Backpacker Launches “Trail Tours” Podcast Series

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EMMAUS, PA, August 30, 2006 – As part of its continuing efforts to expand upon the popularity of its initial podcasting efforts, Backpacker magazine this week launched “Trail Tours,” a new podcast series providing narrated guides to popular North American trails. The first tour features the magazine's Rocky Mountain editor, Steve Howe, as he thru-hikes California's 220-mile Sierra High Route.

All podcasts, which will continue through September (assuming Howe finishes his solo hike on this extremely remote and rugged route), can be heard at www.backpacker.com/podcasts, where his day-to-day progress can also be tracked via an interactive overview map.

This marks the third major podcasting initiative for Backpacker in the past eight weeks, following Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn's 52-podcast series throughout his 10 days as a competitor in the 500-mile Primal Quest adventure race through Utah in late June/early July, as well as the podcast series featuring many of the leading names and innovators in the outdoor industry produced during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City August 10-13.

Howe will file reports throughout his trek across the High Sierra, which began this past weekend. The mostly off-trail route features some of the most spectacular terrain in California, though the difficult nature of the route presents many safety and navigation challenges for Howe to conquer and recount for listeners.

"We're learning as we go with our podcast efforts, but what we've done so far has been incredibly well received by our readers,” said Dorn. “Steve has graciously agreed to be our ‘guinea pig' in documenting a hiker's experience on an actual trail—and a difficult one at that—and we plan to use everything we're learning with these early podcast experiments to ramp up our outdoors coverage this winter. The immediacy and the rough edges of adventure podcasting lend themselves perfectly to our brand of trail-tested travel service.”

About Backpacker:
Rodale's Backpacker brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine and is the only one whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's six regional editions offer accessible, close-to-home getaways with detailed, tear-out maps to dozens of nearby hikes, as well as practical tips on dayhikes, camping and the best gear information available. This combination provides outdoors enthusiasts with the tools they need to make wilderness travel and backcountry experiences an everyday reality. 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. Published by Rodale Inc., Backpacker has a circulation rate base of 325,000 and is published 9 times a year. Backpacker's companion web site, www.backpacker.com, is updated daily and features more than 30,000 hikes, a searchable and comprehensive database of outdoor gear with reviews (www.gearfinder.com), a special section for female hikers, and an all-new map and GPS center. Backpacker was honored with a 2006 National Magazine Award, the highest editorial honor in the industry, by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME).

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