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.

The High, High Price of Living in Utopia

Nestled in Chattahoochee Hills southwest of Atlanta, the Serenbe community is designed to deliver everybody's favorite buzzword: wellness. You can't argue with the gourmet wine dinners, leafy walking trails, and goat yoga, but be aware that Paradise doesn't come cheap.

Carrie Battan
May 28, 2020

Adventures in Lockdown with Seven Full-Size Roommates

My dad is struggling with cancer in North Carolina, and COVID-19 cruelly cut him off from his family. But in Maine, where I live, the pandemic has forced 'Brady Bunch' togetherness that's been challenging, strangely fun, and full of lessons worth carrying forward.

W. Hodding Carter
May 20, 2020

The Misunderstood Hunters of Florida's Python Bowl

Pythons are devouring native animal life in the unique ecosystem of South Florida. To help solve the problem, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have turned to amateur and professional hunters to round up the reptiles in a wild competition called the Python Bowl.

Rebecca Renner
May 14, 2020

I Escaped Our Weird Reality with Airbnb Online Experiences

Could the company's latest play to own the experience economy transport me virtually around the world? I made sangria with drag queens in Portugal, meditated with sleepy sheep in Scotland, and visited stray dogs in Ukraine to find out just how far Zoom-powered travel could take me.

Nora Caplan-Bricker
May 7, 2020

Online Shopping Is Overwhelming. Thingtesting Is Here to Help.

In an era dominated by online shopping, dubious influencer endorsements, and trendy, direct-to-consumer gear, it’s harder than ever to know who to trust. Jenny Gyllander, the mind behind the product-review Instagram account @thingtesting, is here to cut through the noise.

Leah Prinzivalli
Apr 22, 2020

Army Ranger School Is a Laboratory of Human Endurance

The military's toughest training challenges have a lot in common with outdoor sufferfests like the Barkley Marathons and the Leadville Trail 100: you have to be fit and motivated to make the starting line, but your mind and spirit are what carry you to the end. A Ranger graduate breaks down an ordeal that shapes some of the nation's finest soldiers.

Will Bardenwerper
Apr 20, 2020

Every Second Matters: The True Story of the White Island Eruption

Last December, around 100 tourists set out for New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, where an active volcano has attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers since the early 1990s. It was supposed to be a routine six-hour tour, including the highlight: a quick hike into the island's otherworldly caldera. Then the volcano exploded. What happened next reveals troubling questions about the risks we're willing to take when lives hang in the balance.

Alex Perry
Apr 15, 2020