Outside Magazine, December 2015

2016 Preview and Our Greatest Gift Guide Ever



The high-altitude, lung-busting challenge imported from Europe has become one of the hottest winter sports in North America. Why? Because this pursuit proves that premeditated suffering can be highly addictive.

What’s spurring so many A-list celebrities to appear on a survival TV show? The chance to experience a little fear and risk, which, as Grylls keeps telling us, only makes you stronger.

Your guide to North America's best skiing. Inbounds and out.

Fueled by Pop-Tarts and Little Debbies, 52-year-old software engineer Kurt Searvogel is out to break the record for the greatest distance pedaled in a year. What motivates a man to ride more than 200 miles a day—every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, sunrise to sunset?

As the trends have swung from minimalist slippers to fat shoes and back again, one thing has remained the same: to avoid injury, you need burly feet

The human body is awash with microbes, inside and out. And scientists are now discovering just how important that is for athletes.

The year ahead will be filled with goggles that guide us down the ski hill, stoves that could save humanity, and Kubrickian pods that will carry us to the edge of space

Best practices for a good buzz

What would happen if we treated sleep as seriously as our diet?

Australia is home to 24 million people and roughly 60 million kangaroos. The cuddly looking creatures are still a beloved national icon, but they're also the scourge of ranchers, frequent roadkill, a favorite on restaurant menus, and now the target of government-sponsored sharpshooters. Our writer hops Down Under for a rugged tour of one of the world's most surprising human-animal conflicts.

Want to find the crowd-free surf of yesteryear? Drive from Los Angeles to Baja, load five days of gear onto a SUP, and haul ass through thick fog, screaming seagulls, and open ocean to the rocky, big-wave coast of Todos Santos.

Life Coach
With a bevy of new shows extending his reach from the U.S. to Europe to China, Bear Grylls has established himself as a global voice for the rewards of wild places and risk. No wonder A-list celebrities, including President Obama, are lining up to share the thrill. By Michael Roberts

Stand Up and Ride
A paddleboard can be the ticket to adventure freedom, a vehicle for quietly reaching life-list dream spots. Our team tests that proposition with a glorious SUP expedition to Islas de Todos Santos, where they find no-crowds, surfing bliss that seems like a throwback to a different time. By Joe Carberry

Hello, I Must Be Going
To capture the record for the greatest distance covered in one year on a bike, Kurt Searvogel must ride more than 200 miles a day, every day, weather and morale be damned. How? Willpower is essential, along with performance boosts from Little Debbie. By Tom Vanderbilt

Australia's most iconic critter has a PR problem: there are roughly 60 million of them, which means environmental damage, roadkill pileups, and a national appetite for violent culling and kangaroo steaks. Some Aussies are horrified, prompting the world's strangest war over a problem species. By Paul Kvinta

Up Is the New Down
If you think you're in great condition, your first skimo race may change your mind. Nick Heil turned early failures into a full-on crusade to get in the shape of his life, climb faster, and ski better. What he experienced could redefine your notion of winter fun.

What's Next: From new sports (bikepacking!) to epic expeditions (high school twins will make first descents in Antarctica!), we're laying down 22 bold predictions about the people, trends, and gear that will shape our world in 2016.

Ski Resorts: 
Forecasters are calling for big snow in the American West—gracias, El Niño—which means deep days at classic spots like Vail, Taos, and Park City. Whether you're looking for a backcountry bro-down or the perfect plan for mellow family fun, we've got your trip mapped outPlus: Avalanche school and the best season passes.

In the Lead: Trillions of bacteria living in and on your body could make you a better athlete.
Do It Better: The quest for a perfect night's sleep.
Moves: Want to prevent injuries? Strengthen your feet.
Fuel: Caffeine—our favorite PED.

Gift Guide:
We did the shopping for you, putting together a prize list of everything from bikes to skis to backcountry bartending tools. Let the joyous unwrapping begin.


Parting Shot