popupbackpacker.com now has ads :(

Yeah, I know…

Here’s the deal. I built this site over 4 years ago mainly to let my kids and a few friends know what I was up to. This eliminated the need for phone calls, emails, and texts. Over time the site grew. Part is my fault because on the two Internet forums I visit I would sometimes just link to a post here instead of typing in a lengthy response. However, 80% of the traffic comes from search engines like Google. To date there have been over 1.5 million page views.

Now I am retired and on a fixed income. I have enough to live well enough, but this site costs money to maintain. Yearly fees for a domain, service hosting fees, and some licenses to make the software work properly especially on mobile devices. I am hoping I can generate around $20 per month to cover the operation of the site.

But I want to be completely honest about the ads and tell you how they work.


I am an old curmudgeon. At 65 us old guys aren’t supposed to be adept at technology. I have built and programmed everything here myself. I am using a free Word Press theme, Twenty Thirteen, with a few plugins I got for free and some were purchased. I own popupbackpacker.com and I pay to have it hosted on a commercial server. So don’t pity me, but give me an A for effort 🙂

I have linked this site to Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Using these tools the past few days I know there are some broken links and other confounding stuff going on. They will be simple to fix, just takes some time. Right now the only problems are a few pictures that generate a 404 error if they are clicked and tried to be view in full size. Hopefully all will be taken care of in the next few weeks — in between some camping and backpacking trips — those always take priority!

mobile users

Websites don’t work well unless they are optimized for mobile phones. This requires a special plug-in to make it work. The information below doesn’t apply to mobile users, but after a bit of work I am happy with how the site works on my iPhone.

general site layout

I have create much more space on the left side of each page for the general content. There is one ad at the top of each page. Additional ads and other information is on the right side of each page. Every page is set up the same way.  There are no popup ads or anything like that.

I am running ads from 3 sources and will describe how each works in a moment with a visual diagram:

  1. Amazon
  2. Google Adsense
  3. AvantLink

General Page Layout


popupbackpacker content

Obviously the largest part of the screen is for posts and pages of content I write. On the right side of each screen you will find

  • Most current popular posts.
  • A link to subscribe to new posts by email. Since I own the site and contents no one sees who has signed up and I don’t share the information with ANYONE.
  • Links to my favorite websites & blogs, the Top 100 posts of all time and an archive of all posts.
  • The ability to search for posts by Category.

popupbackpacker.com content


amazon ads

I am excited about this. If you are a long time reader you know I try to buy EVERYTHING from Amazon. It is a huge time saver and the prices are great. Plus since I am an Amazon Prime member I get free two-day shipping on most items and free streaming on a ton of movies. I should note that Amazon’s offerings are not the newest movies currently released. In 2014 I wrote a post about the benefits of Amazon Prime you can read here.

On the right side of the page is a button to search Amazon. It takes you the normal landing page and the prices are the same as always. But if you buy something via that click, popupbackpacker earns a small commission. I hope you remember to use it to make your purchases.

At the bottom of some post I will include Amazon links to products I use and recommend. Additionally I may allow Amazon to insert related products based on the content of the post. Same Deal — if you purchase an item directly from one of these product links a small commission is paid.

amazon ads


google adsense

This is the “tricky” one. I get a few cents every time anyone simply clicks on an ad.

However, please don’t click on one of these unless you have a genuine interest in a product.

There are 3 Adsense ads on each page. One at the top and two on the side.

google adsense



There is just one spot on the right side of each page. These a text links to companies I have used for a long time. There is no renumeration unless the user buys a product. I am not sure if I will add a few of my favorite companies or quit using it. These links require the approval of the company to use the program. Right now I have agreements with 

  • Patagonia
  • ExOfficio
  • Mountain House



final thoughts

I am not changing my content nor am I trying to make a ton of money. My personal integrity comes first. Nothing will change other that you, the reader, seeing a few ads in places that do not interfere with the content. I still stand by my philosophy that has been state time and time again. Here are some of my pontifications just to set the record straight:

The Business of Backpacking (2013)

Gear Ambassadors (2015)

BS Gear Reviews (2016)


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