Chris summits Nepals' Island Peak.
Chris summits Nepals' Island Peak.
Indefinitely Wild

What’s New Outside: April 15, 2016

IndefinitelyWild’s weekly roundup of what’s new and interesting in the outdoors. This week: adventure bikes spied and urban spelunking underneath freakin’ Chernobyl.


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Welcome to IndefinitelyWild’s weekly roundup of news from the outdoors. What’s new outside?

What’s the Best Base Layer?

The Wirecutter has applied its obsessive compulsive testing to the world of performance base layers and crowned winners for men and women. We’re not sure we agree with their results (no mention of Patagonia’s excellent new Merino Air range?), but it’s still a great place to start if you’re shopping for the first time, particularly if you’re on a budget. 

How the Outdoor Industry Is Saving the World

You know Seattle’s Cascade Designs for its Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads and MSR snow shoes. But did you know they’re involved in major efforts to give clean drinking water to the developing world? Read about that in the New York Times

Meet the Outdoors’ Enemies

Adventure Journal introduces you to the elected politicians who are flying in the face of public will in order to sell off your public lands for energy exploitation. It’s short-term (and private) profit at the expense of our nation’s wild heritage. 

Spread across Peru's Nazca region, these "puquios" channeled wind into underground aquifers to power water to farms, and did so as early as 1,000 BC.
Spread across Peru's Nazca region, these "puquios" channeled wind into underground aquifers to power water to farms, and did so as early as 1,000 BC. (Wikimedia/Public Domain)

Another Peruvian Mystery, Solved

You know about the Nazca lines, but did you know about the extensive series of nearby, swirling holes in the earth? Turns out they were used to harness the wind to power an extensive system of underground hydraulic system for distributing water from aquifers, making the otherwise arid region viable for agriculture. 

What It Feels Like to Be Hunted from the Sky

The Independent has a moving story from Malik Jalal, a local Pakistani official who has spent the last six years being targeted by America’s drone killing program. It’s terrifying, heartbreaking, and senseless. 

Rooftop Farming, Photographed

Rooftop farms—some private, some part of larger programs—are exploding in some American cities. What do they look like? The New Republic has an excellent photo essay. 

Captain Planet Is Real

Red Bulletin has a profile on Pete Bethune who hunts animal smugglers on land and at sea with a team of elite commandos. And they do that unarmed! 

More Perspective on Jackson Hole Surplus Killing

So a pack of wolves killed 19 elk near Jackson Hole in one night. As we told you, that's actually a normal feeding behavior from wolves, in which they capitalize on an opportunity in order to feed themselves for months after. Now, writing in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Timothy Preso provides more insight into the state's flawed management practices

New Mid-Size Yamaha Tenere Spied

Yamaha’s 1,200cc Super Tenere is a surprisingly capable adventure bike, despite its leviathan 636 pounds wet weight. So, this new, upcoming model fitted with the MT-07’s parallel-twin should be even better. Especially if they’re able to keep the new mid-size Tenere’s weight close to the MT-07’s 400 pounds. 

Underneath Chernobyl

Holy crap. You remember the “Elephant’s Foot?” It was a flow of molten, radioactive material straight out of Chernobyl’s reactor, and the most dangerous portion of that whole disaster. Well, someone with absolutely zero regard for his own safety just climbed down into the concrete sarcophagus poured over the reactor post-explosion to photograph what it looks like today

African Governments Oppose EU’s Trophy Hunting Ban

Trophy hunting is, on the surface, a blood-thirsty exploitation of rare animals. But it’s also a financial lifeline for large animal species in Africa, economically incentivizing land owners to cultivate wild animals rather than livestock. Ban it and that land will revert to cattle farming, not only throwing local economies into a tailspin, but also putting the outright survival of species like lions in jeopardy. Post #CecilTheLion, the EU wants to ban the importation of hunting trophies, but, motivated to save both the income and animals, African governments like Zimbabwe’s are urgently pleading for them to reconsider. It’s a complex issue, one that requires you to put aside your anthropomorphic love of animals and apply a strictly rational approach to conservation

Tommy paddles the Oru in the Pacific. So long as it's calm, the Bay is right at home in the open ocean.
Tommy paddles the Oru in the Pacific. So long as it's calm, the Bay is right at home in the open ocean. (Thomas Wayne Erst)

What You’ll Be Reading Next

Chris, our photographer, is departing next Friday to paddle the 30 miles of open ocean from Long Beach, California, to Catalina Island in a folding kayak. Meanwhile, I should be getting an exclusive look at the new, head-up display equipped helmet from Russian firm LiveMap. We’ll also have stories on a revolutionary new bicycle wheel from Reynolds, and an in-depth look at the diet Mike Horn will use when he travels human-powered-only to both poles. 

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