explore is a magazine for active outdoor enthusiasts. We cover a wide range of topics-hiking, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, kayaking, winter sports and more. Our content is largely Canadian, and/or from a Canadian perspective.

OUR READERS DEMAND THE BEST, so we expect our writers to be authorities on their subjects. Our where-to and how-to pieces must provide the latest, most reliable information; our news articles must be timely and well-researched; and our features and profiles must be original in style and content.

THE LOWDOWN NEWS SECTION (100 to 1,000 words) reports on expeditions, competitions, trends, destinations, environmental issues, recreational controversies, weird new gear items, humorous spins on outdoor news items, and up-and-coming outdoor athletes and adventurers of interest to a national readership.

OUR IN-DEPTH FEATURES (2,000 to 3,000 words) include a mix of first-person adventure stories, investigative journalism, profiles of Canadian adventurers and events, and special guides to Canadian destinations. We receive many submissions describing personal adventures but only publish a very few. Our first-person features are assigned to experienced magazine journalists and must deliver an original, engaging, multi-layered story about an outdoor journey of exceptional interest; we’re not looking for travelogues or trip journals.

ALL WRITERS ARE ENCOURAGED to read back issues of the magazine and then send a detailed one-page query that identifies why the story suits explore, what section of the magazine it fits, and why you are the writer best able to deliver the story. Please, no specs.

DIVERSITY is a priority at explore magazine. We are actively searching to amplify voices and stories told by under-represented individuals and groups.

EMAILED SUBMISSIONS are preferable to mail. (If emailing sample images, please send only low-res JPEGs.) If you mail a first-time submission, attach samples (PDF). Don’t forget to include a daytime telephone number.

Email QUERIES to [email protected]


explore is a lifestyle magazine for active outdoor enthusiasts. We cover a wide range of topics- hiking, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, kayaking, winter sports and more. And as our tagline suggests, our content is largely Canadian.

We are primarily interested in working with photographers who have stock of men and women enjoying various outdoor sports in specific wilderness settings across the country. Activities include (but are not confined to) hiking, mountain biking, road touring, climbing, mountaineering, camping, paddling, kayaking, downhill skiing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Please ensure your photography represents diversity in the outdoors.

We will occasionally publish landscape images to accompany stories on a particular outdoor destination. Stock shots of other backcountry practices, such as cooking, using a GPS unit and filtering water are required on an infrequent basis.

Images of relatively unknown or obscure backcountry destinations throughout Canada are also valuable to us.

If your photographs fit the above description and you believe they are of a high enough quality to appear in explore, you are welcome to email us 5 to 7 low-res JPEGs of your best work or send us the address of your website. Stock lists are also welcome (cross-referencing types of activity with locations), as is a letter of introduction listing your photographic interests.

Email submissions to [email protected]

ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES covers everything to do with outdoor adventure across North America. Our goal is inspiring outdoor experiences. We focus on human-propelled adventure from a first-person, interviewed or curated perspective. Diversity is a priority at explore and we are actively seeking to amplify voices and publish stories told by under-represented individuals and groups.

Here are the most common types of articles we are accepting from new freelance writers:

LISTICLES: Hiking trails, camping spots, cool waterfalls, canoeing tips, etc. These articles are in list format and typically focus on the best of a certain thing (usually 10, but sometimes up to 50!).

Examples: 10 Cozy Cabins, Yurts and Lodges to Stay at in Alberta This Winter, 30 Places to Camp for Free in Manitoba, 10 Tips for Sustainable Camping

PROFILES: These articles focus on a specific person or company in the outdoor adventure world. This can be done as a Q&A, but typically turns an interview into a narrative.

Examples: This Artist Skis to Paint Beautiful Canadian Destinations, Paralympian Lisa Franks and the Saskatchewan Adaptive Mountain Bike Club, 63-Year-Old Alberto Perusset Has Run Over 200 Marathons… Barefoot!

FIRST-PERSON NARRATIVES: Tell us your story or opinion. The focus should be on human-propelled adventure, and something memorable must happen. We typically share adventure stories based in Canada and require photos to be submitted.

Examples: Thru-Hiking Ontario’s Bruce Trail: A 900-km Adventure with My Dad, Lost Keys, Cold Kids: A Snowshoeing Adventure,  I Got Lost on a Popular Trail. Here’s What I Learned After My Experience Went Viral on TikTok.

GEAR REVIEWS: Have a new, unique, cool piece of gear or DIY to share with the world? Focus in-depth on an item you’ve tested for awhile or send ideas for a gear roundup.

Examples: A Guide to Buying Vegan Outdoor Gear, Winter Trail Running Gear: What You Need To Go the Distance, Gear Review: Is the Apple Watch Ultra Worth It for Hikers?

SKILLS: These are the things that every outdoor adventurer should know. From different ways to build a fire to how to pack a backpack, these how-to pieces offer skills, help and advice to adventurers of all levels.

Examples: Why Leave No Trace Matters and How Best to Follow the 7 Principles, 5 Tips for Hiking with Teens, How to Build a Campfire: Step-by-Step DIY Guide

NEWS: These short articles focus on new things that matter to the outdoor adventure world.

Examples: Gregory Packs Launches Plus Size Collection with Jenny Bruso of Unlikely Hikers, Wait, MEC Is In Hudson’s Bay Now?, Moraine Lake Is Now Only Accessible by Shuttle or Bus. What Does That Mean for Adventurers?

VIDEO CONTENT: We are also looking for vloggers and videographers to supply content for our YouTube channel. This can cover everything from gear reviews to campsite recipes to interviews with wildlife experts. Only completed videos will be accepted at this time.

Examples: Gem Trek Maps Review, Yeti Hopper Flip 18 Full Test & Review, How to Cook a Delicious Campfire Shakshouka


Before you pitch, please read for a sense of our tone and the things we cover. Search your topic/idea on the site to make sure we haven’t recently covered it.

Your pitch should be 150-300 words. Write it in the same style you will write your article. Remember that a place or an adventure is not a story itself. What is the unique angle? Why are you the person to write this story? Who does this story serve?

Please do not send full articles. Include 2-3 links to recent publications (blog posts are okay) and list relevant bylines. Always disclose if your pitch is part of a press trip or gear was received in exchange for coverage.

Pay rates start at $100 CAD and can increase to up to $300 per article based on experience, time working with us and scope of article.


Summer 2024 Explore Magazine