Outside Magazine, July 2015

The Obsessions Issue


Shark Tales
The arresting new documentary Meru is more than just the story of Conrad Anker’s fixation on scaling an impossible route up one of the Himalayas’ most treacherous peaks. It’s a candid examination of what drives climbers to the top. By Grayson Schaffer

Running on Empty
As ultrarunning grows in popularity, elite racers are suffering a puzzling condition: their bodies are suddenly breaking down. The mystery of overtraining syndrome has scientists asking just how far we should go. By Meaghen Brown

Shovel Ready
Nicaragua wants to build a massive $40 billion waterway that will rival the Panama Canal. Will that ever happen—and should it? Elliott D. Woods hits the roads, rivers, and jungles to find the source of an improbable idea.

Little Things That Kill You
It’s not just grizzly bears and poisonous snakes that nail you in the wild. As Steven Rinella knows all too well, a host of insidious microbes want to hitchhike home in your body, where they unleash a whole new world of hurt.

Fishing for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest is the best medication PTSD survivor Chad Brown has ever found. Now the Navy veteran and gear designer is using his fly-fishing business to fill that prescription for city kids and vets alike. By Patrick Symmes

First Look
: Travelers are booking guided trips that take them deep into the pain cave, blurring the line between adventure tourism and hardcore expeditions.
Covet: The Motoped Cruzer is built for the beach.
Media: William Finnegan’s fearless surfing memoir, and the Rock’s pre-disaster-movie-premiere routine.  
Drink: The fruity side of craft beer.
Feuds: Tempers get hot when prescribed fires burn out of control.

Active Cities: With cycling meetups, paddling races, and farm-fresh delivery services sprouting up all over the country, it’s easier than ever to make the urban jungle your playground. We’ve got 16 strategies for outdoor workouts, microadventures, bike commuting, and where to stash all that gear.

Why We Run: To tire out the dog. To stave off depression. But mostly to set ourselves free from our self-imposed cages. With 30 million Americans lacing up every week, any reason is a good one if it gets you on your feet. 

Sunglasses: The many shades of cool. 

Wanted: A stripped-down fly rod.
Upgrade: Go-anywhere canvas sneakers
Outfitted: Better basic boardshorts.  
Stress Tested: The new wave of stand-up paddleboards


Parting Shot