Meet the new SNEWS team!


We're excited to work with you! Add us to your media lists and be sure to say hello at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2016.

Meet Kristin Hostetter, Editor-in-Chief

Kristin Hostetter, Editor-in-Chief.

Kristin Hostetter, Editor-in-Chief.

For the last 21 years, I’ve been Gear Editor at Backpacker, where I’ve had the joy and privilege to build and oversee our comprehensive gear-testing program.

I began my career in in the outdoor industry as a salesperson at Erehwon in Chicago, where I moved after college to chase after my future husband. We had taken to bolting north to Wisconsin and Michigan every weekend, where we fell in love with hiking in the Porkies, and exploring Rock Island State Park, climbing at Devil’s Lake, and mountain biking in Chaquamegan. We were hooked on being outside, away from the city, but neither of us had ever camped before. We needed gear, the employee discount at Erehwon sounded sweet, and I loved the idea of spending my days among all those backpacks, boots, and sleeping bags.

It was during slow days in the shop that I discovered BACKPACKER and began dreaming about working there. I promptly enrolled in a graduate writing program at DePaul and began hounding the editors to hire me. Then, the weirdest thing happened: They actually did! My time at Backpacker has been immensely gratifying and, more importantly, insanely fun.

I’m thrilled that I get to remain working with these people, yet tackle a new challenge: to rebuild SNEWS into a vibrant hub of resources, opinions, news, and community for the industry that I love so much.

You can expect to see many exciting changes to SNEWS in 2016. I’m slowly transitioning from BACKPACKER, but when I see you all at the winter Outdoor Retailer show, I’ll be wearing my new SNEWS hat. I hope that we can engage in meaningful conversations about how SNEWS can better serve your needs as an industry insider. Please give me a ring (617-921-5126) or shoot me an email ( if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, and yes, even gripes.

Kristin Hostetter


Meet Kassondra Cloos, Assistant Editor

Kassondra Cloos, Assistant Editor

Kassondra Cloos, Assistant Editor

I climbed my first mountain just outside Phoenix in the most unforgiving summer sun I had ever experienced. The hike was brutal, but I got hooked anyway. I grew up in Rhode Island, a very tiny and flat state, and had never realized just how big the world really was until that moment. I’ve been nothing short of obsessed with the Wild West ever since, and I am more than excited to be the new assistant editor for SNEWS.

For the past few years, I’ve been working at daily newspapers, writing about crime, education, breaking news and pretty much everything at one point or another. One of our biggest goals here at SNEWS is to get news to you first, and fast, and I’ll be writing quite a bit for the site in addition to sending out newsletters and taking over our Facebook and Twitter. Send your story ideas, press releases, site suggestions and industry gossip my way! You can email me at and call me at (303) 253-6382, and you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @kassondracloos. Follow SNEWS on Twitter @SNEWSteam.

When I'm not working on SNEWS, you can find me road-tripping to the most beautiful corners of the southwest, putting my hiking boots through some serious punishment and practicing some much-needed yoga. I am so excited to share my passions with so many of you who make it your mission to get people outdoors with top-notch gear that lets them play outside longer, better and safer.

Make sure to say hi at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2016! I really look forward to working with all of you.

Kassondra Cloos

Assistant Editor



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