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Tantalizing new evidence prompts an ambitious search for Amelia Earhart by a group that can't seem to quit

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Lafuma Xmotion Leather Low hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Teva Forge Pro Event hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Scarpa Terra GTX hiking boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Keen Red Rock Low hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Merrell Covert shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Montrail Mountain Masochist Mid GTX boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Vasque Taku GTX boot.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Columbia Master of Faster Low hiking shoe.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Garmont Zenith Mid boot.

Because great adventures start with dependable kicks.

BEEMER ON YOUR BACKThe all-mesh suspension design not only kept me dry on a two-hour uphill slog, but also held the bag snug against my back as I ducked under trees. The top-loading maw swallows everything except a sleeping pad (lash it on the sides or top), while the segmented…

NEED FOR SPEEDAt slightly less than two pounds, this no-frills climbing bag doubles as an elegant overnighter. Handy compression straps cinched my sleeping pad and poles to the outside without a lopsided feel—but the Speed holds just over 1,800 cubic inches, so you’ll want to leave the frying pan behind.

CRAG BAG PLUSTapering like an inverted missile nose cone, this two-pound-ten-ouncer is one sweet summit-poacher. The main chute easily gulps down a stove, fuel, clothes, and a tightly compressed sleeping bag. The front hopper accepted my Nalgene and a couple of energy bars, while exterior diagonal lash points secured my…

Huge, heavy boots are a thing of the past. If your normal routine involves short outings, mellower trails, or lightweight packs, steer toward low-cut, breathable, flexible trail shoes. If stuffed packs, over­nighters, or craggy summits are more your style, consider stiffer trail shoes or boots with taller, more supportive…

Long Haulers Of all the full-on backpacking boots we tested this year, none was as comfy as Timberland’s Washington Summit. While it’s tall and rigid enough to handle loads north of 45 pounds, even our most blister-prone tester, who normally avoids big boots like giardia, was wooed by its athletic-shoe…

Mud Control Tromping through sludgy puddles on the Appa­lachian Trail, the Moraga’s combination of a waterproof upper and snug-fitting gusseted tongue easily kept slop at bay. That was to be expected. What really impressed us was its bite. The Moraga’s toothy outsole shed the glop and provided plenty of stability…

A Stiff and Stout Day Hiker Some light hikers feel comfy at first, only to prove mushy after several weeks of testing. All the more reason to appreciate the up-front honesty of Oboz’s superstiff Contour. Sure, break-in time is longer, but that extra rigidity translated to a secure and stable…

Most Versatile You can certainly find less expensive day hikers out there, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any as versatile and sturdy as the Thunder. Testers reported this lightweight hiker was comfy and reliable during every stage of the review process—right out of the box, on day hikes, and…

Best for Scramble-Hikes Most approach shoes are either too slipperlike for hiking or too rigid for scrambling. But SCARPA’s Epic hits the sweet spot with its combination of a thick, shock-absorbing EVA foam midsole (for the hike in) and a sticky, smear-ready outsole (for the assault on the top). The…

The Weekender “This is the Chuck Norris of hiking shoes!” proclaimed one tester. Even if we couldn’t see the resemblance, we certainly agree that the Col packs an impressive punch. Bolstered by a waterproof liner, the mostly full-grain leather upper—the toughest breathable material—proved itself on weekend after weekend of wet…

At first glance, this hauler might seem born out of Lockheed’s Skunkworks, but relax: Our Gear of the Year pack will get you there and back in a flash. A matchless mesh suspension setup saves aches and ounces, while the main compartment smartly stows as much or as little as…

Master all things meteorological with our expert primer on sun, wind, snow, and rain

“Not just different. Better.” That tester’s observation sums up this 15-degree bag from Montbell, whose major tech innovation—spiraled baffles—made it the most comfortable and best-functioning bag we tested this year. Far from a gimmick, the spiral baffles drape more evenly over the body, creating…

Meet the top performance kicks of spring.

Carry a featherweight load without leaving comfort behind.

North America’s largest ice-climbing festival, the Festiglace du Quebec will take place February 17 to 19.

Now you can explore Easter Island's famed stone statues in style

HE’S AN ACCOMPLISHED stage actor in his native England, but Andy Serkis is best known on this side of the pond for playing inhuman characters. The man who loaned his voice and body movements to the computer-generated character Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is aping it up…

The future doesn’t just happen. The next frontiers of adventure, fitness, gear, and sport are crafted by bold visionaries with world-changing dreams—and the minds and muscles to make them real. Behold the 25 all-star innovators leading us beyond tomorrow. 1. Conrad Anker: High-Altitude Altruist 2. Josh Donlan:…

ADVANCES IN SOLAR PANELS in recent years have led to some promising developments in off-the-grid recharging, with light, flexible cells that can be fused into tents, backpacks, and even clothing. Alas, the designs have thus far placed utility above style—executed with all the flair of a Soviet architect. But this…

Adventure, big and small, is all about risk. The risk that things may go terribly wrong. That danger will finally cut off your credit and hit you with a hefty bill. That luck will flee the scene as the dark tide rises. In the tales of calamity that follow, our 13 unlucky writers hold forth on their personal odysseys into the land of nightmares.

Learning Curve

The makers of adventure gear and apparel had utility dialed long ago. Now R&D types are zeroing in on style.

With "the death of environmentalism" being debated across the land—and with the mainstream movement under siege from without and within—it's time to meet the winning side in America's new green wars. Here they come, ready or not: the 20 most powerful voices leading the environmental counterrevolution.

Earth-friendly cool is everywhere, from Hollywood and innovative building design to hybrid cars and candy bars. You live, breathe, and play green already—so why not come full circle by bringing it all back home?

Does President Bush have the votes to drill Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? The world is about to find out.

ONE GUARANTEED HOT TICKET at the Los Angeles Auto Show this January will be the North American debut of the Fetish, a $686,000 Batmobile-style roadster from French boutique carmaker Venturi that can bolt from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds—with zero emissions. Green Fuels Special Issue Welcome to the brave…

Urban pollution can undo your fitness plans. To avoid the big wheeze, check out our guide to finding the freshest outdoor oxygen in cities across the country.