Tuesday, January 2

TGO Magazine - How entertaining are UK Walking magazines?

I've just had the February issue of TGO drop onto the doormat.

Yes that's right Feb 2007 already, and it's only the second day of 2007.

So you could say the articles in there aren't going to be that timely, especially 'wildcamp at New Year's Eve' Well I guess that would be 2005/6 then?

A couple of good articles (Judy Armstrong's Alpine adventure gets a double page spread) but as a recently returned subscriber I was reminded why I cancelled my sub the last time.

Now please don't get me wrong - I think TGO is an excellent outdoors magazine.

Informative, well produced/edited, and when compared to some of the alternative UK walking monthlies, a whole head and shoulders above their competition.

But I found myself skipping whole articles at a time, particularly if the subject matter was not of direct interest. Let me try to qualify this statement by looking at the articles I skipped or missed:

Winter survival: Snow - can't remember the last time I saw any here on the south coast. Nil interest in this household

Avalanche Transceivers/Snowshoes - ditto

Women's synthetic jackets - a good write up by TGO's Judy Armstrong (the 'other' JA) She's usually more interested in the gear rather than keeping the advertising dept sweet; She calls a spade a spade.
But not that much relevance to me, so again quickly skimmed over

Photography abroad - pretty pics but that was about my interest level

Jim Perrin - The Villain book was one of my favourite reads in 2006, but I find Perrin's magazine articles, prosaic as they are, to be mostly navel gazing Welsh bardic meandering at time. And they are mostly about Wales. Come on Jim get outside that country please.

Ben Nevis - lots of routes, but I'll find out about them when I need the information.

Mike Harding - never read an article yet that's made much sense to me; And yes I did try to get to the end of this one again. And failed through boredom.

The advertising - charity walk appeals and repetitive walking holiday blurb. Or should that be bleugh.

I won't list the articles which I did enjoy - go and buy the magazine you tight bugger - but suffice to say there were a few.

So that's a cover to cover consumption of TGO within 15 minutes maximum reading, for a £3.30 cover price; That's bloody expensive entertainment.

Now let's put it down to a quiet period for publishing, as I expect the mag was put to bed sometime in Oct/Nov. But when I look at the amount of entertainment and information I received this time around, not good value.

And why am I posting on this topic?

Well I caught myself thinking the same after the last issue; Despite some pretty good articles (especially from Chris Townsend and Cameron McNeish) it just failed to retain my attention cover to cover.

When I compare it to other special interest magazines, say motorcyling or fishing which spring instantly to mind, the walking mag just doesn't seem to be able to maintain the same level of interest;

And as I'd say walking was top of my list of pursuits at present, what is it about the way this information is presented which leaves my interest tailing off so quickly?

And as I said at the head of this post - I like TGO!!

As the yanks say - Go Figure


I`ve alway had the same problem with TGO (probably something about living in the Southeast:)).

I tend to buy it for a couple of months then give it a miss for a few unleast someone on OM menations an article.
Hi G - nice to have you drop by
Not very, we only have a limited number of hills to walk up. All the interesting one's have been done, and since they have to keep within the bounds of the law, they can't really promote the interesting kind of wild camping. I'll pick up the mags occasionally to look at new gear, but as for the routes, I think they're almost useless.

I guess its one of those pastimes that is better doing than reading about really
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