Long Reads

Long reads are the longform articles our readers know and love. These features showcase our strongest writers, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors.

A Boat Fire Killed 34 People, and We May Never Know Why

On Labor Day weekend 2019, the 'Conception' left Santa Barbara, California, for a diving trip to the Channel Islands. Six months later, authorities are still trying to determine how what should have been a routine excursion became one of the deadliest maritime disasters in U.S. history.

Kathryn Miles
Feb 26, 2020

World's Best Kayaker Seeks Full-Time Employment

With a résumé full of wins at kayaking's most prestigious competitions and historic first descents of the planet's deadliest whitewater, Nouria Newman is considered one of the greatest paddlers around. So why can't she turn her passion into a sustainable career?

Kyle Dickman
Feb 24, 2020

Nordic Skiing Has an Addiction to Toxic Wax

Fluorinated glide wax is being banned from elite competitions, and big brands like Swix say they’re searching for environmentally friendly alternatives. But the seductively speedy—and noxious—compounds are unlikely to loosen their grip on the sport anytime soon.

Bill Donahue
Jan 24, 2020

The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town

As one of the northernmost settlements on earth, the Norwegian hamlet of Longyearbyen has become a magnet for adventurous souls looking to start a new life. But when an unsettling crime happened, it brought home a harsh reality: in the modern world, trouble always finds you.

David Kushner
Jan 13, 2020

Rickey Gates Is the Rambling Poet of the Running World

It's not easy to make a living as a professional mountain runner, but the globe-trotting Coloradan is doing it on his own terms. We sent our writer on a weeklong bus trip with Gates (and a bunch of sweaty strangers) to find out more.

Martin Fritz Huber
Jan 9, 2020

I Loved Bike Touring—Until I Got Paid to Do It

Seduced by the idea of turning my hobby into a paycheck, I led bike tours across the U.S. throughout my twenties. As I learned, some passion pursuits are best left pro bono.

Caitlin Giddings
Dec 30, 2019