Essays

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What I learned about love, loss, and landscape over two decades of living in a 1961 Artcraft mobile home in the Utah desert

For most Americans, the naming of a secretary of the interior is of little consequence. However, as a Navajo man, who holds this position has defined much of my life, and the recent appointing of Deb Haaland marks a groundbreaking moment.

Few activities are more self-sufficiently satisfying

Last year, the American Ornithological Society accepted a proposal to rename a bird linked to a racist figure. And there's more where that came from.

Photographer Shaun Price captures images of a project to build a mobile bike repair center during COVID-19

A poem to remind you to stay safe out there

2021 the year to get out of your comfort zone. Every season, we’ll challenge you to conquer your fears, embrace uncertainty, and try something new with us. Up first: turn off your phone; it's time to unplug.

More than 17 years ago, a successful Michigan attorney took his life on a cherished trout stream, devastating close friends and family. Haunted by what happened, his nephew investigated and discovered tragic truths that were in plain sight all along.

Over the past two decades, eBird has become the go-to online platform for scientists and hobbyists alike to upload and share bird observations. But it has also transformed the process and etiquette of birding.

Her essays on the challenges African Americans face in the outdoors spurred an outpouring of questions from readers. This is her response.

During her college break, the author went all in on solitude—living alone on a Down East island and working for one of the area’s few female skippers. Luna Soley reflects on a time of loneliness, hard work, and natural beauty.

A mountain guide, photographer, and cyclist had a sleepy moment on the road that resulted in her seriously injuring another rider. Here’s what she wants every driver to know.

An organization called Detroit Outdoors came up with a smart way to get more urban youth interested in camping—by providing experiences in the middle of the city they live in

Armenians and Turks have a long and hostile history that includes a genocide. On a cross-country journey in 2006, two young cyclists formed a bond that bridged this fraught past.

A tale about two-wheeled island hopping in the midnight sun

Southern Civil War symbols have been a flash point in towns and cities for years, but at places like the Gettysburg battlefield and Arlington National Cemetery—which are run by the Park Service and the Pentagon—there's a new, escalating conflict over monuments that honor the Lost Cause

Professional climber Kai Lightner maps out how the outdoor community can build successful diversity and inclusion initiatives

The long-distance, virtual Womxn Run the Vote relay isn't just about covering the miles. It's also creating a new vision for feminism that is inclusive.

Two years ago, Latria Graham wrote an essay about the challenges of being Black in the outdoors. Countless readers reached out to her, asking for advice on how to stay safe in places where nonwhite people aren’t always welcome. She didn't write back, because she had no idea what to say. In the aftermath of a revolutionary spring and summer, she responds.

The knife edge of Switzerland's Hardergrat is 16 miles long with more than 10,000 feet of vertical gain

The graphic artist, writer, and mountain biker wrote a poem about her complicated definition of racism

The work must continue long after the protests end. Here's how to start. 

From Houston to Minneapolis, protesters on horseback are sending a powerful message

They're a connection to our wildest selves

John Ackerman has spent millions procuring a majority of the known caves in Minnesota, which add up to dozens of miles of underground passageways and likely make him the largest cave owner in the U.S. He collects and charts them in the name of preservation, but his controversial methods have created many opponents.

Surfers at Rockaway Beach held a paddle out this weekend in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

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Colorado State University provides educational opportunities and outreach services to the tourism and outdoor recreation industries.

'Volksmarches' are popular walking events that involve tea stops, prizes, and a noncompetitive spirit

When once crowded mountain communities like Breckenridge, Colorado, saw visitors vanish this spring, locals scrambled to mitigate the economic damage and plot a return, while keeping their towns' character intact

Zion was either going to relight my fire or be my last big rock adventure for a while. I didn’t know which.

As a newcomer to Vermont, Joshua Morse found himself welcomed by the hunting community. But there was one thing he wasn't sure he could share.

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Seven guides, artists, and entrepreneurs who personify the region’s free-spirited vibe

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.

During this strange summer, we need something productive to do. Growing your own vegetables is yummy, fun, and the ideal practical response to a challenging time.

As one of the only inhabitants of an abandoned railway stop in eastern New Mexico, Debra Dawson has been social distancing for decades. Attracted to its history and surrounding landscape, she's found happiness far away from just about everyone.

These spooky tales will make you feel like you're out in the backwoods—almost

On trail running, trespassing, and what your neighbors do or don't owe you

The joy of being a masochistic oddball

Vasu Sojitra didn't let an amputation stop him from skiing or climbing. Now he's turning his attention to advocacy.

Don and Steve Friedman decided to bond with a trek in the Cascades. Worked great! Except for some minor disagreements about work. And money. And hope. And the meaning of life. And …

Artist Eric Bealer was living the remote, rugged good life in coastal Alaska with his wife, Pam, an MS sufferer, when they made a dramatic decision: to exit this world together, leaving behind precise instructions for whoever entered their cabin first. Eva Holland investigates the mysteries and meaning of an adventurous couple who charted their own way out.

From surf cams to Fat Bear Week, live nature feeds inspire adventure and offer a break from reality

The best way to de-stress during this frightening time is to look for safe opportunities to get outside

Why a lifelong outdoor adventurer couldn't resist the siren song of fairways and greens

Seduced by the idea of turning my hobby into a paycheck, I led bike tours across the U.S. throughout my twenties. As I learned, some passion pursuits are best left pro bono.

As our country has grown more divided, so has the outdoors. But Seeker's Wild is bridging the gap between the two camps who love spending time in nature.

Every year, explore.org calls on its A-team to capture the rotund glory of Katmai National Park’s brown bears

As Wyn Wiley, the creator of the drag-queen Instagram star, explains, it all started when he grabbed some six-inch heels buried in his closet and decided to take a risk

The longtime ranger has spent decades sharing stories of Buffalo Soldiers and advocating for diversity in the national parks. But his journey started on the edge of a cliff in Germany.

The national organization and its regional offshoots give non-cis-male cyclists the chance to bike in nature and learn skills in a welcoming community

When the path to parenthood is an uncertain trek

Some believe the platform has made the sport more accessible and lucrative for female anglers. But not everyone sees it that way.

The end was coming for Roany, a strong and beautiful horse who’d been at the center of Pam Houston’s life for 25 years. What she wanted for him was simple: a peaceful exit, lifted by the touch of human hands.

The risks and rewards of being (literally and figuratively) out in the wilderness

New accounts sharing bad behavior, plus public stands from notable climbers, are bringing gross online interactions into the light

What began as a carpe diem trip has become one of the few representations of visible queerness in the outdoor world

The organization’s equity pledge ignored the work of Teresa Baker and many others striving to make the outdoor industry more inclusive. So we asked a dozen of them how to move forward.

The Venture Out Project is doing more than just teaching outdoor skills. It's creating a community.

One writer, inspired by Edward Abbey to head west, sets off for a seasonal gig that proves to be a deeply isolating experience