Survival

Live Through This

ENOUGH WITH SILLY STUNTS on tropical islands—Survivor is so yesterday. For the real deal in white-knuckle reality TV, check out Survivorman. Each episode of the new...

Paddling Fool

I WAS HOME ALONE some years back on a gray and misty Halloween. My girlfriend had gone to Manhattan, leaving me to face the sticky-fingered procession of ghosts and goblins ringing our doorbell....

Pinto Mean!

I WAS A GRAD STUDENT in northwestern Florida in 1990 when a breakup with a girlfriend exiled me and the dogs to a trailer on several acres in the country. Wandering the adjacent Apalachicola...

Snowplowed

IT LOOKED LIKE A HEARD of white buffalo stampeding down on me. I just had time to yell down to the others, "Avalanche! Hang on!" before it hit me with the force of 10,000 pillows. It was...

Dire Consequences

1. 1815 Captain James Riley runs aground off North Africa, where he and his 11-man crew are enslaved by the Sahrawi tribe and marched 800 miles through the...

Bleak Streak

A FEW YEARS AGO, a magazine approached me to write about a quirky and very rich British adventurer who was determined to cross the ocean by car. He planned to put in at the Bering Strait, a 53...

Tour de Farce

AS AN ADVENTURE PHOTOGRAPHER, every time I take a trip, I'm thinking, This could be the one, the one that makes a million bucks, the one that brings fame, fortune, enlightenment—something....

Incoming!

WHAT ARE THE ODDS? That one man's bare behind, hung off the Long Ledge bivouac near the top of Yosemite's El Capitan, could deposit all its foulness directly on our heads, with us 600 feet lower...

Itchy and Scratchy

I LEARNED TO DEFECATE in the woods while I was still in single digits. Our small Wisconsin farm was surrounded by hundreds of acres of swamp and forest, and my siblings and I were often out of...

Kamp Soggy Bottom

I WAS 16 AND TRAPPED in a thunderstorm on a mountain known for some of the worst weather in the world. Next to me a grown man lay sobbing, whimpering, pounding the mud with his fists. He was my...

Belly Dance

FOR A WEEK I'd been laid up in Jerba, a run-down resort isle on Tunisia's Mediterranean coast, with a ghastly stomach bug that had liquefied my innards. Even so, I was determined to visit...

Cannery Woe

BETWEEN JOBS A FEW YEARS BACK, I decided to work in a southwest Alaskan cannery in Dillingham, which is not so much a town as an open-air boat garage by a tent city near Bristol Bay. Shifts ran...

I Was an Avalanche Test Dummy

I'M BURIED ALIVE. It's February, and I'm in Utah, in the mountains near Park City. Immobilized in a seated position in a five-foot-deep pit, arms outstretched in front of me, I might be...

Shattered

I'M FALLING. HORIZONTAL IN MIDAIR, my face seeing the empty sky, my back toward the rocky ground 20 feet below and, 700 feet below that, the bottom of New Mexico's Rio Grande Gorge. Nothing...

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