Russell Mussio was born in Trail, BC where he spent his childhood years playing sports and exploring the Great Outdoors. At a time when parents simply called their kids back for dinner, Russell and friends could be found fishing local streams, hiking and biking nearby trails and even chasing grouse and deer around the hills.
His family, in particular his father Sergio and brother Wesley, were instrumental in introducing him to the trials and tribulations of outdoor adventure. From camping throughout the parks and recreation sites of BC to hunting and fishing in the Kootenays it seemed every vacation had an outdoor theme. From these early beginnings, Russell grew a strong appreciation of the outdoors.
Russell attended the University of British Columbia where he explored a few different career options before settling in on a degree in Leisure and Sport Administration. Before graduating he took a year off to travel the world. From this experience Russell developed a passion for outdoor travel, which he was able to develop through his final year at university. Backed by a sponsor professor, he was able to explore two different outdoor recreation business concepts. The guidebook business that he and his brother stumbled across when exploring the wilderness around Vancouver seemed to be the most logical concept. That is where the idea for the Backroad Mapbook series was born.
After graduation Russell, along with Wesley, went about self-publishing their first guidebook called the Backroad and Outdoor Recreation Mapbook: Southwestern BC for a tradeshow in January 1994. By March 1994, the first printing of the book was sold out. But rather than simply reprinting it, they listened to the feedback of the readers and retailers and improved it. This constant desire to create the best book in the most convenient and economical package possible has helped the brothers and their publishing company, Mussio Ventures Ltd., produce over 40 National Bestseller titles. Today, Mussio Ventures, through their signature series Backroad Mapbooks, is Canada’s leading outdoor recreation publisher.
Russell now lives in Lake Country, BC with his wife and two children. In addition to helping run the publishing company and family commitments, he is involved with the local park department and outdoors club. Although he spends as much time as he can exploring the backroads of Canada, he always seems to return to the pen to write. He has been published in several different magazines, newspapers and websites across the country including regular contributions to Adventure West magazine, and several articles published in The Province newspaper out of Vancouver, BC.