, save articles to read later, post gear reviews, and rate and comment on every article and trip on the Backpacker site. This is the core of the new site, embracing the strength of Backpacker’s online community. (backpacker.com/community/)
Fresh Daily Editorial Content
Backpacker.com has answered reader requests for more editorial content with informative new blogs (backpacker.com/blogs) and on-the-scene videos (backpacker.com/videos).
The Pulse blog, written by long-time Rocky Mountain Editor Steve Howe, is devoted to the art and science of survival. Grant Davis’s Peak Fitness blog showcases the challenges of staying fit while balancing everyday life, and The Daily Dirt, written by the editors of Backpacker and Backpacker.com, showcases news, trends, and events in the outdoor world.
The site’s new video page (backpacker.com/video) features an archive of instructional skills and gear-based videos as well as on-the-scene travel and destinations profiles filmed by the editors, including a climb of Colorado’s Longs Peak by the staff.
Content will be uploaded daily, and can be shared and syndicated through an array of Web 2.0 applications, including RSS feeds, del.icio.us, and Facebook.
“Our primary focus was to create the ultimate outdoor adventure renaissance experience on the web,” said Cerretani. “We wanted users not only to get the most up-to-date information from a top-notch site, but also to be able to participate in the site’s evolution, utilizing Web 2.0 applications to post trips, gear reviews, comments, and more.”
New features mean users can quickly submit gear reviews, trip reports and photos, and comment on each and every article, trip, and blog post on the site. Tech-savvy participants can also upload GPS tracks, geotagged photos, and Google Earth screenshots. The platform is customizable, encouraging individual preference and personality.
“Backpacker’s online brand is now as compelling as the magazine,” said Andrew Clurman, Active Interest Media’s chief operating officer and group publisher. “Backpacker.com is fast becoming the web’s premier outdoor adventure website, with advertisers and readers alike responding with passionate support.”
“The technology, functionality, and design of the site are not only exceptional tools for the user, but also for advertisers looking to reach the active and influential outdoor community,” said Kent Ebersole, Backpacker’s publisher. “Our 100% share-of-voice strategy offers distinct awareness and focus among users.”
Since the redesign was launched, pageviews increased 22% in the first month while unique visitors increased 27%. Average time spent on the site is approximately eight minutes.
Backpacker brings the outdoors to readers’ doorsteps, inspiring and empowering them to get out and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine, and the only magazine whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature, and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured.
Backpacker is published by Active Interest Media (www.aimmedia.com), has a circulation of 340,000, and is published nine times per year. In 2006, the magazine won a coveted National Magazine Award for editorial excellence, and it has just been nominated again for ASME’s highest honor, the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Backpacker's award-winning website, www.backpacker.com, is updated daily and features more than 1,200 hikes, a searchable and comprehensive database of outdoor gear (www.gearfinder.com), special sections for beginners, the most active community forums in the outdoor space, and a wealth of trail tips, videos, and GPS know-how.
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