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SectionHiker.com Exceeds 100,000 Unique Readers Per Month

Flag on Mount Moosilauke
Independence on Mount Moosilauke

It’s been a big year at SectionHiker.com, which has now exceeded 115,000 unique readers per month as measured by Quantcast, a web traffic auditing company.

I never imagined that the SectionHiker audience would grow this big and I’m especially grateful to my long time readers who have tagged along with me on this journey.

While much of SectionHiker’s growth over the years has been word-of-mouth within the hiking community, the article I published in Backpacker Magazine in May (2014), recent coverage in USA Today and MSN.Com and other New England publications has helped expose SectionHiker.com to an even larger audience. While I don’t have any plans to change my “compulsive” hiking and writing habit, it is gratifying to know that people like reading what I write and find value in it.

For a representative list of SectionHiker.com’s media attributions, see SectionHiker’s In the Media Page

More Section Hiker Milestones

  • There are over 1725 published articles about hiking and backpacking on SectionHiker.com. I’ve personally written 90% of them and the rest have been contributed by a distinguished cast of guest authors, including many of the world’s top hiking and backpacking writers.
  • The Section Hiker blog serves 300,000 page views per month, exceeding the circulation of nearly all other web-based hiking and backpacking magazines and content sites except Backpacker Magazine, The Gear Junkie, and Trailspace.com.

Educational Focus

  • The focus of all of the articles and blog posts published on SectionHiker.com is educational in nature, teaching the skills required for safe hiking and backpacking and promoting a stewardship ethic for our wild lands.
  • While 25% of the articles published on SectionHiker are product reviews (445 at last count), I try to make them as educational in nature as possible because I know that’s the only chance I have to reach many readers

Reader Interaction and Comments

  • Readers have left over 26,000 comments on Section Hiker.
  • I’ve responded to reader comments over 5,000 times because I enjoy the “conversation” as much as I do writing the articles (and hiking of course).

Gear Raffles

  • Since SectionHiker’s establishment, I’ve raffled over 70 of the products that manufacturers have sent me to review to SectionHiker readers with a combined retail value of $10,000.
  • I’ve given another $10,000 worth of free manufacturer review products to charity and other outdoor-related non-profits.

Reader Emails

  • I answer over 200 reader emails per month about a diverse range of hiking and backpacking topics ranging from gear recommendations to the best places to hike on the Appalachian Trail, The Long Trail, and in the White Mountain National Forest.

Product Reviews

  • I turn down about 50 companies per week who want me to review their paracord survival bracelets, floating hiker wallets, rechargeable cell phone cases, outdoor bluetooth music speakers, multi-tools, bluetooth meat thermometers, or pimp their KickStarter campaigns to create more useless crap.
  • I am incredibly selective about the gear that gets reviewed and promoted on SectionHiker.com because you trust me to recommend the very best products. I take that committment very seriously which is I why most of the products I write about are ones that I’ve specifically asked manufacturers to send me samples for. It’s also why I spend so much times using a product in the field before reviewing it, and why I don’t have any qualms about giving a product a negative review if it doesn’t cut the mustard.

Product Disclosure Policy

  • SectionHiker was the first hiking and backpacking blog to advocate for full disclosure of free manufacturer samples and advertising relationships by bloggers and other product review sites to protect the interests of readers who rely on unbiased evaluations and testing.
  • While it took a few years, nearly 100% of hiking and backpacking product reviewers are in compliance with this practice. If you don’t see an advertising disclosure at the bottom of every online product review you read, contact the website author and complain. You deserve to know whether a reviewer has received a free product in exchange for writing a product review.

Reader Testimonials

Here is a selection of unsolicited reader testimonials I’ve received lately about the information published on SectionHiker.com. Don’t be a stranger. I love hearing from my readers, so drop me a line  if you have a question or comment.

I don’t have a question as of yet, because Sectionhiker has answered more questions than I even knew I had, and with that, I wanted to thank you for all the information you have put out for all of us. I really, REALLY appreciate that most everything I read here is not only amazingly informative, but it is clean. I don’t care to read things where the “f-bomb” and other questionable language is abundant or gratuitous. This is a website that my grandma could read and not be shocked or offended.AMY L

The last time I went backpacking was in 2000. Your site has been a great resource as I start to get back up to speed. Thanks for putting it together and keep up the great work. – ROB P

I am planning on doing sections of The Long Trail this summer and came across your website. Excellent stuff, great info. I appreciate you doing this. PETER M.

I visit your site frequently and am always impressed with the way you present information. Your use of photos and maps throughout each article enhances my understanding of where you are and what you’re doing. It makes me feel like I’m out there with you. Since I’m usually in my office, this is an invaluable momentary escape. – JEFF C.

I just want to say what a great site you have here and on your Facebook page as well. Thanks for taking the time to do these reviews and post them. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to do that. You do it well. I have enjoyed reading many of your articles. I have been laid up over the last few months with a knee injury and blood clot and happened across your blog during that time….so I read a lot of your articles and watched a few videos. Again….thanks for such a well done outdoor and gear related blog! – WAYNE G.

I’ve been a religious reader of your blog for about 2 years, ever since I started my journey into UL backpacking. Your AT journal has been especially helpful when I was planning my NJ and NY section hikes. – David U.

Your site is my favorite website, and I thank you for all the brilliant articles you post on here. – JIM C.

I read Section Hiker for the variety of topics related to hiking in all seasons, and the gear reviews, which are excellent. The reviews are clearly written, formatted well, and done in a professional way. When purchasing a product, I’ve noticed myself coming to Section Hiker to see if you’ve reviewed it before doing anything else. If you have, you’ve tested it in the area I’m hiking too. – DAN W.

I can’t help myself, I not only read every article that SectionHiker posts on Facebook, I have to share it too. I enjoy doing gear reviews myself, but I approach them from a normal joe shmoe point of view. When I read the gear reviews and instructional articles on this site, I feel like they are written by somebody who knows what they are doing and brings a bit of expertise to the table. In short, I feel like the information here is well researched and tested, and is therefore very reliable. -TGG

The things that I like best about your blog are the honest commentary about the gear you use, trip reports and attitude of responsible stewardship while hiking and camping. I also enjoy and have utilized several of the instructional articles you have posted. Thanks! – JOHN

You have the best hiking blog out there! I especially like the gear reviews because they are objective and thorough. -MARIA H.

First off, you have fresh content. Most hiking blogs are sparsely populated. Most of your content is relative to many kinds of hikers. Your gear reviews and tutorials are well-written and cover a variety of subjects. I really like tarp and hammock articles. The haiku raffles are fun. I like the guest posts. I often read comments to glean wisdom from those who’ve seen and done what I have not. Great site…one of my favorites. – JEFFERSON

Keep up the great work. I have enjoyed reading your site for years now. It’s my break in the morning to get to read about your trips and gear reviews. The trip reports are always very entertaining and informative. -BOB

I really enjoy reading SectionHiker because you have something new everyday. Many other hiker blogs go days or weeks with nothing. Your gear reviews have been most helpful in some of my purchases. All in all a great job and I look forward to reading and learning more. -AF

You’ve got the best hiking blog out there. I do enjoy the polls, comments, product reviews, and gear articles. Keep up the great work. -TRISTAN

If I am not hiking, this is where like to be. Section Hiker reminds me of Backpacker Mag back in the 70s . -GARY B.

I read section hiker for several reasons. To be honest, I love that you write every day. I get the email update daily, just after midnight, and it is an awesome break from studying. Some other blogs who write randomly are much more difficult to follow. -EVAN C.

I discovered SectionHiker.com about a month ago, and have been devouring your back catalog. You have a wonderful, (mostly) unpretentious voice and really cut to the chase on topic after topic, and I find your gear reviews and backpacking technique articles invaluable. -JP

As a long time fan, I look forward to reading each of your posts. I have been hiking for about two years now and your postings have given me great guidance. Your column about Lyme disease was especially important as I was diagnosed (early on) and was treated successfully. -CHIP

I’ve found your recent series on shelters very interesting. Thank you, you’ve probably saved me a lot of money. -RICK

Hey Philip! I’ve followed your blog and FB posts for a couple of years now. Great stuff! Super informative stuff and quite often inspiring. – KEVIN

I would like to thank you for the information you provide, and to all the obviously skilled outdoorsmen (and women, the lady with the boot lacing techniques was awesome)that comment on your site. I was looking for portable stoves to pack on motorcycle trips, and found so much more!!!! Living in KS doesn’t give me many hiking opportunities, but have adopted many of the techniques learned on this site to my passion. The gear reviews are great, survival techniques, map reading, it’s all here. You all walk the mountain, I ride the mountain, but in keeping this site on my favorites and reading it on a regular basis, I think I’ll have to park the scooter at the base of the next structure and go for a day walk or more, and have the confidence of knowledge gained from you and all the others posting on this site. – MICHAEL

Really enjoyed and used the information in your blogs about the AT in the 100 mile wilderness in Maine preparing for our hike, June, 2013. Took a lot of your advice on gear and clothing. -BRIAN T.

Thanks so much for your excellent site… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up here when googling for various info. – DAVE S.

Thanks for your website. You know I would pay for this. Have you ever thought of setting up an online magazine, like backpackinglight and charging? Thanks again -KEN

22 comments

  1. Congratulations Philip. I enjoy your experience-based insights and thorough analysis of gear and skills. Your presentation is much like you would be explaining it to a friend or group of students, always easy to follow along. Happy Independence Day and cheers to your success. Thanks, too.

  2. Congratulations Sir and Thanks for a great website.

  3. The quality and consistent schedule have kept me here. Of course, the content needs to be to a certain level but having a new post every 2-4 days is a huge part of it as well. I am amazed at your ability to do that. Bravo.

  4. Congrats on the well deserved recognition. I know the well written and thoughtful articles are what keep me coming back.

  5. Congratulations! Keep up the great work.

  6. What is a “unique reader”? Not familiar with web traffic terms. Congrats on all the great work!

  7. Congratulations Philip. Getting 115000 pageviews is impressive, but to get 115000 unique visitors… you must (and certainly are) doing a lot of things right. A great example to the rest of us!

  8. I guess I’m not one in a million but I’m one in a hundred fifteen thousand…

  9. Jolly Green Giant

    Congrats.

  10. That’s fantastic Philip, you work hard and I’m glad to see it is getting recognized on a national level. I found your blog this past winter and now it is the first site I log onto when I’m having breakfast each morning. I’m amazed how quickly you respond to my email questions considering the volume of mail you receive. Good luck with the next 100k readers!

  11. Philip, thank you for your hard work. Your information has been great for me and my Boy Scout Troop.

  12. Congrats! Well deserved. Now we know what happened to Philip Werner!

  13. Congratulations! Still a daily read and my favorite hiking blog! Keep up the good work!

  14. Congrats! Keep up the awesomely informative work.

  15. Way to go, Philip. Hard work is the only road to success. You’ve greatly shortened my learning curve to better backpacking. Thanks for all the useful information.

  16. Robert McMillan

    Congratulations Phillip on becoming an overnight sensation. All it takes is years of hard work. It certainly helps that you do what you love. It shows all the time in the finished project. Sorry for the late reply – I was backpacking in Rocksylvannia in preparation for a 100 mile wilderness hike in the Sierras. Keep up the great work.

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