Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure is the longest running outdoor "how-to" adventure public television series. It aired in the USA on non-commercial public television stations, distributed to them first by American Public Television, Boston, and later by National Educational Telecommunications Association, Columbia, South Carolina.
Episodes were originally produced by New Media, Inc., based in Westport, CT (Seasons 1-3). Seasons 1 and 2, the series was partnered with Rodale Publications' BACKPACKER Magazine, and hosted by John Viehman, BACKPACKER's editor. Eventually, Rodale wanted a greater ownership in the series, and failing that, split off to create their own ANYPLACE WILD program.
Noted mountaineer Peter Whittaker took over hosting duties, as the series continued to team him up with guest experts providing the audience information with tips and advice on popular outdoor activities. Going into the fourth season, New Media ran into financial straits and leadership of the company was turned over to TLN Productions based out of West Palm Beach, Florida. Under TLN's direction, the series became more infomercial in nature, as underwriting for individual episodes was picked up primarily by local tourism groups around the U.S.
The series was underwritten by Chevy Trucks, L.L. Bean and Hi-Tec apparel in Seasons 1 and 2. Other sponsors over the following two years included Chevy Trucks, Weider Nutrition and Michelin Tires.