Thing I love #13: Backpacker Ads from the 1970s

This is a specific one, but I so badly want to live in a world where men pair flowing hair and glorious mustaches with jean shorts and flannel, and fresh-faced women hike with them in braids, overalls, and external frame packs. You can tell they’re all just enjoying the heck out of America’s glorious natural beauty.

Summer 1975 All I can think when I see this image is Blonde! and Shorts!

Spring 1973 I miss the days before iPads and Kindles.

June 1977

June 1977 You know this couple’s going to make it because they hike together and they match. And they buy Gore-Tex products. Obviously.

Summer 1975 No, it’s not. Five is.

October 1976 I’m quite certain this picture defines “Old School.” Jebus, I want those goggles.

December 1978 Long johns. That is all.

Possibly one of the best things that I’ve ever discovered on the internet is the fact that every issue of Backpacker is archived online in Google Books. Also, if you need more vintage-y, outdoorsy wonderfulness, please visit So Sweaty and/or Cold Splinters. They are both way cooler than me.

  1. Claire said:

    Love it!! Photo #13 totally looks like my parents – they used to be really into backpacking (before my sister and I were born) and definitely sported the same look!

    • Lexi said:

      YES. Emailed one of the pics to my best friend with the subject line simply “IT’S BOB.” She knew exactly what I meant.

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