Adventure: Blisters R Us

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Outside magazine, August 1996

Adventure: Blisters R Us
By John Alderman

On July 24, two single-engine floatplanes will drop six explorers onto the icy chop of Summit Lake, deep in Alaska’s Brooks Range. Once ashore, the team will begin a 20-mile trek through scree fields, across mountain streams, and over tussocky tundra to the banks of the Koyukuk River, where collapsible canoes will be airlifted in for a 100-mile descent through Class II

The explorers are all teenagers and will be sharing their adventures via Outside Online (

“Adults are constantly going on expeditions and telling us about it on the Internet,” says 17-year-old Rachel Flood, leader of the Denver-based team. “It’s about time we got out there ourselves.”

Through Adventure Grants, a new program developed by Outside and Hi-Tec, the outdoor footwear maker, money, equipment, and training are awarded to a team of youngsters who create the best adventure proposal. The kids organize and lead the trip, but instructors from the National Outdoor Leadership School shadow the expedition. But there’s a
question: Just who will be looking after whom out there?

“If they get into any trouble,” remarks Flood, “we’ll be there to lend a hand.”

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