We live in a time of unlimited digital information, text, images and video. We have become so used to the digital format we forget that for many years we lived other people’s adventures vicariously through print media with the dominant form magazines. As a child and young adult, I subscribed (or at least my parents did on my behalf) to a number of magazines but these were your typical mass produced magazine that still exist today. While I still subscribe to several print magazines I wasn’t really thinking of any more until I came across the UK based Sidetracked.
Sidetracked is an adventure based magazine and unlike most other magazines, doesn’t place too much emphasis on writing style. While they have a preference for articles around the 1500-2000 word length, this magazine also accepts submissions both longer and shorter. The contribution guidelines, which are aimed at potential contributors, are very different to what I have seen for other magazines and just ooze a sense of quality.
Where other magazines are cutting quality or filling themselves with ads to limit price rises, Sidetracked goes in a different direction. This magazine format is released three times a year, and contains 144 pages. Starting from the outside, the cover has an almost waxy feel to it that is a pleasure to hold. Inside, the pages are matt rather than the typical semi-gloss to gloss of others on the market and this brings a different effect to the high quality images. I have seen no shortage of high grade images in many magazines but the matt finish provides an effect that somehow makes them seem more ‘real’. There also seems to be a bit of artistry about many of the images. Advertising is very minimal and in issue 17, which was my first issue, there six pages of advertising right up front, with the rest of the magazine being add free.
Now for the articles themselves. My main reason for subscribing to this magazine was an article on Peru with the text by Lucy Barnyard and images by Danyal Taylor. We have previously interviewed both of these individuals for the Australian Hiker Podcast and when combined in a supporting manner as they have done, deliver a very unique article. Lucy describes one particular section of her multi-year journey from the bottom of South America to the top of North America and while I have interviewed her a number of times, this article brings out the emotion.
In total this issue has 19 articles which consisted of shorter two page spreads up to larger multiple page with the limit appearing to be around ten pages. These articles are all adventure based with some like Lucy’s trip to Peru, being epic while others are snapshots of local life in the more remote parts of the world. These articles are all unique and there is something for everyone – you won’t be disappointed.
Now for the elephant in the room, the price. This is an expensive magazine at £10 UK ($20 AUD) per issue. If you commit to three issues (a one year subscription) the price drops to £27 UK ($53 AUD). Oh and you need to add freight which is an extra £12 UK ($24 AUD) which brings the price to just under $26 AUD per issue.
So is it worth it based on the price? From my perspective the answer is yes. This is the sort of magazine that decorates coffee tables and apart from being nice to look at, has some excellent articles that justify the price.
The following stories in issues # 17 Give you an idea of the stories. The article title “A Single moment” are two pagers while the others are anywhere up to 10 pages long
You can purchase Sidetracked Magazine online from the publisher here
Disclosure: Please note that we have no affiliations with Sidetracked Magazine
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£10 UK ($20 AUD as at 22 April 2020)
Sidetracked magazine volume 17 front cover
Inside view showing example of a story on Lucy Barnyard and Wombat (Tangles and Tail) who were in Peru at that stage
Inside story example
This review was done with product purchased by Australian Hiker