Outside Magazine, Aug 2012

This month in Outside



Project Angel Thunder is the largest search-and-rescue exercise in the world, involving 1,700 pilots, commandos, and recovery specialists training in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico to save your ass in some impossibly bad situations. Embed Brian Mockenhaupt discovers that while the scenarios are pure fiction, the game is deadly serious.

Charting the career arcs of six of the biggest Olympic stars

These three athletes are guinea pigs for the latest in athletic science

Height is a distinct advantage in the high jump: tall guys don’t have to put as much air between their feet and the ground to get their center of mass over the seven-plus-foot bar. Which is why it’s astonishing that North Carolina native Jesse Williams, 28, is the reigning world champ. At six feet, he’s at least four inches shorter than most of his competition.

London is being called the Twitter Olympics—there were more Olympics-related tweets on one day in May than there were during the entire Beijing Games. Here are the Twitter accounts, sites, and apps that matter.

The method behind the most intensive drug-testing program in history

Marathoner Shalane Flanagan’s masochistic plan to bring home the gold

Tracking Olympic cash flow in the run-up to London

From magic coatings that repel water to wired ski poles, these are the four innovations of tomorrow

Maybe you've never heard of Lucky Chance—born Toby Benham—but the Australian climber, circus act, and all-around stunt monkey was testing the limits of BASE jumping in 2011 when he survived a horrible mountainside crash in France. What happens when a highflier falls to earth? He starts over—no matter how daunting the prospect.

From sharks and cougars to avalanches and frozen waters, four survivors share their stories in their own words. Plus: expert commentary.

When Robert Wood Jr. disappeared in a densely forested Virginia park, searchers faced the challenge of a lifetime. The eight-year-old boy was autistic and nonverbal, and from his perspective the largest manhunt in state history probably looked like something else: the ultimate game of hide-and-seek.

Whitewater on Maine's Kennebec River, single-track in Vermont—these are the Northeast's best-kept adventure secrets

Meet the preppers, a rattled, robust survivalist movement whose members just hate being called survivalists. Emily Matchar investigates the 21st century's wildest new apocalyptic scene.

Our favorite long hauls on two wheels

The U.S. Olympic Training Center serves 1,200 meals to 350 athletes each day. The most popular dish? A nutrient-dense Thai chicken soup.

How Brother Colm O'Connell became the guru of Kenyan running

A titanium bike with swooping lines and parallel triangles for added flex and greater shock absorption.

Fact: Exercising in polluted air can increase your risk of asthma, stroke, and heart failure. But is it better than the alternative—avoiding a workout altogether?

In war-torn Valsura, a natural disaster has stranded thousands without food or electricity. American citizens are missing. It’s a humanitarian crisis without precedent, except that it’s entirely make-believe. Brian Mockenhaupt embeds with Angel Thunder, the world’s largest disaster-training exercise.

For Australian BASE jumper Lucky Chance, walking away from a 590-foot fall only served to affirm his invincibility. Not so his next calamity, which saw him blown into a cliff face during a thousand-foot leap. Elizabeth Weil reports on his slow recovery and second (or is that third?) shot at life.

Economic collapse. Global jihad. Nukes in North Korea. The apocalypse is coming! Or so say the preppers, a movement of food-storing, gun-toting, totally self-sufficient survivalists who intend to be ready when it all goes to hell. By Emily Matchar

With the staggering increase in autism diagnosis among children has come a new challenge for search-and-rescue teams: far more of them lost in the woods. Dean King recounts the massive five-day search for eight-year-old Robert Wood Jr. in Virginia’s North Anna Battlefield Park—and the 11th-hour miracle that brought him home.

design + technology special
A camp stove that can charge your cell phone, a peacoat that’s perfect for biking, and an adventure-ready airplane that would make James Bond swoon. These 23 products all have one thing in common: they might just change the way we play.


’s guide to the heroes, hype, and gear at this summer’s Games. Here’s what to watch for, from the U.S. marathoner who could redline her way to gold to the fastest mountain bike ever created. Plus: Charting the medal hopes of the biggest names in London, and why top athletes are training with video games. 

New England Escapes: Whitewater on Maine’s Kennebec River, lonely peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, singletrack in Vermont—these are the Northeast’s best-kept adventure secrets.
Journeys: Motorcycle excursions on four continents.

In the Lead: Don’t let bad air quality keep you from taking your training to the streets.
Tools: Three new gadgets to track your performance in real time.
Fuel: Thai chicken noodle soup will be powering the U.S. Olympic team in London. Here’s how to make it.

Kenyans have long dominated the marathon, thanks to a lucky mix of genetics, diet, and a low-key Irish priest named Brother Colm O’Connell. Ed Caesar goes to the Great Rift Valley to meet the coach who sparked the country’s running revolution.