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When Ponytail Paul headed out into the woods, he just wanted to help hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Instead, what he found set his world on fire. Learn more about how Every Trail Connects at rei.com/h/trails.

When George Rue started hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail six summers ago at age 18, he carried a sketchpad, intending to use it as both diary and camera.

Trevor Thomas lost his sight as a young man, but that hasn’t stopped him from turning pro as a long-distance hiker. His insights will give you a whole new perspective on the outdoors.

Heather Anderson just crushed the record for the fastest known unsupported Appalachian Trail thru-hike. That makes her the biggest badass you’ve never heard of.

Walk the Ridge, from filmmaker Mathieu Le Lay, is a short film that aims to share the deep feelings one can experience while hiking in the mountains. Le Lay spent several days hiking four mountain peaks in the French Alps with his…

Michal Huniewicz is a UK software developer with a knack for photography and a penchant for visiting places most tourists wouldn’t touch. The Saharan country of Mauritania certainly qualifies as one such place.

In 1990, a grisly double homicide on America’s most famous hiking route shocked the nation and forever changed our ideas about crime, violence, and safety in the outdoors

Overcrowding on the country’s most popular thru-hiking destination may come to a head, as the route’s managers contemplate imposing a hiker limit

From beer to bourbon, here’s how to cut loose (safely) while camping

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Whether you sign up for an official work day or simply remember to follow trail etiquette, it’s easier to do your part than you might think.

Nothing beats campfire cuisine, if you know what you’re doing

The former Appalachian Trail speed record holder responds to how she feels about Scott Jurek’s FKT and reflects on her time on the trail

Hiking and backpacking are some of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors. Our beginner's guide shows you what type of gear you'll need for everything from a short day hike to a multi-day backpacking trip. …

Scrutinizing what kind of tent, sleeping bag, and pack you need for a multiday trip can be difficult. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how to find exactly what you need and assess it with confidence.

Think Cheryl Strayed is tough? Meet these guys.

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell hits the trail and talks about what kind footwear you’ll need for different types of hiking. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in…

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell talks about the most important gadgets for the backcountry. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in theaters across the country.   …

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell hits the trail and shows you how to prevent every hiker’s smallest nightmare: blisters. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in theaters across the country. …

Photographer Ian Tuttle set up camp three times throughout the summer on the Pacific Crest Trail, capturing snippets of the 2,663-mile trail that stretches the length of the West Coast. He made portraits of those he met, asked them questions, and even followed up with a few after their time on the trail.

Central Cascades, Washington

We're all familiar with digital detoxes, but one young man took it a step further. Many steps further in fact.

Paul D. Paur left behind all his worldly possessions and entered the Appalachian Trail in early June. Concerns about his mental health surfaced alongside reports from fellow hikers that Paur is looking for God. What's he really doing there?

When 24-year-old David Sneddon disappeared hiking around western China, officials chalked it up to a drowning. Only a decade later did another scenario emerge: maybe David had been kidnapped and taken to North Korea.

Google wants to build the world’s best off-road map. And they want your help.

The team behind Google Street View is going off-road, and they're turning to you for help

Mount Whitney was closed during the government shutdown, but that didn't stop our editor from summiting.

How the federal government tried to ruin my 30th birthday (and how I didn’t let them).

One thing you shouldn’t leave behind with your foolhardy youth: the great American dirtbag road trip. Mark Jenkins explains how to do it right.

Don't touch that wild water until you've used at least one of these methods

Sure, it’s the biggest state in the union. But that doesn’t mean every adventure in Alaska has to be an expedition. These six day-hike-friendly trails will give you a taste of the Last Frontier’s wild beauty and still get you back in time for last call.

Who needs headlamps? From a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico to a Japanese trail lined with glowing mushrooms, these ten hikes are at their best when it's dark out. Pack your camera (leave the flash at home) and prepare to be amazed.

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Epic Day on the Coast …

How do you teach a boy to love the wilderness when you’re terrified of what might happen out there? Hiking with his ten-year-old son, William Broyles confronts his memories of Vietnam–and one very large grizzly. (And three other great essays on fatherhood, from Jack Hitt, W. Hodding Carter, and Anthony Doerr.)

In 2003, Dan Bigley lost his sight when a grizzly mauled him on Alaska's Russian River. Ten years later, he's back outside, working to give his children the outdoor life that he almost lost.

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 Watch the Wolf family's unforgettable family adventure.

In 1973, Lowe Alpine was born in climber Greg Lowe’s garage. Greg and his brother Mike Lowe started the company to make the gear that Greg needed for alpine climbing, ice climbing, and expeditions that simply…

Frog Bay Tribal National Park. Photo: Grandon Harris If you’ve been near the Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin’s northernmost reaches, you were likely there to visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a stunning collection of 21 small islands in Lake Superior. But as of this summer,…

After a few switchbacks, Katie Heaney was pretty sure she was about to die

Over the past five years, Google has taken its Street View maps to 43 countries, deploying cars, trikes, snowmobiles, and even a submersible to map 360-degree panoramas of the world around us. In June, the company announced a new initiative to bring the same seamless experience into the backcountry in a bid to create the world’s most amazing trail maps.

Repeat after me: It's not about speed. Photo: Katie Arnold Recently, a couple of friends and I decided to mark the last days of summer by taking our kids for a hike. It was a warm, sunny, windless afternoon, the top-five-best-days-of-the-year kind of…

It's a lot easier to imagine you're a colonial settler when you're not 25, Katie Heaney learns

“Wander a whole summer if you can. Time will not be taken from the sum of life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” —John Muir Anyone with a healthy amount of time that is looking for a new trail to backpack might want…

The biggest challenge for backpackers is fitting all the gear you need for a multi-day trip into your pack, and keeping the weight low enough that you enjoy your hike instead of being pulled down like a pack mule. Vargo offers a solution with its…

Over recent months—well, years, actually—the debate concering hardshell fabrics and their capabilities has been…

“Missy.” Photo: Screenshot from 14ers.com Let's start with the rescue. On August 11, Amanda and Scott Washburn were hiking a Colorado 14er named Mount Bierstadt when they came across a dog on a ledge. She had…

The goal: cover 15 mountains in fewer than four days and 11 hours. If Sean O'Rourke succeeds, he'll hold the record for the fastest ascent of California's 14ers.

Want to look at maps on your tablet instead of your phone so that they're bigger and easier to comprehend? Trimble Outdoors just released its MyTopo Maps app for the Kindle Fire and other Android-powered tablets. Now you can plot your next outdoor adventure on the big…

The goal: Cover 15 mountains in six days. If Crawford succeeds, she'll hold the record for the fastest female ascent of California's 14ers

In the eighth behind-the-scenes episode on the filming of the ski movie Solitaire, Sweetgrass Productions tells the story of their final Bolivian shoot. Part of the team took off to ski one of the 20,000-foot-high slopes above the altiplano, and got hit with a dental emergency…

Google is bringing its image-mapping technology into the wilderness. On June 6, the company announced on its blog that it is sending a new Street View Trekker device into the backcountry. The 40-lb., 15-camera, backpack-like gizmo…

Professional backpacker, author of the Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide

A Q&A with an Outside in Aspen participant

Last fall, Gear Shed tester Andrew Forsthoefel set off on a momentous, sure-to-be-life-changing megatrip. He loaded up his backpack, laced his shoes, and walked out his back door in Chadd’s Ford, Pennslyvania, bound for the West Coast on foot. He’s not in it just to prove that he is…

I'm burned out on pasta and trail mix. What easy-to-make food should I take backpacking this summer?

It turns out, quite a bit, if that company is Patagonia. This manufacturer of outdoor apparel and footwear that we've frequently written about here at Outside, in its quest to continue to make the world a better place, is introducing Wild Salmon Jerky in…

If you're that guy who is always complaining that the sleeves are too short, the legs are too long, or the torso is too tight when you buy other outdoor apparel, a company called Beyond is waiting for your call. The Seattle company makes custom technical under…

Sticky approach shoes will get you to and from your projects, but they're not just for cragging. Approach shoes can have urban appeal—like when you want to impress your friends after a few beers by bouldering up the nearest sculpture/rock/tree. We don't necesarrily recommend this, we're just saying, we know…

Climbing 8 big mountains in 11 months required many things but proper gear was a must. In this post, I will review what I used, what worked, what didn’t; taking it a layer at a time. These climbs were to raise awareness and research money on behalf of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the heels of a speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail, I thought it'd be interesting to get out the old history book and have a little class time. There are a lot of trails in our great country (although few like the PCT) and, as…

From Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian Trail is almost 2,200 miles of White Blaze, Trail Angels and Lean-Tos. And somewhere in West Virginia, in a town named Harpers Ferry,…

Courtesy of National Park Service, via National Parks Traveler When planning a National Parks vacation, you probably go to the nps.gov Web site to find a campground, map prospective hikes, and check for warnings. Former National Park Service director Roger Kennedy,…

Glacier from Kili’s Summit Kilimanjaro was all I expected and much, much more. The climb itself was not the hardest but the descent was amongst the toughest when I twisted my ankle and had to be carried down from 15,000 feet. In my normal manner…

There are plenty of great footwear companies out there. But over the past few years, we often find ourselves lacing up the ones that were made by the little company based in Bozeman—Oboz is shorthand for “Out of Bozeman.” The reason is pretty simple: they make burly…

                                                    Quandary: an uphill battle Earlier this summer, my husband, Steve, and I decided to climb one of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks with our two young daughters, ages one and three. This was a tradition we started before they were born, and the last time we did it…

Ah, Kendal Mint Cakes. Know them? Originating from Kendal in Cumbria, England, Edmund Hillary took the snack up to the top of Everest with him in 1953, cementing their place in the packs of hikers, climbers and adventureres for years…

Lonesome Lake, White Mountains [Lori Duff, Courtesy of AMC] After spending the past month lake-locked on a small island on smallish lake in Ontario, I have itchy legs and hiking on my brain. And just in time, the summer monsoon…

“Come on up and stand beside me.” He said confidently. I made a couple more moves and joined him a hundred feet up on a near vertical rock wall in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park many years ago. “OK, let’s make sure you are clipped in, with backup and another…

Climbing, hiking, and kayaking in the Pacific Northwest

On August 18, 1992, Chrisopher McCandless died alone in a bus in the Alaskan backcountry. Before his stay in the bus that others now visit as a pilgrimage, he journeyed all over North America. This gallery features some of the photos and notes from his ramblings. To read more notes and view more photos from Christopher McCandless, go to christophermccandless.info.

A treasure trove of unpublished letters and never seen photos offers a fresh perspective on the adventures of Christopher McCandless

A South Carolina man died on Saturday after falling off a 125-foot waterfall while trying to rescue his dog. David Allan Lewis, 29, was hiking with his girlfriend and dog near Heritage Falls in Greenville County when the accident occurred. Deputy Coroner Kent Dill said Lewis was trying to grab…

Former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali has sent a letter to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, asking for the release of two American men being detained on charges of spying, according to The Independent. Ali sent his letter to the Ayatollah…

In which a team of Chinese men travel to the United States for the first time to hike the legendary Appalachian Trail—and find its manicured paths a little wimpy. Translated by Ed Jocelyn.

If you have ever climbed a Colorado 14,000 foot mountain the odds are you used a guide book or perhaps an internet site to research your climb. Well, it is also highly likely you used some of Gerry Roach’s famous research. His famous guide book simply called…

Courtesy of The Initiative Site Samuel Gardner is 40 days closer to establishing a new record for unassisted ultra-light long-distance backpacking — and fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional adventurer. Gardner's 12,500-mile…

Ray Zahab gets a surprise visit from a Chilean running legend, while the crew explores the history of mine fields in the Atacama. Atacama Extreme: The Mine Fields from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. —Bob Cox and Ray Zahab will be sending daily updates as Ray runs roughly…

The Appalachian Trail. Photo courtesy of Flickr. Blind Appalachian Trail hiker Mike Hanson was offered a CEO position at a start-up that provides real-time navigation to the visually impaired, according to…

Three American hikers have been summoned to trial in Tehran on February 6, reports ABC News. Sarah Shourd, her fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal were arrested while hiking near the Iraq border in July…

Atacama Extreme: Running On a Salt Lake from Outside Magazine on Vimeo. On day six of his run across the Atacama Desert, Ray Zahab moves over an active salt lake. When he gets to his resupply point, he finds out his team has been delayed due to…

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