Published

Escape civilization and head into the unknown by visiting one of these 10 off-the-grid paradises

Forget the drunk, stumbling, bleached-blonde, muscled hordes of Panama City. Take a trip to one of the country’s top spots for adventure and come back refreshed.

Start off 2012 right, with a trip to one of the world’s wildest destinations

Introducing our 2011 READER OF THE YEAR, Ryan Levinson, an athlete who competes like a champ while fighting a savage form of muscular dystrophy. PLUS: SIX HONORABLE-MENTION HEROES

From Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

For your first shoe, go with a simple yet versatile style and stick to easy on/off Velcro. The Hybrid handled both slab and crack climbs, thanks to its sticky rubber, which is also engineered for longer wear. millet.fr…

Grand Canyon river guides spoke, and Teva listened. The result: supersticky footbeds, secure ankle straps, lightweight and simple buckles, and rugged rubber soles. teva.com…

A harness is more than just something to hang by. You’ll want it to be durable with plenty of gear loops for carabiners, like the featherweight (only 11.2-ounce) R-280. Sure, it might look paper-thin, but its strength-dispersing technology uniformly distributes your body weight for maximum comfort.

If some Chacos and Crocs had a love child, it might look like the Tikali. The nubuck leather lends a touch of class on land, while the Velcro keeps them securely on your feet in the drink. crocs.com…

Protect your noggin with this first-ever women-specific (read: ponytail-compatible) ten-ounce helmet. Ten vents release steam on hot days and the removable foam is washable when it starts to stink. petzl.com…

Necessary addition to your starter kit: a chalk bag. Keeping your hands dry is essential for better grip. This bag offers easy access—and is available in feminine prints. metoliusclimbing.com…

These synthetic hybrids aren’t just comfortable to pad around in; they also cinch down tight, via a one-pull lacing system, for fording fast waters and hiking moderate trails. ecco.com…

G2 has the same sodium-to-water ratio as regular Gatorade, for optimum hydration, but half the calories (25) per serving, so you can drink it when you’re not working out. drinkg2.com Bummer: Tastes like candy, and not in a good way.

The hiking-boot mainstay built its classic arch support into these shoes. Tiny perforations in the toe allow water to escape, while the mesh blocks grit. hi-tec.com…

Recognizable ingredients taste best. The 170- to 190-calorie Pure bars are a mix of nuts, soy, sugar, and dried fruit—with nine grams of protein and about six grams of hunger-stalling fat. balance.com…

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that protection from wind, rain, and sun is important. This DWR-finished, recycled polyester windshell weighs no more than one pound and scrunches down to the size of an apple. Your pack won’t even notice. nau.com…

Quickly replenish your energy stores mid-run with 13 grams of carbs (maltodextrin and fructose), 55 milligrams sodium, and an easy-down, Tang-like taste. cytomax.com…

Get bang for your buck. The Big Air XP package comes with a beginner-friendly belay device (for catching your partner while she lead-climbs) and a locking carabiner (so you can secure your harness’s belay loop to the device, not shown). bdel.com…

Strawberries, soy, raisins, coconut, and chocolate: With 130 calories, four grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbs, this slender bar will help you postpone dinner until after your run. The penalty: 2.5 grams of saturated fat. soyjoy.com…

This moisture-wicking, skin-tight nylon-Lycra racerback tank has four-way stretch so it moves with you. Plus, because it’s extra-long, it never crept above testers’ hips. No built-in support means you can strip down to your sports bra on warmer days. lululemon.com…

This 100-percent-real-fruit energy bar features a maltodextrin-fructose blend to deliver more energy to muscles over the long haul, with six grams of protein and zero junk food. powerbar.com…

If you aren’t flailing on 5.10’s anymore, you’re probably ready to start lead-climbing. It’s time to invest in quickdraws (like Black Diamond FireWires, $17.50), a daisy chain, and a high-quality rope. BlueWater’s 10.2-millimeter, 60-meter Eliminator is long enough for some multipitch climbs. Bonus: A percentage of the proceeds…

Ultra freaks, take note: Gu’s new high-powered sugar slurp has about three times the citrates and amino acids of its regular gels and may help battle fatigue in extreme races. Taste? Salty and a touch bitter. gusports.com…

While you can continue to use your daypack, eventually you’ll want to upgrade to something climbing-specific, like this 2,250-cubic-inch hauler, built roomy enough for a rope, a sling full of quickdraws, and extra layers. Why else do we love it? Ski loops mean it can double as a winter…

This is the first amphibian from running powerhouse NB. Portholes allow water and sand to drain, and a Vibram sole doggedly grips rocky terrain. newbalance.com…

Short shorts are never a good thing when you’re above your belayer. These knee-length capris will give you the right coverage without hindering your ability to move. Plus, the stretchy nylon fabric can stand up to scraping the wall. lolewomen.com…

Sperry partnered with the U.S. Sailing Team to create a per-formance racing bootie. Interior mesh panels allow the ankle-high neoprene to drain quickly, while a removable internal toe thong adds extra control on slick surfaces. sperrytopsider.com…

The planet is smaller than ever, but that just means there's a host of new dangers out there—and a new set of solutions. These days, a text message or the right travel-insurance policy might just save your bacon. So study up—your life may depend on it.

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

Julian Carr plans to fling himself into the record books this winter

ON THE LEFT Columbia’s moisture-wicking Omni-Dry Mountain Tech Thermal Base­layer. ($60; columbia.com) Few‘s acrylic Moa Hunter Sweater, for the bold. ($54; few.co.nz) Aigle‘s lightweight Polartec recycled-fleece Walker Track Jacket. ($105; aigleusa.com Obermeyer‘s insulated Tungsten Jacket is tricked out…

Meet Outside's Fittest (Real) Men in America. Emulation is encouraged.

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; wilson.com Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

Ultrarunning ambassador Dean Karnazes shares his secrets for going, going, going …

You don't need to have billions or hold office to make a big difference. Just check out how this year's nine eco-all-stars—from a Chilean dam buster to a snowboarder who's seen the light—are changing the world.

In the past ten years, Philippe Cousteau Jr. has seen the death of his grandfather, Jacques, the ascent of his uncle, Jean-Michel, to clan figurehead, and a series of nasty in-family lawsuits that fractured the Cousteau Society. Now, as the power struggles of the older Cousteaus fade, a third generation…

The Classic Powder Skiing Once you experience Alta's powder, you too will be an Altaholic ALTA SKI AREA, Utah: Not only does Alta get twice as much snow as less blessed resorts—it averages 500 inches—but its flakes are also lighter and drier. Maybe that’s why nearly 80 percent of…