You are here: home   Issues   When a Boom is a Bust   Backpacker magazine responds

Backpacker magazine responds

Document Actions
As longtime fans of HCN, we were deeply disappointed by the unprofessional reporting and inflammatory tone of Sean Neilson’s "Writers on the Range" column in the Aug. 2 issue. Neilson grossly mischaracterizes a recent Backpacker article on Yellowstone, accusing the magazine of three things: 1) Sending readers on illegal routes; 2) Failing to mention backcountry hazards; and 3) Recklessly encouraging readers to explore remote parts of the park.

If Neilson had bothered to call Backpacker to fact-check his charges, he would have learned a different set of facts. First, our author had cleared the routes and campsites during several conversations with park officials, including two with Anita Varley, the only source Neilson cites in his column. (We later learned that one of the areas was closed to camping but not hiking, and we immediately informed readers.) Second, our story contains specific warnings about bears and thermal areas and more than a dozen references to "difficult route finding," "miles of bushwhacking," "thick grizzly habitat," and other hazards. Third, the very essence of backpacking is exploring remote places, and no other magazine does more to help readers do that safely than Backpacker.

We stand behind the service we provide to readers and behind our author, Steve Howe, a 20-year veteran of Western outdoor reporting. We’re saddened that HCN allowed this one-sided attack to sully his reputation and ours.

Jonathan Dorn
Emmaus, Pennsylvania

The author is executive editor of Backpacker magazine.

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  2. Closure of federal sheep facility would be a victory for grizzlies |
  3. The Latest: Wild Mexican wolf pups born in Sierra Madre | The species still struggles on both sides of the b...
  4. Summer swimming in a Washington lake | A writer takes the plunge in frigid water.
  5. Colorado water users gird for first statewide plan |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Idaho’s sewer system is the Snake River | As Big Ag flourishes, this massive waterway suffer...
  3. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  4. Illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans | A native-born New Mexico Hispanic points out that ...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone