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2019 survey findings

We’ve collated the responses from our 2019 reader survey and here are some of the most important findings. We’re sharing this with our advertisers to help them better understand who our readers are and why they even read Wilderness.

We had a total of 656 respondents. Of this number, 69%, or 455 people, were subscribers. The remainder of the respondents were itinerant shop purchasers and those who read Wilderness online at www.wildernessmag.co.nz.


37% of readers spend more than one hour reading Wilderness magazine each month and 26% of readers spend more than two hours reading Wilderness each month.

53% of readers read more than 80% of the articles published each month (16% read every article).

32% of readers keep their magazine forever and 31% keep their magazine for more than a year.


Wilderness readers are very active and like tramp a lot – up to several times a month.

It’s not surprising therefore that a high percentage – 89% – use the magazine to help them plan their trips.


A high proportion of readers want to see the magazine cover more trips – whether day, overnight or multi-day. They also want us to publish more skills, gear guides and gear reviews – the kind of content that helps them enjoy their time outdoors.

Here’s a fun fact – 58% of readers want to walk the Te Araroa Trail one day (two per cent have already done it!).

Besides tramping, our readers also participate in other activities:
46% go mountain biking
43% ride Cycle Trails
73% go camping
83% go walking
42% are involved in conservation
27% go fishing
25% go trail running
30% go skiing


70% of readers find advertisements in Wilderness help them in their buying decisions

88% of readers find the monthly Gear Guides useful in helping them decide on an item to buy.

69% of readers view advertisements in Wilderness as part of the magazine – i.e. favourably. While 13% of readers describe advertisements as engaging and 35% of readers find advertisement helpful, as ‘they can determine what I buy’.

Only 12% of our readers see advertisements for outdoor gear and products in other magazines – making Wilderness their primary source of information on outdoor gear and products.


Wilderness is seen as the most trustworthy source of information and advice on outdoor clothing and equipment – more than any other source of information, including friends and outdoor retail staff.

71% of respondents found Wilderness Trustworthy (27% said Somewhat Trustworthy, 2% said Somewhat Untrustworthy and 0.16% said Untrustworthy)

In comparison:

3.5% of readers found Internet search results, such as Google search, to be a trustworthy source of information.

Just 1% of readers found Social Media to be a trustworthy source of information

16% of readers found other magazines other than Wilderness to be a trustworthy source of information

67% of readers found a friend to be a trustworthy source of information  (32% Somewhat Trustworthy, 1% Somewhat Untrustworthy)

39% of readers found Outdoor shop sales staff to be a trustworthy source of information.


Wilderness readers buy lots of outdoor gear, with 99% of readers visiting an outdoor store in the past 12 months with the intention of buying something.

Online stores are also frequented by readers, but not to the same extent: 67% of readers say they have bought outdoor gear online in the past 12 months.

85% of readers spend an average of $1020 a year on outdoor gear.

In the next 12 months…
61% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a pair of tramping boots
60% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a pair of hiking shoes
80% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a pair of outdoor socks
82% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying freeze dried or dehy food
41% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a headlamp
42% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a fleece jacket
46% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a wet weather jacket
43% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a Personal Locator Beacon
41% of readers are definitely buying or thinking about buying a stove


Sex: 61% vs 39% – the percentage of readers who are male versus female.

Age: 63% of readers are aged between 31-60

Income: 50% of readers have a household income of over $81,000

Education: 63% of readers have a degree or post-graduate qualification

Family life: 59% of readers are married. 64% of readers have children.

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