Jobs @ 99Boulders

Last updated: Aug 3, 2018

We will periodically update this page as new openings come up. Check back from time to time to see new postings. Or, if you’d like to work for the site doing something other than what we have openings for, send us a message with your idea!

1. Backpacking Freelance Writer & Gear Tester

Hey there, Alex here. I’m looking for a backpacking freelance writer and gear tester to, well, test backpacking gear and then write articles about it.

If you’re someone who goes on lots of backpacking trips then this gig is perfect for you. You’ll get free gear (you get to keep your favorite piece from each assignment) and you can profit from the backpacking trips you’re already taking because we’ll pay you a flat fee to test the gear.

Here are all the juicy details:


  • Test backpacking gear by taking it with you on your backpacking trips and also when necessary by designing and conducting side-by-side tests at home to compare various features
  • Take photos of the gear and your testing processes to include in your articles. Smartphone photos are fine.
  • Write articles and reviews of the gear based on your testing. The most common type of article you’ll write will be ‘best of’ articles ranking and reviewing the top options you’ve tested (Example). I will occasionally also assign you articles on other topics related to backpacking and backpacking gear.
  • Ship gear back to me when you’re done with it (occasionally). Each assignment will include multiple pieces of gear. You keep your favorite and ship back the rest. This occurs infrequently because I’m fine with you batching shipments. For example, our climbing gear tester has been working for the site for almost a year and has only had to ship gear back to me two or three times.
  • Pick up gear from the nearest Amazon Locker (occasionally). Shipping you gear presents a minor problem: the package might be stolen from your doorstep. This has happened once before. If I am worried that an expensive piece of gear could be stolen I might choose to ship it to the Amazon Locker nearest to you and you will need to go pick it up.
  • Conduct research and interview experts (occasionally). In order to be able to write some articles you might have to conduct research and/or interview experts in order to get the best information.

NOTE: Your testing will mainly focus on lightweight and ultralight backpacking gear. If you’re the type of backpacker who isn’t much concerned with weight then your gear preferences won’t align well with those of your readers and as a result you won’t be a good fit for the position.


  • Free gear – you get to keep your favorite piece of gear from each assignment
  • Quality articles for your portfolio – one of our former writers included her 99Boulders articles in her portfolio and successfully pitched Backpacker magazine. Another writer had one of his 99Boulders articles republished on, a top climbing site.
  • Ongoing and consistent assignments – as long as you keep doing good work we’ll keep having assignments for you. Seasonality and your own ability to get out in the field to test gear will affect frequency of assignments, but I’ll work with you to make the most of months where you don’t have any trips planned. I’m also highly flexible and am happy to schedule assignments so that they best fit your schedule.
  • Ability to work remotely on your own time
  • Ability to pitch me your own article ideas
  • Consideration for related assignments and positions – if you do a good job testing backpacking gear you’ll be among the first considered for any future positions that may open up and any future assignments involving other types of outdoor gear, such as outdoor clothing and footwear


  • Living in US
  • Fluent in English
  • 3+ years backpacking experience
  • Freelance writing experience
  • You must be the type of backpacker who goes on lots of backpacking trips. If you aren’t, you won’t have enough chances to adequately test the gear at a decent rate, and I won’t be able to assign you many assignments.

Bonus points if you have any of the following:

  • Professional or exceptional backpacking experience (e.g. thru-hiked the AT, worked as a NOLS instructor)
  • Some photography chops

Interested? Let’s Talk Next Steps

  1. Apply via the link below
  2. If I like your application I’ll reach out to you to discuss payment rates
  3. Once we agree on payment I’ll move you onto a paid trial which will consist of 1-2 trial assignments
  4. If you do a good job on the trial assignments we’ll have a brief phone interview
  5. If I decide to hire you I will ask you to sign a contract and fill out a W-9

Apply Now