I've never posted anything on here before, so for what its worth...
I have been buying both TGO and Trail for over a year, and occasionally buy Country Walking (blush). When I first started reading the the first two I quickly picked up lots of new ideas and knowledge about stuff such as navigation and gear.
At first I thought Trail was amazing and would read- and re-read obsessively. It was the one with the annual Gear Review thingy in. As an introduction to someone wishing to get out camping or invest money in better kit its great.
TGO seemed VERY strange - crampons for use on your ballet shoes, Eddie Mechan trimming his garden refuge sacks inorder to make then light enough for backpacking at sub-zero temperatures, etc. I bought it along with Trail, but it all seemed a bit out of my comfort zone and a little obscure.
My excitement with Trail soon started to fade. Why does the gear review not mention such and such which is very good? Because its not new? Because its unthinkable that you can compare the performance of an Alpkit down bag with one of the ME or Rab ones retailing at £100+ more? At this point I started to notice that TGO had the nerve to do just that! Frequently TGO include in their reviews reference to things being over priced. They seem to review a wider range of manufacturers, and some less prominant ones.
The more I read of TGO, the more I appreciate its eccentricity and independence. Its provocative, and the literary quality of writibng from Chris Townsend and Jim Perrin keeps me engaged. Sometimes I still get the feeling that I am reading the outdoor lover's version of some religious/political faction rag. The Ramblers is becoming London centric, urban life style organization...Wind farms defacing our precious open spaces...do we really need a supermarket on Ben Nevis? (I exagerate). But TGO is willing to rock the boat or print an article I might have to think about or take a position on. Plus you gotta love any mag that offers you a decent bottle of malt if you subscribe.
But from the very first issue of Country Walking I thought "what is this lifestyle section from the Daily Mail doing inside this magazine". After spending the 10 minutes or so it takes to extract any interesting nuggets from the mag I felt annoyed at the preachy "walking for health" tone, and the gear reviews are just rissable. To my embarrasment, even after buying half a dozen copies I still find myself (after having the sense to ignore it for a few weeks on the shelf of the newsagents) buying it again. I have found myself wondering if the gear tester has actually come face to face with the item they are supposed to be testing - or have they just re-hashed a review from their sister title Trail. In a recentish issue I think they even included the paramo torres insulation trousers in a waterproof trouser review..or something silly like that. Basically, the tone of the magazine is "how to plan your fitness regime for that trek around the local park, wearing expensive gear that probably isn't all that necessary". "You like a few pints or a bottle of wine? Its not very good for you you know. It can leave you dehydrated." Blah Blah Blah. Imagine Country Walking offering a bottle of Talisker to new subscribers! lol. These joyless buggers are more likely to offer you a bottle of multi-vitamins, or a laminated chart of healthy sandwich fillings for the hill.
Well I'm starting to rant. In short, TGO seems independent, often challenging, mostly interesting. I just hope it can keep finding strange and obscure things to write about.
and lol too
twiglegs wrote (see)
i don't buy any of the magazines, i take advice from those that do it day in day out, well weekends anyway, the members who post here and on lfto.i remember the last issue of trail i bought, something like 50 waterproofs on trial, how the feck can the team truly review them. ?I'll take my advice from those that have done it, been there and have the badge to prove it, the forum members, best kit reviewers bar none.Mags, i've shit em.
i don't buy any of the magazines, i take advice from those that do it day in day out, well weekends anyway, the members who post here and on lfto.
i remember the last issue of trail i bought, something like 50 waterproofs on trial, how the feck can the team truly review them. ?
I'll take my advice from those that have done it, been there and have the badge to prove it, the forum members, best kit reviewers bar none.
Mags, i've shit em.
Welcome, Lynton. Interesting and amusing post.
Well Trail obviously can't destruction test everything they review. Doesn't mean they couldn't offer a half decent 'state of the market' style summary. You could of course argue that they rather fail to do that by not being organised enough about it.
Ultimately the magazines do have something of a intrisic problem in that the hills don't change
Martin Carpenter wrote (see)
A problem shared by many other leisure magazines.
I'm always amazed to see about 3 mags on the shelf devoted to running. For a sport whose mechanics are as natural as breathing and which requires absolutely no specialised equipment or clothing, how on earth do they manage to fill them each month? There must be a limit to how many shoe reviews you can do...
Ah, who needs a magazine when you've got this site and another I won't mention. Actually had to stifle laughter while reading this at work (especially the mention of Country Walking).
Oddly enough my colleagues and I were discussing asparagus and its effects on wee the other day and thought that a beetroot / asparagus combo the best for producing interesting wee. Is there any other food stuff that could be added to that to increase the Wow factor? Sweetcorn, of course, only seems to affect the other bodily waste elimination process.
How do you define 'stylish', is that an improvised stile?
Nick the Mod wrote (see)
I buy Trial, I don't know why but it is now a habit. I find some items/articles informing others plain annoying and their reviews subjective.
I've been annoyed to high heaven with their routes, bought their top rated gear to find that it was carp for me.
To be quite honest when the mag lands on my door mat I pick it up, flick through it, look at the reviews, readers letter and routes and file it away!
Dukes (of Argyle)
I am afraid TGO seems to spend more time with its collective head up arse/navel gazing than ever before - step forward Mr Perrin who I am sure means well
plus a letter this month from a lady who complains that the mag is too tuffty!
mynthdd wrote (see)
I am afraid TGO seems to spend more time with its collective head up arse/navel gazing than ever before - step forward Mr Perrin who I am sure means wellAndrewplus a letter this month from a lady who complains that the mag is too tuffty!
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