Outside Magazine, Aug 2005



Fit or not, it's time to wise up and listen to your ticker. It could be headed for an untimely failure.

Think Utopia doesn't exist? Maybe not yet—but these ten towns are making a play for perfection with adventure-friendly innovation and cool ideas for building smart communities. Plus the hottest concepts in urban revival, combating sprawl, and better hometown living.

Don't undermine your trail-shoe investment with tired socks. A fresh set of condition-specific cushions will turn miles into smiles.

Fifty years ago this August, Sir Hugh Beaver, of the Guinness brewing company, commissioned a London fact-finding agency to compile a book of records so British pub-goers could discuss something besides their aching livers. The resulting Guinness Book of World Records, which issues a new edition each October, has since…

After years of faithfully guarding against the much-hyped perils of dehydration, recreational athletes were hit with some startling news this past spring: Drinking water can kill you. A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine had news outlets issuing grim proclamations about the dangers of hyponatremia—a potentially deadly…

Can you hear the silence? We’re in a lull between diet fads. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the next hot diet will probably appear within months, killing off the previous rage and, unfortunately, any sound nutritional advice it might have contained. Ask and You Will Receive Got a fitness…

“Never say never, but I have no desire to climb over 8,000 meters again,” says mountaineering superstar Ed Viesturs. Well, you can’t blame him. Over the past 16 years, Steady Eddie has spent an estimated 25 days above 8K (26,240 feet) en route to becoming the first American to climb…

Seven years after his last book, Cormac McCarthy is back—and the old cuss is leaner, meaner, and bloodier than ever. In his new novel, the famously reclusive New Mexican pens a furious tale of Southwestern noir with a body count approaching Tarantino-esque proportions. cormac mccarthy McCarthy is so famous for…

You can't buy it in any store, can't send away for it online, can't meet the author (there are thousands), and you probably won't be able to read it if you do find it, since much of it is written in Hebrew. PATRICK SYMMES follows the trail of an underground global legend: the everywhere-and-nowhere travel bible of Israel's combat-fatigued, footloose vagabond yo

Until early last year, the ivory-billed woodpecker was presumed extinct—there hadn’t been a confirmed sighting of the 20-inch-tall bird, once common in the southeastern United States, since 1944. But in April, after a yearlong hunt involving sophisticated remote sound-recording technology and plenty of neck craning, ornithologists announced that at least…

What does a naive environmentalist discover when he buys his own forest? He's got to log it to save it.

At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.

Whether your happy medium is mud, water, or plain old dirt, there's a trick new trail runner built to take you there


Looking to settle in Shangri-La? Check out ten towns that are making a strong play for perfection, with eco-smart designs, adventure-friendly innovations, and plentiful outdoor playgrounds—plus a commitment to the good life that really hits home.
By Mike Grudowski

PLUS: Eight honorable mentions for best place to live —and a sneak peek at Buena Vista, Colorado , where a pair of twenty-something kayakers are building an urban wonderland around a world-class whitewater park.

At the pitch-black bottom of one of the world’s deepest underwater caves, extreme diver Dave Shaw found the body of a young adventurer who’d perished while exploring the sinkhole ten years earlier. He vowed to come back, recover the victim’s remains, and return them to a still grieving family. It was a quest that would end with vindication—or haunt the survivors forever.
By Tim Zimmermann

Spend time on South America’s vagabond highways—particularly if you’re a young Israeli—and you’ll hear about a legendary compendium of tips, tirades, and travelers’ wisdom called simply the Book. Join our man on the back roads of Bolivia and Chile, in search of the planet’s wildest guidebook.
By Patrick Symmes


» After becoming the first American to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks (without oxygen, to boot), ED VIESTURS says adios to all that high altitude—or does he?

» Take it outside: Build a badass BACKYARD HANGOUT with waterproof appliances, plush seating, and (sorry, Mr. Foreman) a stainless-steel infrared grill.

» Atkins is out, so what’s the NEXT FAD DIET ? Chris Carmichael knows, and he’s got a surprising opinion: This one might actually be good for you.

» HYPE-O-NATREMIA A recent medical study raised alarm when it linked the deaths of some recreational endurance athletes to overhydrating. Should you worry?

» After 50 unbelievable years in print, THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS has recorded some outrageous anomalies and stupid human tricks. Can you tell fact from fabrication?

» CORMAC McCARTHY delivers a spectacularly violent new novel from the borderlands, No Country for Old Men. PLUS: Get lost, Deep Throat—we’ve got the first interview ever with the newly unextinct IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER .

Summer means it’s high time to take to the wild, with little more than the shoes on your feet. We tested dozens of the season’s top TRAIL RUNNERS , from Nike to Teva, bringing you the best for mud, water, and dirt. PLUS: The RIGHT SOCKS to keep your piggies cool and dry.

We’ve got new reasons to start thinking about your heart—no matter how hard you work out. Learn the symptoms that put you at risk, plus a lifetime plan to KEEP YOUR TICKER TICKING .

After scoring his own PRIVATE FOREST —a sickly outpost abutting Montana’s Rattlesnake Wilderness—our writer wondered how to make his woods healthy again. The answer’s in his new larch dance floor.
By Peter Stark