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.

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

MC Yogi Is the Polarizing Hype Man of Yoga

Nick Giacomini went from being a Bay Area burnout to a yoga celebrity. His career is also a window into long-standing debates about yoga and cultural appropriation in the U.S.

Leah Prinzivalli
Apr 7, 2020

The Woman Who Lives 200,000 Years in the Past

As we confront the reality of COVID-19, the idea of living self-sufficiently in the woods, far from crowds and grocery stores, doesn't sound so bad. Lynx Vilden has been doing just that for decades, while teaching others how to live primitively, too.

Katherine Rowland
Apr 2, 2020