Thanks for the plug for PCTA membership!
Yes, it does indeed include a free subscription to Backpacker. They generously donate it, so there is no cost to PCTA.
With membership, you actually get two magazine subscriptions. The second is the PCT Communicator. Generally, we're averaging 10-11 columns and articles in each issue. I'm biased, but I think it's a worthwhile read.
That's on top of the core purpose of joining PCTA: charitable giving.
There's no need for me to defend Backpacker, but I'd point out that for the price of a cappuchino, you are getting at least a few original, long form articles about cool hiking stories. I have glut of hiking information coming at me, and I'll always take time to read BPer's lead articles.
- PCTA, trail info dude