Sunday, 5 September 2010

Action packed First Issue

I haven't bought an issue of Trail magazine since the September 2003 issue.

I know this because I have every issue up to and included that one.

I can't fully remember why I stopped buying it; it may be because there wasn't enough to interest me or the general content seemed to be getting pretty bland and predictable.

Trail is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, so I thought I'd take a look back at issue one.

Back in the mists of time; July/August 1990 there were as far as I remember only one or two U.K based walking magazine; and that was The Great Outdoors and Country walking (the sister magazine to Trail), at that time I always found The Great Outdoors to be for the bearded, red sock brigade and only bought it on a handful of occasions. Country walking was always for the day walker and had very little to interest me.

So with the arrival of Trail Walker (that's what it was called back then) there was a new kid on the stands, it looked fresh, entertaining and fitted exactly the type on walking/backpacking I was into at that time.

A look at the FIRST ACTION PACKED ISSUE

When first published it was a bi-monthly magazine and I think it was like this for the first year.

Much of the issue is in black & white with only a handful of colour pictures and colour adverts.

The editor-in-chief was Keith Nelson

The first article was called Around the roof of England by Paddy Dillon; which is a 2 day youth hostel route or a 3 day backpacking one taking in Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.

Test report was on seven backpacks including Karrimor Panther 4, Mag Mor Spectre, Berghaus Pulsar, and Lowe Alpine Outback II.

The letter's page covers interesting questions like 'how to put a rucsac on', what is the best stove/fuel and it seems as meths burners are pretty thirsty beasts. My favourite letter is 'What's the ideal rucsac weight?' with the answer being the maximum recommend safe weight for a laden rucsac is 1/3 of your body weight.

A second article by Paddy covers the Pennine Way with a very detailed outline of the route and where to stay each night.

Other articles include a Pyrenean backpack, Crib-Goch Scramble, and how to make the most of scrambling.

There is also the weekender section which covers the Marsden-Edale classic, the Buttermere round, two days over Dartmoor and a two day trip around Lochnagar.

Adverts in the magazine include the OS new national trail guides, Mag Mor makers of the best British rucsacs, Bourne Sports,
HF holidays, Ron Hill and Bivvy Bug there are also 5 pages at the rear Advertising Trail Breaks.

So that's a look back at the first issue of Trail, I guess things haven't really changes that much, although the biggest thing missing form this issue is no web addresses.


Trail Walker Issue One

2 comments:

  1. Back then George it was full of UK adventure and a sense of discovery. I still read it and like it. Others hate it.

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  2. Oh wow that was great to read and really takes me back!

    I remember Trail Walker ran a series featuring a 'Steve and Trish' who were doing a round the world trip (I think was published in 1991). The features in Tasmania and reading Chris Townsend's 'The Great Backpacking Adventure' book got me thinking about overseas backpacking and wanting to hike long trails rather than shorter, more domestic ones.

    I only occasionally buy Trail now; although I think the format is better than TGO, I still prefer most of the content of TGO. I just don't find enough inspiration for the type of backpacking I want to do in Trail.

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