The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jul 2012

Outside Magazine, Aug 2012

In war-torn Valsura, a natural disaster has stranded thousands without food or electricity. American citizens are missing. It’s a humanitarian crisis without precedent, except that it’s entirely make-believe. Brian Mockenhaupt embeds with Angel Thunder, the world’s largest disaster-training exercise.

For Australian BASE jumper Lucky Chance, walking away from a 590-foot fall only served to affirm his invincibility. Not so his next calamity, which saw him blown into a cliff face during a thousand-foot leap. Elizabeth Weil reports on his slow recovery and second (or is that third?) shot at life.

Economic collapse. Global jihad. Nukes in North Korea. The apocalypse is coming! Or so say the preppers, a movement of food-storing, gun-toting, totally self-sufficient survivalists who intend to be ready when it all goes to hell. By Emily Matchar

With the staggering increase in autism diagnosis among children has come a new challenge for search-and-rescue teams: far more of them lost in the woods. Dean King recounts the massive five-day search for eight-year-old Robert Wood Jr. in Virginia’s North Anna Battlefield Park—and the 11th-hour miracle that brought him home.

design + technology special
A camp stove that can charge your cell phone, a peacoat that’s perfect for biking, and an adventure-ready airplane that would make James Bond swoon. These 23 products all have one thing in common: they might just change the way we play.


’s guide to the heroes, hype, and gear at this summer’s Games. Here’s what to watch for, from the U.S. marathoner who could redline her way to gold to the fastest mountain bike ever created. Plus: Charting the medal hopes of the biggest names in London, and why top athletes are training with video games. 

New England Escapes: Whitewater on Maine’s Kennebec River, lonely peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, singletrack in Vermont—these are the Northeast’s best-kept adventure secrets.
Journeys: Motorcycle excursions on four continents.

In the Lead: Don’t let bad air quality keep you from taking your training to the streets.
Tools: Three new gadgets to track your performance in real time.
Fuel: Thai chicken noodle soup will be powering the U.S. Olympic team in London. Here’s how to make it.

Kenyans have long dominated the marathon, thanks to a lucky mix of genetics, diet, and a low-key Irish priest named Brother Colm O’Connell. Ed Caesar goes to the Great Rift Valley to meet the coach who sparked the country’s running revolution.


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The Easy Life of a Surfer

In the video Fiji Part One, Australian Matt Wilkinson gives the impression that the life of a surfer is all coconuts and sun bathing and waves. Around the same time Wilkinson was promoting this easy image, countryman Mick Fanning released a series of videos that showed a much harsher reality to groms.

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Yoga for Kids: Hype or Help?

379537_2827840939436_1657965278_n-1Little Yogis. Photo: Chrissy Mignonga

By Elizabeth Sullivan

As a child of the '70s I was stuck between my older sister’s Jane Fonda leotard workouts and my mom’s obsession with the yoga revolution that was sweeping the country. I alternated between doing aerobics in front of her full-length mirror and sitting on the carpeted floor, legs folded, arms twisted like an elephant’s trunk, eyes closed, breathing deeply. Even at age four, I remember yoga making me feel strong, calm, and connected.

Three decades later, yoga for kids is booming, with classes for children as young as three. Proponents say it’s a way for little ones to deal with the pressures of childhood. It also helps give them focus and flexibility that can benefit them in sports and school. But as a parent of four active, soccer-playing, hiking, skiing, outdoor boys, I was on the fence: Do kids really need yoga? Or is it just another activity to add to their overly-scheduled lives?

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The Deadliest Animals In the United States

Shutterstock_75988273Alligators and crocodiles landed in the #10 spot in the CDC's database. Photo: Shutterstock

Whether it's by stinging, crushing, biting, butting, kicking, or any other variety of accidental or nefarious means, animals injure millions and kill hundreds of people every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps a database of the fatalities. Dr. Joseph Forrester and colleagues pulled all of the agency's statistics from 1999 to 2007, organized and analyzed what they found, and then wrote a paper appropriately titled "Fatalities From Venomous and Nonvenomous Animals in the United States (1999–2007)."

Some motivation to write the paper, which was published this past June in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, came from Forrester's job as a general surgery resident. He sees small children who have been bitten in the face by dogs. And some motivation came from further afield: Forrester has paddled down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers with the help of his brother Jared, and the two have climbed mountains from Africa to South America. "Whenever we are traveling in these areas, it is easy to let one's mind drift and wonder, What if?" Forrester says. "Particularly with respect to aggressive animals. We wanted to see how our perception of animal-related fatalities corresponded to reality as defined by the CDC database."

Here's a breakdown of what they found, by the numbers.

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