The Outside Blog

Adventure : Jan 2012

The Adventure-Travel Junkie

Twitter
YOU FOLLOW: @smartertravel and @adventuretravel for bulletins on deals, destinations, and gear; @explorersclub and @explorersweb for updates on professional expeditions as they happen; and @worldnomads for a veteran’s smirking perspective on globe-trotting—e.g., “App connects those in need of a bathroom with locals willing to share one (Throne surfing?).”

Facebook
YOU LIKE: Adventure Journal for its always drool-worthy Weekend Cabin department; the Joy Trip Project for its culling of good-vibes outdoor-film clips, songs, and stories (“Loving Fleet Foxes The Plains/Bitter Dancer from the soundtrack of Sweetgrass Productions film Solitaire”); consumer advocate Christopher James Elliott for his informed postings on travel scams and controversies; New York Times writer and long-haul traveler Nicholas Kristof, who posts behind-the-scenes info about his weekly column; and Steve Fisher, who documents a lifestyle that’s equal parts vagabond and huck doll.

Apps
YOU USE: Hipmunk for quick flight and hotel searches; TripIt Pro ($49 annual subscription) to stay on top of fares and flight delays; and GateGuru to make the best of any layover. Your mapping folder includes HG2 for slick city guides, Maplets for access to more than 4,000 local maps worldwide, and AroundMe to locate nearby services like banks, gas stations, and, naturally, bars. PackingPro ($3, and worth every penny) makes sure you always have everything you need, and currency converter GlobeConvert helps you avoid getting fleeced. TruPhone scores you cheap international calls via Wi-Fi ($13 per month, unlimited), plus free Internet calls to other TruPhone, Skype, or GTalk users.

Web
YOU BROWSE: Bing.com/travel for its Price Predictor, which forecasts when airline tickets will be cheapest; Travelzoo.com/airfare for the latest flight deals; and Gtrot.com for travel recommendations plucked from social media. For insight and inspiration: the Art of Non-Conformity blog, by the irreverent Chris Guillebeau, who’s on a quest to visit all of the world’s countries by 2013.

YOU SCHMOOZE: At guidebook publisher Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum and World Nomad’s message board. (Recent query: What’s the best dive operator in Marsa Alam? Answer: Diving Akassia.)

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The Cycling Geek

Twitter
YOU FOLLOW: @vaughters, Garmin-Cervélo manager Jonathan Vaughters, for unfiltered pro-cycling news; @lancearmstrong and his alter-ego, @juanpelota, if you still believe, and former Versus correspondent and noted Armstrong picador Neil Browne (@neilroad) if you don’t.

Facebook
YOU LIKE: The off-color rants featured on Drunkcyclist.com; the Science of Sport for its news and analysis of doping scandals (as well as regular nutrition and training); Wilderness B = Wilderness with Bikes, fellow activists who demand that mountain bikes be allowed in federally protected wilderness areas. Occupy!

Apps
YOU USE: Wahoo Fitness, which turns your iPhone into an ANT+ bike computer; social training app Strava Cycling to share stats and compete for points and prizes with anyone who’s done the same rides in your area; and the ultra-techy Bicycle Gear Calculator ($5) to fine-tune chainring pairings with crank length and tire width.

Web
YOU BROWSE: Elden Nelson’s Fat Cyclist blog, which roasts sacred cows (“You do not want to ride with [Outside contributor] Bike Snob NYC ... you will most assuredly be t-boned, run-over, mugged, and have your bike stolen”). For video, you turn to the motivational segments on Thesufferfest.com (motto: “I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow”) and to Cyclingfans.com for live feeds of all major pro races.

YOU SCHMOOZE: By swapping bare-knuckled bike reviews on the MTBR.com reader forums and kvetching on the Pinkbike.com message boards.

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The Endurance Freak

Twitter
YOU FOLLOW: @everymantri for the prolific stream of links to video, gossip, and triathlon news; Born to Run author @mcdougallchris, the guru of going barefoot, for dispatches on technique and running science; @lavamagazine and @3gomag for the sermons; and Ironman pro Chris McCormack (@maccanow) for hardcore encouragement (e.g., “always give 100 percent, unless you’re giving blood”).

Facebook
YOU LIKE: The well-curated fitness and nutrition links on Active.com, but you love the 620,000 other page fans who can help you crowdsource answers to nagging sports-injury questions (e.g., “I have a hip stress-fracture—advice?” which was fielded by somebody called Comfortably Numb); and Tough Mudder, the trendy enduro-challenge.

Apps

YOU USE: The iMapMyFitness suite, which records -workout stats along with walking, biking, or running routes; Tri-Essentials, which delivers daily push notifications that offer inspiration, training tips, and photos; and dieting app FoodScanner ($.99), which converts UPC-code phone-cam pics into a personal database of calories and ingredients.

Web
YOU BROWSE: Your old split times on Athlinks.com, which archives race results from thousands of events each year; Endurance Planet podcasts, which feature interviews with the best distance athletes; and ultrarunner Anton Krupicka’s autobiographical Riding the Wind blog for its moments of Zen: “Spent all day filming around Rio. Quite the city and landscape. Shin was sore.”

YOU SCHMOOZE: By debating training stats at Attackpoint.org and sharing GPS tracks with other Suunto users on Movescount.com.

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The Gear Nerd

Twitter
YOU FOLLOW: @thegearjunkie, a.k.a. Outside contributor Stephen Regenold, an avid tester of everything from ski goggles to performance underwear to hiking sticks (“handsome staff!”); @coldsplinters, a.k.a. Jeff Thrope, whose classical tastes run to canteens and Norwegian welted boots; and technofied Aussie Amy Jurries, @thegearcaster, who recently touted a blog post on how to “order the perfect jacket
size from The North Face, using your webcam.”

Facebook
YOU LIKE: Backcountry.com for frequent deals and free stickers, REI for more deals plus earnest tips (e.g., “Sleep-Warm Tricks for Cold-Weather Camping”), and The North Face for still more deals, plus a steady stream of film clips of their athletes in action.

Apps
YOU USE: Gear Aid, with step-by-step directions on how to clean, patch, deodorize, and re-waterproof just about anything; Uncrate, which dishes up pure product porn on whatever they find, from bourbon and bacon to gadgets and power tools; and Steep and Cheap, Backcountry.com’s deal-a-day app for excess inventory.

Web
YOU BROWSE: Members-only discount site The Clymb and CleanSnipe, a one-stop aggregator of 50-plus gear retailers, including one-deal-at-a-time sites like Bonktown, big players like REI, and obscure specialty retailers like the Flip Flopper. For gear reviews, you troll OutdoorGearLab, which covers everything from avalanche beacons and climbing helmets to tents and helmet cams, and the Gear Institute, a new site cofounded by former Outside staffer Justin Nyberg.

YOU SCHMOOZE: By runging your way up the contest-like Leader-board at Backcountry.com, posting reviews and answering other users’ questions. If you’re into light hiking, you chitchat at Backpackinglight.com ($25 per year), where polite forum discussions revolve around chart-laden reviews of snowshoes and homemade gear.

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