Outside Features

Archive

Fame, Romance, and a Second Chance on the PCT

Cory McDonald's main goal was to restore his health on the Pacific Crest Trail. Becoming a YouTube star, getting stalked, and meeting the perfect girl were just exhilarating extras.

Taylor Gee
Nov 7, 2019

Cornhole Is a Pro Sport Now

The American Cornhole League wants to turn a game that's typically played with one hand holding a beer—and possibly named for an indecent part of the human body—into an international spectator sport

Eric Barton
Oct 31, 2019

Is Brain Stimulation the Next Big Thing?

Over the past decade, athletes, coaches, and researchers have been seduced by the performance-boosting promises of brain stimulation. On a ride-and-zap-your-brain-like-the-pros tour through the Alps, Alex Hutchinson wonders whether it really works—and whether we want it to.

Alex Hutchinson
Oct 24, 2019

One Man's Wild Quest to Reach the Bottom of Every Ocean

Multimillionaire Victor Vescovo committed himself to one of the world’s craziest remaining adventure quests: to reach the deepest points in every ocean. What does it take to get there? A radically high-tech, $30 million Triton submersible, a team of crack engineers and scientists, and one very gonzo explorer.

Susan Casey
Oct 22, 2019

Can Video Games Replace the Outdoors?

Maybe not in our hearts, but certainly in our brains. Plus, they can make you love the indoors far too much—which is why there’s now a full-fledged, woodsy rehab center for joystick addicts who need a soothing pathway back to a normal life.

David Kushner
Oct 8, 2019

Has Overtourism Killed Big Sur?

The once idyllic coastal area of California has been besieged by tourists, and residents worry that lasting environmental damage is being done. But how can you tell visitors not to come when tourism supports so many? One local, Josh Marcus, looks for solutions.

Josh Marcus
Oct 3, 2019

I Was Flying to Montana to Bury My Son

On a plane ride over the Mountain West, a grieving father retraces his adventurous youth and searches for solace in the rugged landscapes that molded him

Mark Sundeen
Sep 30, 2019

The Legend of Baltimore Jack

When Baltimore Jack died near Franklin, North Carolina, the news shook the Appalachian Trail community. Jack had left behind the real world to live on the AT, thru-hiking it seven times and helping countless others to reach their goals. To some, his choice to live off the grid was irresponsible. Others celebrated that he'd managed to break the shackles of convention. A look back on the life of an AT antihero.

Dan Koeppel
Sep 5, 2019

Welcome to Palmerston Island, Population 35

Reachable only by boat, this remote Pacific atoll is inhabited by descendants of a footloose Englishman. The idyllic vibe is unmistakable, but it's tested by the realities of living in a very vulnerable place in a warming world.

Alison Van Houten
Aug 22, 2019