Mag of the Moment

Posted by Sarah Croft on

For this week's Mag of the Moment we were lucky enough to have a chat with the lovely folk at Sidetracked.  The magazine's founder John and director of photography Martin delve into how they have created a magazine devoted to adventure, expeditions and exploration.

How did Sidetracked start and what drew you to creating a magazine? 

John:  I started Sidetracked four and a half years ago with the aim to inspire an outdoor life through sharing amazing stories and incredible photography. For the first two years Sidetracked was built up purely as a website (www.sidetracked.com) and then in April 2014 we made the brave step to print. The idea was to create a coffee table style magazine with minimal advertising, high production values and a timeless appeal. I come from a web design background but there’s nothing digital that can replace the feel of a real magazine – flicking through the weighty pages and the smell of the freshly dried ink. We now produce Sidetracked three times a year and it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done.

What has been your greatest adventure so far?

John: Mine is extremely tame compared to some of Martin’s exploits but my most fun one was when I was 19, which was a time before the internet, mobile phones or digital cameras - I’m 42 but that makes me sound really old! I jetted off with a one way ticket to Australia with my girlfriend (now my wife). We bought a 1973 clapped out Mitsubishi for about $500 and set off clockwise working on farms when we ran out of money (which was often!). We managed to circumnavigate the entire country during the course of a year and took that little Japanese car into some pretty crazy places. Fun times. 

Martin: Personally if I could choose any landscape to explore I will always choose a forest first. Is there a landscape that you are attracted to more than others?
 
John: I’m with you and would choose a forest without hesitation. If the forest happens to be at the foot of a mountain the all the better!

How do you find your contributors?

John: To start with I’d spend hours and hours trawling the internet, Instagram and twitter feeds to find out about recent trips and expeditions. It’s a painstaking process to seek out a broad selection of expeditions and then tracking the individuals down and working out the stories with them.  We still do this to some extend but now we have many more article ideas suggested to us. The key for us is to find a broad range of material covering a variety of locations and modes of (human) transport. And that the material has exceptional photography and a unique story too. 

If you were to leave for adventure and you only had a few minutes to pack, besides the essentials, what items would you bring?

John: That’s a really tricky question and I’d love to have a very cool answer here. But it’d have to be my phone, swiss army knife and my Kindle.

What is your favourite piece of stationery that you can not live without?

John: My moleskin journal. The one I have at the moment is a special edition with topographic lines carved into it. They’re beautifully made and hardwearing and I carry it with me everywhere. This one is nearly filled up now so I’m on the look out for it’s replacement.