Spirited travelers know the value of immersing oneself in the unknown. Getting lost is a real possibility, if not a given. Dubious roadside food will no doubt be consumed alongside the most memorable, high-quality meals. While travel guides and local tips all have their place, some trips require a different kind of exploratory impetus. UK-based Sidetracked Magazine is an ode to the intrepid journeys that place inspiration over itinerary—highlighting some of the most offbeat locales and the enlightening ways to experience them. Whether it’s bikepacking across the Hardangervidda in Norway or skiing in Afghanistan, Sidetracked inspires adventure with honest accounts and awe-inspiring imagery.
Sidetracked founder, producer and designer John Summerton has been working in web design for over 12 years, and telling inspiring stories of adventure and exploration has long been part of his to-do list. Summerton started Sidetracked as a website three years ago, and quickly gained a reputation for its sleek layout and original photography. However, with a penchant for print, Summerton decided to make a material version of the popular site.
The first edition was released earlier in 2014 and sold out within a few weeks. “Holding a physical copy in hand, flicking through the smooth, uncoated stock is an experience that cannot be replicated in the digital domain,” Summerton tells CH. “The independent print scene is thriving so it’s great to be a part of it.” A key component of Sidetracked’s success is an unwavering focus on what Summerton says matters most: the content. “The key is to create something timeless, something that oozes quality and deserves to be kept on the bookshelf or the coffee table,” Summerton continues.
A brief look at Sidetracked’s digital edition and it’s easy to see why Summerton saw the potential in print. Far from throwaway content, a less-is-more aesthetic and content direction is apparent with travel featured that is equal parts ingenuity, creativity and intensity with perhaps a sprinkling of madness. Running across the Namib desert and cycling across the northern reaches of Europe isn’t everyone’s idea of “vacation” but for those looking to learn as much about themselves as they are the world around, discomfort can be just another part of the experience to be relished.
Volume Two (currently available online for £10) explores the emotional side of adventure travel. Balancing accounts from the far reaches of the world with reflective prose, the issue does more than just entice readers with peregrine locales it attempts to explain what draws us into these places. Highlights from the issue include tracking wolverines in Mongolia, surfing in Alaska and solo climbing with out oxygen in the Himalayas—all featuring frame-worthy photography.
Visit Sidetracked Magazine’s elegant digital edition to browse past and online exclusive content including features, gear reviews and cooking tips from the field. Be on the look out for Volume Three due to drop in the coming months.
Images by Cool Hunting