Outside Magazine, Jun 1998



With what? Dire expectation, for one: Of snail-like progress through the soul of RV Nation. Of Truckers Use Low Gear, High Wind Warning, Slippery When Wet. A few days on the road as the highest-impact camper, and yes, please check the oil.

As often as we use them, we can't help but abuse them. Or can we?

Destinations: Alaska Raw
With its 6,600-mile coastline, Rhode Island-size glaciers, and minimalist highway system, getting intimate with the 49th state takes a healthy dose of local wisdom. Thus, with the help of a few kind natives, we bring you the sourdough skinny on kayaking, rafting, climbing, biking, fishing, and road-tripping in the nation's most unaltered state.


Lord of All He Surveys
Doug Tompkins, the elusive multimillionaire and cofounder of The North Face and Esprit, had a vision: He started buying up huge swaths of Chilean rainforest — an Eden of fjords, waterfalls, 2,000-year-old trees, pumas, and parakeets — to piece together the planet's largest private nature preserve. An environmentally noble plan, worthy of a thank-you, no? Apparently not.
By John Ryle

Alone Among the Crowd
The not-so-swell parts of being a young American cyclist trying to make it big on the European circuit? Cold spaghetti for breakfast, getting cursed at in Italian, and perpetual homesickness. So why bother? For the sweetest part: a chance at becoming the best racer in the world.
By Paul Keegan

The Billion-Dollar Boat
Somewhere out there, Tommy Thompson knew, lay a fantastic treasure waiting to be claimed, a Midas-like stash of gold with a value "impossible to describe." But when somewhere means more than a mile beneath the Atlantic's chop, actually getting your hands on the fortune is a bit of a challenge.
By Gary Kinder

My Road to Hell Was Paved
Destination: the sweeping vistas of the American West. Mode of travel: the 29-foot-long mother ship, the gas-gulping scourge of the interstate, the absurdly enormous, slow-moving road turtle with the name that strikes fear into the heart of tailgating motorists everywhere: Winnebago!
By Ann Patchett



Dispatches: News from the Field
With Kenya's national parks in shambles, two legends of wildlife conservation publicly lock horns.

PLUS: French sailing diva Isabelle Autissier loses her own race, why rotting whale carcasses might make for a really new-and-improved Tide, and more.

Field Notes: Strange bedfellows
From the sound of things, western North Carolina is attracting not only hikers and paddlers these days, but also conspiracy theorists, doomsayers, and assorted menacing nutjobs. Which is why things needed a look.
By Alex Heard

Out There: Getting up again
Flattened by back surgery, the karmic tit for tat for decades of immoderate adventuring, one intrepid yet hopeful sort contemplates life, death, and the (bleeping) moss-covered rock that landed him here.
By Tim Cahill

The Wild File
How many times can a stone skip? What's that smell when it rains? Why is yawning contagious?

Bodywork: Feets of strength
Perhaps it's no secret that the lowest extremities take the brunt of an athlete's abuse — or that we tend to ignore them until they start barking. Thankfully, whether the goal is to heal old injuries or prevent new missteps, a few simple strategies can help to keep your dogs faithful. PLUS: A step-by-step guide to choosing proper-fitting athletic shoes.

  • Routines: A 20-minutes-or-less routine to power up your gams.
  • Trends: Why fat tests get an F, no matter how you fare.
  • Classics: How an old classic can propel you through a summer of carefree wave-riding.

Review: Summer's smartest athletic attire
Technical shorts, shirts, and outerwear that — mirabile visu — boast all the style and comfort of your regular workaday threads.

  • Buying Right: Sport watches so complete that just telling time seems, well, too easy.
  • The Other Stuff: A camp stove that'll burn any fuel you feed it, the new shoe that takes the slip 'n' slide out of your riverside scrambling, and CamelBak's clever new hydration system.
  • Books: Cities of the Plain, the long-awaited final installment of Cormac McCarthy's border trilogy; Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight, by William Langewiesche; and more. Between the Lines


Active Traveler Directory

Cover photograph by Jeff Schultz/Alaska Stock