F E A T U R E S
What's Your Pleasure?
Sometimes you feel like Thoreau. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you go gourmet. Sometimes you eat gorp. Whichever way you tend, be it spartan or luxe, long-haul or short, we've done your scouting for you. From crucial gear to epic routes to prime backcountry real estate, here's your clearly marked trail to happy camping.
Go Long, Go Deep:
If you're going to do it, do it big. Walk out the back door and into the wilderness, and don't come back until you're good and ready.
By Bill McKibben The Floating World:
By kayak or canoe, the ways of the voyageur are rich and strange: the epic schlepp of portaging, the solace of flannel sleepwear.
By Stephanie Gregory Get Real Gone:
"Where the hell am I?" can be the most illuminating question of all. Come learn the fine art of getting lost (while staying off the evening news).
By Rob Story Wherever You Go, There You Are:
It's the shiniest, new—fangledest, coolest toy in your pack. But that GPS unit is dead weight if you don't know how to use it.
By Tom Chaffin Are We Not Men?
To the light and fleet, the most important gear is the stuff you leave at home. Hey, if you don't pack it in, you don't have to pack it out.
By Mark Jenkins It Ain't Heavy, It's My Salmon on Toast Points:
The backcountry Martha Stewart assaults Mount Whitney with savoir faire to spare. Wallowing in luxury, campers? It's a good thing.
By Mike Steere
Mr. Sunset Rides Again
He was the golden boy of endless summers, the high-riding, high-living Hawaiian champion who helped build Quiksilver USA from scratch, taking surf fashion mainstream and making millions along the way. But the rush of big waves and heroin could only keep Jeff Hakman going for so long.
By Rob Buchanan
Leaving Las Vegas
Along the Strip, the world's ultimate main drag, cars and cash and neon-splashed asphalt dominate the scene. Not exactly the best place to explore the mindful virtues of walking, right? Wrong, as it turns out. After all, going where your feet take you is as much of a gamble as putting your cards on the table.
By Rebecca Solnit
Spring Fashion: Off the Bus
It's an Electric Kool-Aid beach party! When the Green Tortoise finally hits the Baja coast, the whole merry band is ready to strip down and get wet. But with clothes this hot, who wants to get naked?
Photographs by Craig Cameron Olsen
D E P A R T M E N T S
Adventure racers endure hundreds of miles of rocky trails, canyons full of icy whitewater, and balky sponsors. But is this true sport or television hype? Physicians sound the alarm about a life-threatening ailment. Their rallying cry: Eat more Cheez-Its!
Just when the dam-breachers are on a roll, a government decision could hold back the free-river movement on Idaho's embattled Snake.
Vail's controversial Blue Sky Basin opens for business.
A surprising new technical fabric puts the lie to the old hiker's mantra that cotton kills.
Mountaineer Paul Grand takes Manhattan—nearly every inch of it—on foot.
PLUS: The planet's one and only vegan wolf; free-diver Pipin Ferreras goes deep on one lungful of air.
The Wild File
What's the stuff of a perfect wave? Do animals laugh? Can you stay drier by running through the rain? How many people have lived on earth?
By Jim Collins
The Hard Way
Raging snowmelt in Jakeys Fork brings a 100-mile spring ski traverse of Wyoming's Wind River Range to a sudden halt an hour from the car. And the only way across the swollen creek involves a tree, a rope, and two parallel lives.
By Mark Jenkins
On the lam in New Zealand: The Maori people grow hushed and reverent when they speak of the South Island's Mackenzie Country—an alpine idyll of towering peaks and lush river valleys named after a legendary freebooter and escape artist. Patrick Symmes goes deep into the most remote of renegade territories.
Who cares if the fish are toxic? Paddling among cormorants and corroding cars in the Bronx River, a New York canoeist discovers that nature is still sublime.
PLUS: Sea-kayak to the Statue of Liberty! Surf Rockaway Beach! Cycle the New Jersey Palisades! Return alive to brag about it!
Stand fast: What are the twin pillars of the wise outdoor athlete's strength? The legs, Grasshopper, the legs. Now hop to it—just in time for the adventures of summer.
Digital devices for the outdoor athlete: Pining to crunch the numbers on your precise speed, distance, and altitude? We sort through a bushel of altimeters, heart-rate monitors, and cyclometers, and dish out the best silicon from Thomen, Casio, Polar, Specialized, Avocet, Sigma Sport, and more.
Sport-specific lumbar packs kick butt.
The world's finest pocket camera: the Contax TVS III.
The atlas, updated for the 21st century.
Plush mats for bouldering or (we won't tell) napping.
PLUS: The Last Marlin, by Fred Waitzkin; Frost on My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer, by Tim Moore; Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley; and more.