Outside Magazine, August 2016

Olympics Preview



Team Rubicon began in 2010 with a unique dual mission: providing disaster relief and giving struggling American veterans a vital sense of purpose. The program has a reputation for ignoring best practices and obliterating red tape, and it has already disrupted the aid industry. Now founder Jake Wood wants to take on the Red Cross.

Dixie is bursting with adventures, hip breweries, and a new river to raft (we’ll explain). And it hasn’t lost any of its down-home charm.

When his daughter developed a serious form of arthritis, Logan Ward watched her drop out of sports and lose confidence. The one place she could still move with ease was underwater, and he decided to push her boundaries with one of the world’s most high-risk sports: freediving.

Tough and nimble, these off-road kicks are ready to fly

While the nation freaks out over the presidential race, 
a climbing legend is quietly helping the industry become a powerful force

It takes more than dedication to reach the podium. Athletes are bolstering raw talent with finely tuned training plans, power-packed meals, and catamarans that fly over the water.

You can do better than a rusty grill and red plastic cups

It's all about experience, eating slow, and going beyond the comfort food

A guide to the places where glory will be won—and where the victors will live, sleep, and train

A German automaker’s California design lab is cooking up custom chariots for American Paralympians

The best American mountain biker in a generation has had to overcome heartbreaking tragedy to reach his pinnacle

Halfway around the world, fly-fishing scientists are unraveling the secret lives of giant steelhead—one cast at a time

The Darién Gap is a lawless wilderness on the border of Colombia and Panama, teeming with everything from deadly snakes to antigovernment guerrillas. The region also sees a flow of migrants from Cuba, Africa, and Asia, whose desperation sends them on perilous journeys to the U.S. Jason Motlagh plunged in, risking robbery, kidnapping, and death to document one of the world’s most harrowing treks.

Waiting to Inhale
A dad's first instinct is to protect his child. So freediving together isn't usually high on a father-daughter to-do list. But when the author watched his 12-year-old girl shrink from an active life after she developed juvenile arthritis, he decided they both needed the risk. By Logan Ward 

Go (18 Time Zones, Over Seven Days, All to Catch an Insanely Beautiful, Kremlin-Protected, Gargantuan) Fish
On Russia's faraway Kamchatka Peninsula, a few lucky anglers are helping scientists make breakthrough discoveries about giant steelhead, those enormous seagoing rainbow trout that fishermen spend a lifetime chasing. By Grayson Schaffer

Recipe for Disaster
Who better to parachute in when a natural calamity strikes than U.S. military veterans? That's what Marine sniper Jake Wood figured when he founded Team Rubicon in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. By Kyle Dickman 

Skull on a Stake 
Encountering human bones on a hiking trail is terrifying—but not entirely out of the question in Central America's lawless Darien Gap. The jungle wilderness connecting Panama and Colombia provides a highway for drug traffickers, guerrillas, and—now more than ever—desperate migrants making their way north. By Jason Motlagh

DISPATCHES: Olympic Special 
The All-American
: Ryan Lochte's plan to rack up four more golds. 
Primer: Lighter, quicker, catamarans turn sailing into flying. 
Performance Enhancer: How swimmer Natalie Coughlin remains a contender. 
The Gold-Medal Diet: What powers runner Shalane Flanagan, volleyballer Jake Gibb, and long jumper Brittney Reese. 
XX Factor: It's not about the bike for triathlete Gwen Jorgensen
Tech: Paralympic track athletes are upgrading—to BMWs.
Rising Star: Carlin Isles is the fastest man in rugby. 
Active Cities: Rio's Olympic complex
The Underdog: Mountain biker Howard Grotts rides in his brother's memory. 

The South: Superior cycling, a relentless new Class IV river, unlimited shrimp and grits, and eight more rowdy reasons why this corner of the country is hotter than ever. 

: A techy update of the classic Polaroid camera
Mountain Bikes: Bigger tires are here to stay
Upgrade: Grill better. Way Better.
Spectrum: Trail runners for rocks, rain, and rough inclines. 
Style: Shoes to walk you from summer into fall.

Colorado's new outdoor czar is a six-time Everest climber fighting for recreation and public lands. Can he help harness the political power of a divided outdoor industry? By Frederick Reimers


Parting Shot