F E A T U R E S
It's All for the Best
The O List
When it comes to sniffing out the very finest things, places, and experiences to taste, wear, visit, or simply covet in the outdoors, we can all use a little help. That's where "The O List" comes in. Courtesy of our favorite writers and scouts in the field, here are 120 of the most extraordinary tools and toys to pack, pastimes to pursue, and adventures to embrace in your quest for the good life.
FEATURING OUR PICKS FOR: the coolest compass / the coziest mountain huts / the finest floatplane / the burliest motorcycle / the sleekest sea kayak / the best place to watch a baseball game / the fastest snowboard / the grooviest tunes / the softest fleece / the plushest riding saddle / the only boat to sail around the world / the most hospitable eco-lodge / the tastiest expedition coffee / the best place in the world to do absolutely nothing / the comfiest hiking boot / the best tequila / and much, much more!
PLUS PERSONAL BESTS FROM: Tim Cahill, Peter Matthiessen, Paul Theroux, Randy Wayne White, Patrick Symmes, Hampton Sides, Jane Smiley, Jack Handey, Mark Jenkins, Edward Abbey, and others.
Back to the Wild
Let's face it: Sport-utility vehicles were never meant to be used as two-ton grocery carts for soccer moms. It's time to return these beasts to their natural habitat—out where the pavement ends and the adventures begin—and let 'em run free. We test, tease, and torture eight of the toughest SUVs.
Why Are We in Vieques?
Off the coast of Puerto Rico lies a piece of tropical paradise spangled with pelican rookeries, white-sand beaches, the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, and—oh yeah—something called a "live impact area" where, beginning in 1941, the U.S. Navy has dropped enough explosive ordance to make the place feel like Dresden. Which brings us to the story of how a lawyer from America's most storied politcal family was strip-searched and imprisoned on the way to falling in love with the island of Vieques. By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Sting of the Assassin
While there are a million ways to die, some of the most interesting—and least pleasant—tend to occur in the wild. In this exclusive excerpt from Last Breath: Cautionary Tales from the Limits of Human Endurance, find out what happens to your body when things go radically wrong in the wilderness: drowning, profound trauma (aka falling off a 30-foot rock face), heatstroke, and getting tangled up in the business end of a box jellyfish—the most venomous creature on earth. By Peter Stark
D E P A R T M E N T S
Holy adventure craze, Batman! The burgeoning pursuit of covert urban exploration—infiltrating abandoned city dwellings, rappelling into sewers, and scaling off-limits office towers—hits the big time.
A semi-muted sightseeing helicopter refuels the debate over decibels in our national parks.
New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson sounds off on his adrenaline addiction.
Behold the Chanel ice ax! Karl Lagerfeld and other designers unveil outdoor-inspired haute couture in their fall fashion collections.
Reality TV guide: A look at the season's bumper crop of faux-adventure TV shows.
Plus: A Portland-based 'zine splices humor into its environmental coverage; a new antivenin makes snake country less scary; and Shackleton-mania comes to a theater near you.
The Wild File
How did the earth get its name? Is there a giardia vaccination for humans? Can a person get sunburned through the windows of a car? Is it true that peacocks can drown by looking skyward during a rainstorm? By Stephanie Pearson
The Hard Way
Start with a horde of type-A athletes competing in 11 different events, mix in nightlife, nonstop national media attention, and nine days of elite competition, and what do you get? Hood River's annual Gorge Games—and a looming identity crisis in outdoor sports. By Mark Jenkins
Cast Away: Make tracks for the lazy turquoise flats and remote beaches of Mexico's Southern Yucatan Peninsula—where landing mighty bonefish, tasty snappers, sharp-toothed barracuda, and a hammock above the sand doesn't require breaking the bank.
Plus: From the Caribbean to the South Pacific, six more wild locales to sight-cast for elusive bonefish.
Long, hard, and satisfying: Here are six fresh 1,000-mile-plus trails where you can load your pack, lace up your boots, and keep going and going and going.
Designed by three top-notch cold-weather advisers, our eight-week prewinter training plan will keep you stronger, healthier, and on your game all season.
No more excuses: three layering systems designed to keep you working out when the mercury drops.
Carry On: Giant long-haul backpacks from Arc'Teryx, Dana Design, Gregory, Kelty, Lafuma, Lowe, Marmot, Osprey, and The North Face let you pack the kitchen sink without slipping a disk.
Five backpackable toys that keep you happy on rest days and play days.
Books: Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger; Buffalo for the Broken Heart, by Dan O'Brien; The Map That Changed the World, by Simon Winchester; Fire, by Sebastian Junger.
For an extensive archive of Outside's coverage of Lance Armstrong—from our 1998 story on his comback to his 2001 victory in the Tour de France—go to web.outsideonline.com/lance
Between the Lines
Active Traveler Directory
F E A T U R E S