The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Jan 2013

Bode Miller Is Selling His Yacht and Focusing on the 2014 Olympics

Bode Miller's ultimate goal is to ski at full strength in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Last February, Miller hurt his knee while skiing in a race there. When he tried to ski on it a couple weeks later in Bansko, Bulgaria, he realized it wasn't working right. In the spring, he had microfracture surgery. While early December reports said Miller might return in February, he says in the video embedded above that a recovery may take 12 to 18 months. "If I give my knee a full chance to heal, it should be very close to 100 percent, which it hasn't been since 2001," he said. "We have a chance to really finish on a super high note on that Olympic season—where I'm really focused and draw things together and try to put together a real legendary season."

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Think Small: Editor's Letter, January 2013

Keyes_januaryIt's been more than two years since Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner unveiled his ambitious Red Bull Stratos mission, a plan to free-fall from a height of 128,000 feet and become the first human to break the sound barrier without the aid of jet propulsion. That announcement gained considerable worldwide attention, including an August 2010 cover story in Outside. Not only was Baumgartner challenging a record that had stood for more than 40 years, but he was trying to execute a NASA-scale project while relying on a sponsor known more for kitschy stunts—like landing a motorcycle atop the Arc de Triomphe replica in Las Vegas—than for pioneering science.

When Stratos was delayed, many observers assumed that Red Bull had bitten off more than it could chew. As two stories demonstrate this month, that was anything but the truth. In our Exposure Special, "Bull Shot," photographer Balazs Gardi documents some of the impressive logistics that led to last November's triumphant Stratos mission, while Outside associate editor Ryan Krogh, who was on the scene in Roswell, New Mexico, the day of the jump, reveals exactly how Red Bull managed to pull it off. And in "Get Your Head in the Game," a profile of sports psychologist Michael Gervais, Brian Mockenhaupt lets us in on one of the more surprising factors that led to the mission's two-year delay: Baumgartner was afraid of his space suit. Mockenhaupt chronicles the methodical counseling that enabled Baumgartner to stop panicking and focus on his historic feat.

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Platypus Introduces Streamlined Hydration Packs

Platy1

Hydration packs aren’t always the most exciting subject. They have a reservoir to hold your drink, they stash your tools and food and your gear. They often have straps that, sure, can draw your load in toward your body, but they sometimes flap and snap and sting when you’re maching downhill.

Platypus’ new cross-country cycling hydration packs are a different breed. Ultralight storage for minimalist MTB rides, these sport-specific packs have superior ventilation, fit, and good gear organization. And they’re cleaner than other packs—bullet shaped with nothing to flap or snap.

PLATYPUS TOKUL X.C. 3.0 is the smallest and most minimalist pack in the line, just the ticket for riders who’d rather not carry a pack. If all you need is hydration, fuel, and tools for basic trail-side triage, this is the bag for you. It comes with one liter of gear storage, a liter reservoir, an external tool pocket, and an internal pump sleeve. Available in five-liter and eight-liter versions, January 2013, $70-$90.

If ultralight XC isn’t your gig, not to worry. The XC packs are just one piece of Platypus’ new hydration pack line, which also include all-mountain, biking, and hiking packs.

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Going Analog and Other Adventure Resolutions

Falcon2Camping cure-all. Photo: Katie Arnold

Happy new year! The exclamation point feels a little forced this morning as I saddle up to my computer with a mix of dread and anticipation. Something tells me I’m not the only one. For 10 days, the whole country has been in the space between: real life, suspended. No school, work, deadlines, meetings, professional obligations. My husband, two daughters, and I spent Christmas in Connecticut with my parents and siblings and their eight kids. I left my computer in Santa Fe and, with all the free time I wasn’t wasting on Facebook, we walked to the beach with the kids, set up my niece and nephew’s new slackline, played paddle tennis, and shucked and ate eight dozen Bluepoint oysters. I even managed to read a whole book.

I craved the uninterrupted family time, but by the end, I was antsy. I missed my writing, our family’s normal routine. Structure. This is the conundrum of 21st-century family life, played out on a national level during the holidays: How to strike the balance between too much to do and too little? Me-time and we-time? If you don’t plan, things don’t happen, but if you plan too much, you run yourselves ragged. We wrestle with this all the time in our house, but it’s especially pronounced this week as I look back on all the fun we had in the last 12 months—river running, camping, a month in bare feet, Thanksgiving in the canyons, etc.—and start scheming a new year of adventure resolutions. Here's our bucket list. What's on yours?

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Adventure Video of the Week: Surfing After Sandy

There are a slew of stories coming out now about the rebuilding effort in the Rockaways. Residents who witnessed the storm destroy many homes, damage others, and take the lives of their neighbors are struggling to salvage what's left. After the storm hit, Matthew Power embedded with Doctors Without Borders as they set up a station in the Far Rockaways to help with the recovery. Abe Streep of Outside tagged along with a crew from Team Rubicon who worked to gut and help rebuild a home in Belle Harbor. 

Beach 87th Street/Surfing After Sandy is the latest short film on homeowners who weathered the storm and are now rebuilding. It's less about surfing, and more about community. Though the video doesn't tackle bigger questions about the strategy for rebuilding, it does offer an intimate look into the lives of homeowners near the coast who are waiting to see what kind of aid the government will provide.

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