Indefinitely Wild

What’s New Outside: April 4, 2016

Mountain Lions, Vikings, and Honey Badgers, oh my

Chris, mountain climbing in Iceland, a year ago. (Chris Brinlee Jr.)
Photo: Chris Brinlee Jr.

Welcome to IndefinitelyWild's weekly roundup of news from the outdoor world, as well as a behind-the-scenes peak into our upcoming stories.

No Ted Cruz, Texas Is Not a Model for Land Management

It’s hard to write about this issue without coming across as incredibly partisan, but that’s because it’s entirely Republican-backed, Democrat-opposed, and also flies in the face of American tradition, threatening to (quite literally) sell our national heritage off to the highest bidder. Last week, Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has been talking about selling off public lands, using Texas’ almost complete lack of them as some sort of example to be replicated nationwide. Writing in Adventure Journal, Adam Sowards has an excellent explanation of why that’s a bad idea. Regardless of which way you lean politically, I think that all us outdoorsmen can agree that our country’s wild places should not be for sale.

The Jeep FC150 concept being driven through Moab, Utah. (Chris Cordes)

Jeep Concepts In Action

Did you dig those concept Jeeps we told you about a couple of weeks back? The lucky guys at Expedition Portal got to hoon them at Moab, and they put together a great photo gallery of the vehicles in action

Signs of Hope for California

Rains promised to arrive via El Niño never materialized here in Southern California, but it looks like the event still managed to deliver a solid amount of snow to the Sierra Nevada. Much of the state’s water is sourced from snowmelt in that mountain range, throughout the year. Beyond agriculture, the drought has seriously impacted California’s beautiful wild places. Campfires remain banned almost statewide, and small game animals have virtually disappeared, leading to all sorts of odd behavior from the animals that rely on it. Here’s hoping that this is just the first of many more years of good precipitation. We’re not out of the woods yet. 

The Weird Dogs, and Weirder People of the Iditarod

Vice Sports has a great photo gallery of the people and dogs of Alaska’s famous Iditarod. I suppose you’re not terribly normal if you’re entering a 1,000-mile dog sled race. 

Camera Traps in 'The New York Times'

A couple weeks back, Gareth put together a how-to for us around photographing animals using motion sensor cameras. Not convinced you should give it a try yet? Check out these incredible shots of mountain lions, elephants, tigers, and more in the New York Times

Women Aren’t Wusses

Krista Langlois wrote a great piece about women recreating alone in the backcountry. The gist of her argument? “Help us create a world that gives more women the confidence to be alone.” Sounds about right to us. 

We’re About to Find a Lot More Viking History in North America

A new satellite-based approach to searching for Viking settlements is enabling researchers to find more, and larger ancient Viking settlements in eastern Canada, potentially re-writing the history of early exploration of this continent. 

This prototype "Honey Badger" pack from Slingfin should be nigh-on indestructible, totally protecting its contents from impacts and abrasion while weighing in at just 1 Lbs, 13.6 Oz. Click to enlarge. (Wes Siler)

The Most Dangerous Thing in the Office this Week

This new pack from legendary tent designer Martin Zemitis’ new brand SlingFin is designed to carry your stuff safely, no matter how dangerous the situation. It uses an external frame/body made of woven polypropylene, and polyethelene, held together by zip ties and Perlon cord, to protect the dry bag you carry inside. That makes it both virtually indestructible, and completely field repairable. An ideal combination for canyoneering and other gnarly activities? I’ll probably hurt myself finding out.

Wes bought this Discovery with just 124,000 careful miles on it. Click to enlarge. (Sinuhe Xavier)

What You’ll Be Reading Next

I’ve come up with a harebrained hypothesis about wolf predation behavior based on the Chinese movie Wolf Totem, and am about to hop on the phone with a wolf researcher named “Amaroq” to talk it through. Then, this weekend, I tested my new Land Rover’s rock climbing abilities at an off-road park here in SoCal. Meanwhile, Chris (our photographer) went canyoneering in Zion, and occasional science contributor Laurel Allen just got back from the Sahara Desert. Something about Berbers, Bill Murray, flintlock pistols, and spoiled housewives; I’m looking forward to reading that one.

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