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Outdoor Magazines. Is it just me?


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Is it just me, or does it just seem that most outdoor magazines have become nothing but glorified sales catalogs? There is no informative content, only gear reviews and why I have to buy this product or just don't bother going outside. I realize advertising is their lifeblood, but what happened to all the great outdoor writers, telling the adventures they experienced. Did they all die with no one to carry on the legacy? The only magazine I buy now is Fur-Fish-Game, who still provide knowledge to experience outdoor skills.

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Game Informer is pretty good. It is specifically designed to sell you games though, or at least give you a review of said game you want to buy. But that is the least sales rag I can think of. They at least rate things under perfect. I can't think of the last review I saw in American Rifleman that didn't do it's best to convince you that you wanted the newest Smith and Wesson.

 

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I subscribed to Outdoor Life during the school magazine drive. I've been surprised to find some interesting lengthy articles, but a lot of adverts, and it's only about 4 (I think) issues a year now. 

I still prefer picking up a magazine or book and reading. I need to subscribe to something like Fur Fish Game or Backwoodsman. I want to get away from all the unrealistic "Look at what we're doing and where we're going and the guns and gear we have but you can't afford it like us because you don't have a seven figure income" type shows and magazines.

 I sort of liken it to those stupid house hunting shows my wite watches where the real estate con artist agent is driving the couple in their early twenties around searching for their first home. He works as a full time butterfly collector and she's a part time pet salon worker and they have a first time home buying budget of 1.8 million dollars. 

It's all so much unrealistic bovine scattology and it just pisses me off. 

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1 hour ago, res308 said:

I subscribed to Outdoor Life during the school magazine drive. I've been surprised to find some interesting lengthy articles, but a lot of adverts, and it's only about 4 (I think) issues a year now. 

I still prefer picking up a magazine or book and reading. I need to subscribe to something like Fur Fish Game or Backwoodsman. I want to get away from all the unrealistic "Look at what we're doing and where we're going and the guns and gear we have but you can't afford it like us because you don't have a seven figure income" type shows and magazines.

 I sort of liken it to those stupid house hunting shows my wite watches where the real estate con artist agent is driving the couple in their early twenties around searching for their first home. He works as a full time butterfly collector and she's a part time pet salon worker and they have a first time home buying budget of 1.8 million dollars. 

It's all so much unrealistic bovine scattology and it just pisses me off. 

I too subscribe to Backwoodsman. It is right there with Fur Fish Game.

Amen on the fake real estate flip shows. My wife watches them also. I asked her if she had a half million budget for a home, would she look for a crappy run down house to fix up or build a new home tailored to her specs. I would choose the latter.

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Seems they are all geared to the weekend warrior who has an unlimited cash flow.  I grew up with Southern Outdoors and read every issue cover to cover from the time I was about 8 until it went out of publication.  I subscribed to Field and Stream for a while, and I did enjoy Outdoor Life but haven't read one in years.  The last several times I've picked up an outdoor mag it seems to be all about guns and gear that aren't in my budget, and junk that I don't need, headlined with articles such as "What you need to know to bag the big buck" which seldom has information that I don't already know.  The final straw for Field and Stream for me was when they did the "Perfect truck gun" article, can't remember what it was, but the price tag was well North of a grand.  There is a segment of working class people who want to see reviews on affordable gear, butchering techniques, recipes, and a good story every now and then.  Write a magazine for us and we'll buy it.

Edited by 10-Ring
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I got lucky a few years ago to pick up a ton of old Backwoodsman issues cheap. Stuff from the 80's. I love reading back through those. 

I have actually emailed back and forth with the husband and wife that run it.super nice people. 

I agree with the gear reviews. All top price stuff. The secret is that these guys get them for free to review. Some they even get to keep. I think that is why they review them. Lol. None of us need a $450 knife or a $350 hatchet. My PSA AR shoots just as fine as the boutique $3000 they review. Tons of people survived for a long time carrying a repurposed butcher knife, basic trader ax, and an old milsurp. 

One I subscribed to and realized as a mistake was "American Survival Guide". A few tidbits in it, but nothing others haven't covered a dozen times. 

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If you want to read a good outdoor writer, check out "Jaguars Ripped My Flesh," and several other books by Tim Cahill.  He has recently been published in "Outside" magazine.

But, I'm totally with you on the advertising.  I subscribed to Recoil Magazine which seems to be 99 ad related to every educational page.

Edited by walthermitty
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1 hour ago, walthermitty said:

If you want to read a good outdoor writer, check out "Jaguars Ripped My Flesh," and several other books by Tim Cahill.  He has recently been published in "Outside" magazine.

But, I'm totally with you on the advertising.  I subscribed to Recoil Magazine which seems to be 99 ad related to every educational page.

I have read Cahill, a terrific outdoor writer. I am an old guy and grew up reading Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. I used to work at the printing company here in Nashville that printed Field & Stream and got to read it before it hit the streets.

I miss those days. Worked 2nd & 3rd shifts, so days was hunting, fishing and shooting.

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I used to get Backpacker magazine when it actually had good articles on trips in the US, but it soon went to bucket list trips to far away places and tons of adds. I finally dropped it when it added a strong political slant that I did not agree with. I still pick it up at the magazine isle from time to time but it still is not worth getting. At least for me anyway.

I also agree with the silly home finding shows. Maybe I was just in a different boat, but our first house in our early 20's (1994) was in the $40,000 range. And that was a little bit of a stretch. Of course that was 25 years ago. My son is getting ready to buy one for around $100,000 so I guess times have changed. 😉

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