Outside Magazine, April 2016

The Best Trips of 2016



By European standards, Ireland’s County Donegal, tucked into the country’s far northwest corner, may as well be Mars. But for adventure travelers, it’s a hidden frontier packed with wind-bitten landscapes to mountain-bike, rowdy coastline to surf, and 500-foot sea stacks to climb. That is, if you’re brave enough.

Reports of tequila’s demise may have you worried. These Mexican spirits will help calm your nerves.

Protesters have made genetically modified food a bogeyman, but it may be the key to feeding a growing planet

Gear to keep you moving through the unpredictable spring months

That device in your pocket has the potential to become a full-on action cam

A new documentary tells the other side of the growing labor dispute at the top of the world

After two years of unimaginable tragedy, everyone from outfitters and Sherpas to would-be climbers and the Nepalese government is questioning the future of commercial mountaineering. And then there’s Morton, a veteran guide who spent the past year asking: What happens when you try to leave the world’s most lucrative mountain forever?

Heart-rate apps bring Olympic-caliber recovery to everyone

The city gets a bad rap: flat, boring, concrete. The flat part? That’s true. But the rest couldn’t be more wrong.

For 28 years, Kay Grayson lived side-by-side with wild black bears in North Carolina's swampy coastal forests, hand-feeding them, defending them against poachers, and letting them in her home. When she went missing last year, the only thing the investigators could find were her clean-picked bones. And that's just the start of the mystery.

The NBA great is as competitive on the trail as he was on the court

This generation’s best climbers built their skills in climbing gyms. Now they’re venturing onto big walls.

You’ve heard that Kobe Bryant meditates, and that most pro athletes perform their best while in a flow state. But what does that mean, and how do you get there? Three new books attempt to demystify the cloudy world of mindfulness training.

For a decade, the African nation of Burundi was home to a unique phenomenon: group jogs involving thousands of people who hit the streets to sing, socialize, and sometimes protest the nation’s authoritarian president, Pierre Nkurunziza. In March 2014, he banned the activity. As conflicts threaten to boil over—and the body count continues to rise—runners have become both weapons and victims.

From epic skiing in Antarctica to a lazy beer-fueled canoe trip in North Carolina, these are the best places to visit this year


This month, Exposure celebrates the release of 'Sharks: Face-to-Face with the Ocean’s Endangered Predator,' a 334-page project by longtime Outside contributor Michael Muller.

For Those About to Rock
In the far northwest of Ireland, there's a green land o' plenty, filled with 500-foot sea stacks, fields of heather, and curling waves. County Donegal is the end of the rainbow for bikers, climbers, and surfers. And you'll have it all to yourself. By Stephanie Pearson

Dave Morton is pushing pause on Everest. After the avalanches, earthquakes, and growing tension between climbers and Sherpas, the veteran guide is hanging up commercial trips in favor of helping the Sherpa people. But can anyone walk away from the biggest business in climbing? By Abe Streep

Nowhere to Run
Following 12 years of civil war in Burundi, jogging clubs helped knit the country back together, with thousands of Hutus and Tutsis pounding the pavement en masse. But when the president banned group jogs, running became a dangerous political act. By Peter Frick-Wright

What Killed the Bear Lady?
Kay Grayson loved her ursine friends. She fed them outside her home in North Carolina's northeastern forests. She went on walks with them. They slept in her trailer. And when poachers decimated Tyrrell County's black bear population, she fought for their lives. Then, mysteriously, she lost hers. By Brandon Sneed

First Look
: With gym rats taking over the crags, will rock climbing lose its soul?
Big Idea: Don't demonize GMOs quite yet—we may need them to feed a growing planet.
Media: A brave documentary examines labor issues on Mount Everest.
Outsider: NBA great Reggie Miller's singletrack habit.
Drink: Tequila supplies are about to plummet—better drown your sorrows in mezcal and sotol.
Style: The fine art of bike commuting.

The 28 Places to Go in 2016: Pull up a barstool at Havana's Riviera Hotel, pack-raft Alaska's Wrangell–St. Elias National Park, fat-bike across Antarctica, kick back on the north shore (of Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain), and so much more.

: An elegant, cycling-inspired flask.
Stress Tested: Technical shells to keep you dry and happy in all kinds of conditions.
Lowdown: Outfitting your smartphone
Upgrade: Spring training.

In the Lead: How athletes can use mindfulness to push past their performance limits. 
Training: The key to recovery? Get a heart-rate app.
Active Cities: Going beyond the concrete in Houston.


Parting Shot