Welcome to Pack Animal Magazine

We here at Pack Animal are passionate about our quadruped hiking companions. They willingly haul our gear so we can hike further, stay longer, and forgo counting ounces. They enable all sorts of people to get out, from families with small children, to folks with bad backs, to hobbyists with cumbersome equipment. And because of their size and disposition, many of these alternative pack animals can be leased by hikers who have only a basic familiarity of animal husbandry.

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But a pack animal is a means to an end, albeit a companionable one, so we also print stories that matter to the hiker, the fly angler, the conservationist, the hunter, the climber, the plein air painter, the nature photographer, the mountain biker, the backcountry skier, the trail maintenance crew member—basically, anyone who values our public land. Every issue contains regular columns about navigation skills, public land advocacy, accessibility, and minimum impact camping. Learn more about our editor and columnists here.

Our magazine is a quarterly print publication for those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors with the help of pack animals. Originally called The Backcountry Llama, it was launched in 1987 by Noel McRae. Noel passed it to Dick Williams in 2007, who published the last issue of 2012 and handed it off to Alexa Metrick. Both Noel and Dick worked hard to keep the publication running through the waxing and waning of our industry, and Alexa is proud to be the next to continue the tradition.

As you can see by the archived covers, the scope of the magazine has expanded over the last eight years. Our name, Pack Animal, reflects that broadened focus.

If you would like to subscribe, please see our subscription page (subscribe online or by mail).