Outside Magazine, January/February 2018



The gear you need to shred all winter long

One of our favorite new packs pays homage to the Forest Service—and looks good doing it

Mission-critical supplies for when the mercury drops

Shred all winter long with these essentials

During 40 years of adventure, hard-charging writer and climber Mark Jenkins has asked a lot of his wife and kids. After his fourth attempt on a dicey Chinese peak, he examines the risks and rewards of a risk-defying career.

A professional adventurer has to break a few eggs along the way—and, apparently, several bones and a skull. Mark Jenkins tallies up the most memorable injuries and mishaps from a life lived on the edge.

Uberlight and able to take moisture in stride, a new breed of synthetic down is changing the winter jacket for good

Why this year’s Games are poised to be America’s most monumental yet

Get ready for these contenders to crush the Winter Games

Our best team in ages wins more by having fun

From mountain bike-inspired prosthetics to couch skiing, Americans are using the latest advances to maximize their output

The essentials this snowboarding pro will bring to the Olympic Village to help her perform at her best

How to master one of the toughest moves we'll see at the 2018 Games

Matt Thomas was a world-class kayaker who got paralyzed in a mountain-bike accident. His friend Joe Jackson moved in for a demanding stint as a caregiver. Outdoor sports were off the table, of course—until Thomas heard about paragliding.

The microbes in our digestive systems can affect everything from our mental health to our weight and vulnerability to disease. So why not athletic performance? New science is set to revolutionize the way we eat, train, and live.​

In the name of citizen science, we peered inside the bellies of Outside staff—and seven elite athletes

Wondering how to ensure that your gut is healthy? We're here to answer your most pressing questions.

The ideal healthy-gut diet for performance

Behold the astonishing explosion of alpine sports in the People’s Republic—as directed, promoted, and financed by the Communist Party in the run–up to the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Early in his political career, the interior secretary irked fellow Republicans with his willingness to stand up for conservation. Things have changed, and whether you love or hate his ideas, know this: he’s one of the few Trump-era cabinet secretaries with the juice to make things happen, and he’s got the boss’s back.


Our best travel and adventure photography of the month.

Daddy Has to Go: No matter how many times Mark Jenkins tells his wife that his latest dangerous expedition will be his last, he’s soon scaling peaks again thousands of miles from home. Trapped in a whiteout on the Chinese mountain Nyambo Konka, he reflects on the costs—and benefits–of adventure to his family. —Mark Jenkins
Weightless: When Joe Jackson moved in to care for his kayaking buddy Matt Thomas, who was paralyzed in a mountain biking accident, he got a crash course in the grinding minutiae that make his friend’s daily life so hard. But then they discovered that soaring beneath a paraglider could help Thomas finally feel free. —Joe Jackson
This Man Flies His Own Flag: Interior secretary Ryan Zinke came into office saying that he wanted to operate in the outdoor tradition of Teddy Roosevelt. But during a year marked by controversy, a shift to the right, and major disputes about our public lands, he’s become one of the Trump administration’s most polarizing figures. —Elliot D. Woods

Chinese Downhill: In the run-up to the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Communist Party is firing its economic rocket boosters to create nearly 1,000 new ski resorts, part of a glorious plan to mint 300 million winter-sports enthusiasts by 2022. —Tim Neville

Bodywork Special

No Gut, No Glory: Scientists are calling the human microbiome the forgotten organ. And their discoveries about the trillions of bacteria living inside us may revolutionize how we think about diet, performance, and endurance. So in the name of citizen science, we subjected ourselves and seven elite athletes—including skier Cody Townsend—to microbial analysis, with eye-opening results. —David Ferry

Dispatches Winter Olympics Special

The Contenders: With a deep roster of talent ready to slide and soar onto the podium, Team USA might want to bring a few extra bags for all the bling

Rising Stars: Kikkan Randall and her cross-country sisters are the cold-weather version of U.S. women’s soccer: fun-loving winners pushing for equal rights along the way

Design: Paralympic snowboarder Mike Schultz manufactures his prosthetics—and his competitors’

Tech: The performance boosts of virtual reality and brain stimulation.

Broadcast Notes: Bode Miller won’t be racing, but we’ll still get to hear him run his mouth on NBC. 

Gear: What’s in slopestyle favorite Jamie Anderson’s luggage.

Drawing Board: Snowboarder Chris Corning unpacks how he’ll land the world’s first quad cork in competition.

Drink: Meet makgeolli, Korea’s favorite rice wine.


2018 Adventure Bucket List: To get at the real journeys of a lifetime, we called on the experts—the Outside writers and outfitters who’ve traveled the world. Here are their dream trips, from floating Idaho’s Selway River to hiking Scotland’s Outer Hebrides

Base Camp: The Ocean Nova is the best way to cruise Antarctica.


Wanted: Filson’s Ranger pack salutes public lands.

Upgrade: Ski-season necessities for both ladies and gents.

Lowdown: Your goose is cooked. New synthetic fill to rival the feathery stuff

Stress Tested: Winter tech to beat the cold.


Women’s Fitness: When temperatures drop, we rise.

Exposure/Parting Shot
Between the Lines