While many have been fixed on the (digital) headlines that declare print to be dead, the magazine has risen with renewed vigor. Traditional outdoor magazines that might rightfully be deemed too formulaic, too niche, too ugly and too filled with advertisements are now challenged by a host of new books focusing on the gear, culture and the substance of adventure. While newsstand magazines come and go on a monthly basis, these boutique outdoor magazines will remain timeless through their keen focus on design and story — you’ll want to keep them on your shelf forever.
Exploration happens every day, everywhere. And it isn’t just ventures to the tallest peaks or the deepest caves that are worthy of documentation. Sidetracked tells the stories of expeditions modest and grand, and not just from the angle of “went here, did this.” More significant issues, such as what happens before or after a wild undertaking, are considered, thus depicting adventure as something aspirational yet relatable.
Another Escape self describes as “an outdoor lifestyle, creative culture and sustainable living publication.” Each volume focuses on a central theme — examples have included “night,” “journeys” and most recently, “frozen.” Stories range from how living in harsh conditions brings a community together to a look at the glaciers that still exist on Earth’s equator.
“Adventure” is a broad term, and Adventure Journal aims to define it in as approachable a way as possible. Inside the magazine aren’t just stories of man versus nature, but reports, essays and photographs that explore outdoor culture in general. Epic trips are present, but so are pieces on how to buy a snowcat, pancake recipes and thoughts on whether or not you should take a selfie once you reach the summit of a mountain.
If you studied French in school then you’re in luck — Les Others hails from Paris, and its biannual magazine focuses on the outdoors, travel and photography. City guides and photo essays complement trip reports and interviews. And if you can’t read the language don’t worry, this magazine is pretty enough just to look at.
Tired of photos and stories that document the same epic landscapes and extreme activities over and again? Ernest Journal focuses instead on “surprising and meandering journeys, fuelled by curiosity rather than adrenaline.” Its thoughtful approach to journalism focuses on understanding the natural world, not dominating it.
Don’t expect guns and big trophy photos from this hunting publication — Modern Huntsman focuses instead on explorers, artists, cooks, and issues like conservation, sustainability and access. At the heart of it all: story.
Unlike the ad-strewn pages of traditional surf rags, Surfer’s Journal reserves its pages for artful photographs and rich storytelling. Well-known pros are present, as is a cast of unlikely characters (a molecular bioscientist; an acclaimed chef) from even less likely locales (Equatorial Guinea; Washington state). What goes on when there’s no swell is just as important as what happens when there is.
The Explorers Journal
What do Theodore Roosevelt, Sir Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong and James Cameron all have in common? They were/are all members of the Explorers Club, a society that’s been dedicated to the promotion of scientific research and exploration since its founding in 1904. The club’s quarterly publication, The Explorers Journal, brings the latest dispatches from the field to its readers through writing and photography. No, you don’t have to be a member to get it (but if you are, it’s free).