36 years of Backpacker magazine made available for free

For most hikers, the internet has become the main source for information about hiking gear and other hiking related topic. I am most definitely one of them. But there has been a time, when the printed page was the most valuable source of inspiration for hikers and backpackers all over the world. One of these magazines was and still is the Backpacker Magazine published out of Boulder, Colorado.

In a step to win over a younger and more Internet focused readership, this magazine has now published all issues from 36 years of being America’s top hiking and backpacking magazine on Google’s book platform Google Books – from its first issue in 1973 to the last issue in November 2009.

Being from Germany, I never had the possibility to look into a printed edition of this magazine. But this offer will definitely make me want to look into some issues. And that’s exactly what they want people to do!

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Budget Gear: Reviewing affordable hiking gear

Hiking is a luxurious sports – at least when you consider the price for its gear. For a person with a low budget, be one a student like me or a person with a low income,  this fact is painful. All these hiking goodies that are (more or less) necessary for a great time on the trial – well they are very often several paychecks away. That’s the reason why I am always looking out for deals on hiking gear. And if you are honest: Hiking gear is to sports gear, what Apple computers are to computers. What you paying for at a big  (more…)

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Trail Review: The Jesus Trail in Israel

Inaugurated in 2007, the Jesus Trail is one of Israel’s most famous hiking trails situated in the northern province of Galilee. It passes some of the central locations of the Bible’s New Testament. It starts in the home town of Josef, husband of Mother Mary, Nazareth and has its destination in the historic village of Capernaum, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. But the hike is not only interesting for historians: You get a good insight into nowaday’s culture of Israel, hiking through exclusively Arab as well as exclusively Jewish settlements. The shorth length of the trail (62 km total, 40 miles) makes it especially interesting for people who want to experience human culture and aren’t used to hiking long distances. (more…)

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Best source for free Garmin maps of Europe

On my hikes, I regularly bring my Garmin GPS 64s device with myself. Being used to free map service, I was pretty shocked at the beginning when I saw the prices Garmin demands for their map packages. A map package for Germany for example costs 129 Euros (169 Dollars in the US shop) and a map of the US costs roughly 70 Dollars. It really makes you wonder, who the target group of this product is; in the days of free mapping services, I highly doubt that a large costumer basis are still willing to pay such a high price for maps. (more…)

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