Outside Magazine, September 2016

16 Adventure Towns



Fall’s stealth timepieces are burly, technical, and 100 percent badass

American churches are building first-class gyms to get followers in shape and attract new members to the flock. Critics see lucrative businesses masked as ministries, but the programs are a spirited defense against our obesity epidemic.

It may come as a surprise that the world-championship climber's natural habitat isn’t the mountains, it's Manhattan

The biggest craze in cycling combines the popularity of distance hiking, gravel grinding, and vanlife. But for bikepacking disciples like Tom and Sarah Swallow, simplicity and solitude are the real rewards.

Engineers futz with things for a ­reason: that’s how breakthroughs happen. And as these 29 products demonstrate, there’s never been a better time to mess around.

A new generation of natural protein powders build muscle and aid recovery the clean way

Luckily for you, these involve no slot machines—only glassy waters for paddling and natural playgrounds for climbing

Once released, the formerly incarcerated face a daunting set of challenges­—a job, a place to live, and, most urgently, breaking the cycle of bad friends and bad habits that can lead to more prison time. Now scientists and activists are asking whether nature may be essential to helping them build new lives.

When the news broke in May that BMX legend Dave Mirra, who committed suicide in February, had the degenerative brain disease CTE, everything changed in the world of action sports. Cyclists, skiers, and 
other athletes began asking: are we subject to the same concussion and CTE risks that have been so widely reported in the NFL?

A growing number of ­scientists, athletes, and even a retired general believe that ­fasting leads to better health. Should you listen?

Looking for a road-trip excuse? the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have some of the best oysters in the country.

It’s the one made especially for you, based on 3-D scans of your feet. And it's coming.

Kelly Slater is leading the charge to roll out a totally surfable wave pool. Will tech-savvy inventors beat him to it?

Best Towns 2016
Nearly 700,000 votes later, Billings, Montana, is this year’s winner, thanks to its ridiculous fishing, backcountry access, and affordability. We’ve also got the lowdown on what makes our other 15 finalists great, from Seattle’s ferries to Hanalei’s surf.

Righteous Abs
How much would Jesus lift? More than you might think. Christians are celebrating their faith in newly physical ways as evan­gelical churches inspire their congregations to stay healthy and get ripped. By Erin Berisini

Impact Zone
The degenerative brain disease CTE isn’t confined to the football field. As BMX legend Dave Mirra’s recent suicide demonstrates, concussions are exacting a deadly toll among action-sports and adventure athletes, too. By Dan Koeppel  

The Great Escape
Time spent in nature has ther­­apeutic benefits for everyone from veterans to at-risk youth. Now researchers think it can help those who’ve spent years cut off from the outdoors—ex-cons. By Brian Mockenhaupt 

First Look:
Kelly Slater’s big-bucks battle to win the artificial-wave race. 
Food: From Phat Ladies to Murder Points, southern oysters are sweeter. 
Gear: Running shoes are getting ­personal. 
Bikepacking: After rolling 5,000 miles, one couple is helping to define cycl­ing’s hottest trend. 

ESSENTIALS: Design + Tech Special 
­Bulletproof. Packable. ­Connected. When cutting-edge engineering meets the outdoors, the result is 29 breakthrough products to help you survive everything from a freezing bivvy to your daily commute.

In the Lead: The benefits—and ­pitfalls—of intermittent fasting
Performance Enhancer: How caffeine and cardio help drive climber Sasha DiGiulian up the wall.
Active Cities: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fuel: The latest all-natural protein powders have ingredients you can actually pronounce.


Parting Shot