Five Years. 200 Issues. Hundreds of Trip Reports. A time to look back.
Five years ago, on the 25th of April 2010, the first The Week in Review saw the light. I had been blogging for a bit over a year by then, was following a growing number of outdoor blogs and felt it was difficult to separate the weekend hill walk from the epic adventures (there’s nothing wrong with weekend hill walks, btw - I love these myself!) - and so the first weekly outdoor-related curated post was born. The idea was pretty straight forward: Share with my readers the other great & useful, fun and inspiring outdoor content on other blogs I read (and they maybe not (yet)). Hiking in Finland was back then already quite popular and as sharing is caring I thought it’s useful to give some other blogs some love, too.
It always has been pretty roughly 50% subjective and 50% objective content that found its way into TWIR, content that I liked a lot and content that I knew you, the readers will find useful. This often included skills, Tips & Tricks and gear reviews - finding believable and high-quality reviews on ultralight gear has not been easy and still can be difficult. The same goes for inspiring trip reports - it can be hard to find some real pearls.
There have been a handful of Mystery Editions, one TWIR on Flipboard and 199 other awesome TWIRs. You can browse them all here (There’s some problems with the earliest TWIRs because of the URLs - happened when moving from Blogspot to Octopress - which I am working on a fix).
Blogs Blogs Blogs
From the beginning TWIR was highlighting content on outdoor blogs. The first blogs in my RSS Reader were probably from my fellow Nordic Lightpacking friends: Roger, Joe, Martin & Jörgen, Gustav, Mark and Thomas followed by blogs from the UK, Germany, Europe, Australia, Asia and of course the USA. The number of blogs in my RSS reader started to grow quickly, though, and nowadays there’s close to 800 blogs in my subscription list. The last one I added is Limitcamper, and each week a couple more are subscribed to.
While in the beginning it was a manageable task - blogging was just going down in popularity again in 2010/ 2011 - it quickly started to be a full-day task to keep track of all the superb content. Nowadays, if I don’t already browse during the week a bit in the RSS Reader, I easily can have 500 or more unread items on a Sunday waiting for me. I also try to vary the blogs I feature - even if some people create outstanding content each week (you should subscribe to their blogs to not miss a thing!) it is more interesting so find something fresh from someone new each week.
What RSS Reader I use has changed also, from the now-death Google Reader over Reeder I now am using the fantastic Feedbin, which I highly recommend if you read blogs via RSS.
Photos and Videos have always been a part of The Week In Review. The internet is a visual medium and sharing great photos and videos not just loosens up the structure but also makes it more attractive. But more structure was needed and became gradually part of TWIR. It was Mikael who suggested I number the issues for easier reference, and that’s the reason we can have a cake with two hundred candles on it today =)
While the superb content on other blogs is still the core of each TWIR, nowadays also news, gear deals and interesting announcements are part of it. This meant I needed to find a better way to separate News from Trip Reports and Gear Reviews - which gave rise to the sub-headers. This makes it also easier for the readers to go directly to the section they are interested in, or when looking something up to find it more easily. So besides great content from Outdoor blogs you now also can find interesting posts from major newspapers and other outdoor media.
When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. - Dalai Lama
And because I follow blogs from across the globe and often include blogs in another language in the TWIR, it was Jaakko who suggested I add also a short [Language] tag behind those posts that are in another language than English. The final additions have been the last “Share it with your friends” sentence, encouraging you to let your friends know about the TWIR, and an inspiring, thoughtful quote as the intro. There have been suggestions to sort articles by activity - packrafting, hiking, climbing and cycling - though I feel that’s not needed right now. And clicking on an inspiring bike-touring article as a hiker certainly can’t harm, but only open the mind!
Back in 2009 a bunch of mates set out on a 33 days in Wrangell St. Elias National Park adventure which still today is an EPIC in the truest sense of the word.
Joery’s adventures also are good in my memory, like his Peel Watershed Hiking & Packrafting Trip.
Also Willem’s Greenland adventure ranks high in my memory.
And if I already mention Joery and Willem obviously Steve & Katrijn can’t miss because they make the Belgian trio complete. Their world trip, especially their trips in Patagonia, have me looking up flights and thinking schedules for a trip there.
And finally, the In the Golden Mountains of Altai trip report has me certain that I need to go to Russia for some hiking and packrafting.
But there have been many, many more memorable posts, so you really should browse the past TWIRs. Comment underneath and let me know which was your favourite story that you found via The Week In Review!
A handful of fresh posts from this week:
Corinna aka the Outdoor Mädchen celebrates her 4th Blog Birthday! [German]
Chad shares his Thoughts on Section Hiking vs Thru Hiking.
Benjamin is back, and the flame still burns.
The Week In Review, 200 issues, five years old. As a friend asked this morning: Did I think this would happen? Nope. I’m also still surprised by the mass of people who read it and love it, for whom TWIR is their daily stop on a Sunday or Monday, where they find inspiring and beautiful outdoor stories and stay informed on what’s happening in the outdoor blog-o-sphere.
While there have been moments where I have felt like Today’s not a TWIR day these have been fewer and fewer thanks to effective management of how I write and organize them. Which means The Week In Review is here to stay, and I am looking forward to bringing you more inspiring outdoor stories in the years to come. And if I miss a Sunday - it’s usually because I’m out backpacking, packrafting, climbing or bikepacking myself =)