Long Reads


Long reads are the longform articles our readers know and love. These features showcase our strongest writers, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors.

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When President Biden needs a break from Putin and Mitch McConnell, he vacations on the Delmarva Peninsula, a blend of mid-Atlantic beauty, quirky accents, and tasty treasures from soil and sea. I grew up in the heart of it. Hear my song to this glorious land.

"I fell in love with cycling while watching the Tour each year with my father. When he was dying last summer, it became so much more than just the world's biggest bike race."

The later moon missions didn’t grab as much attention as the first landing in 1969, but they had something very cool on the gear front: the lunar rover, a lightweight go-kart that gave crews unmatched mobility on another world

After losing her father to Alzheimer’s disease, one writer reflects on her relationship with grief and running—and the connections between the two

Tuliamuk had secured her spot in the Tokyo Olympics—then 2020 happened. Fortunately, she’s always run for more than just the medals.

At some point in every adventurous life, you need to pursue something completely trivial with such single-minded focus that it nearly drives you mad. Allow me to explain.

Climate change is melting the glaciers and permafrost of the Mont Blanc massif, revealing crystals hidden in pockets once covered in snow. Simon Akam tagged along on an expedition with one of the area’s most legendary hunters, a daring French alpinist who completes dangerous climbs to discover specimens worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Since Mary Cain spoke out about the Nike Oregon Project in 2019, a growing wave of young runners have come forward with their own allegations of negligent coaching and toxic team cultures across the sport

Teenage diver Sebastian Morris and his dad were hunting for treasure in the Gulf of Mexico when they found a below-the-knee prosthetic. How do you lose that in the ocean? Amazingly, they solved the mystery.

In September 2017, Outside published a feature about the ‘Berserk,’ a ship that went missing in 2011 off the coast of Antarctica with three men aboard. The expedition leader, Jarle Andhoy, disagreed with the story we published, which contained some factual errors, and with our portrayal of the lost men of the ‘Berserk.’ He also believed that the story left out crucial information about the days before the ship’s disappearance. Outside editor in chief Christopher Keyes interviewed Andhoy and his lawyer, Gunnar Nerdrum Aagaard, to better understand new details the two have gathered, which may help explain what happened to the men on board.

The odds of being attacked by a shark are less than one in 11 million, which makes it nearly impossible to find people to turn to when you become that one. Enter a support group of survivors called the Bite Club—the most exclusive club nobody wants to join.

For centuries, dowsers have claimed the ability to find groundwater, precious metals, and other quarry using divining rods and an uncanny intuition. Is it the real deal or woo-woo? Dan Schwartz suspends disbelief to see for himself.

When Konstantin Grigorishin—über-wealthy Ukrainian businessman, aspiring philosopher, former pal of Russian oligarchs—introduced the upstart International Swimming League in 2019, he made the first move in an ambitious plan that could blow up Olympic sports and usher in a new era of athlete fairness. He also commenced a game of chicken with some of the world’s most powerful and dangerous men, including Vladimir Putin. And he just might win.

Spun-out Teslas on snowy roads. Cabins bought for cash, sight unseen. A shoveling disaster. Locals bemoan the pandemic-induced migration of Bay Area residents to the mountains. But there are two sides to the Zoom-town story.

He’s not only one of the fastest cyclists in the country—he’s also one of the sport’s most outspoken champions for diversity. But his mission has morphed into the greatest moon shot of all: to bring bike racing to the American masses.

Joshua Skenes ran one of the most expensive restaurants in San Francisco, with industry accolades and three Michelin stars. Still, he felt unfulfilled. Enter a top ­secret new venture where, if you’re lucky, you can have the best meal of your life for free.

Investigators, family, and friends are still trying to close the case of Paul Fugate, a naturalist at Arizona’s Chiricahua National Monument who vanished without a trace in 1980. What keeps them motivated to stick with a mystery that may be unsolvable?

What I learned about love, loss, and landscape over two decades of living in a 1961 Artcraft mobile home in the Utah desert

In her quest to master a quintessential cool-kid trick, Outside contributor Kim Cross found the sweet spot at the crossroads of work and play

Vaccines are rolling out with increasing speed, but we’ll also need effective treatments, because new coronavirus cases will be a worldwide reality for years to come. Enter Jacob Glanville, a maverick San Francisco immunologist who believes he’s found an unparalleled path to healing.

In 1967, Marlon Brando bought a tiny atoll near Tahiti with the aim of preserving it as a tropical paradise. That effort continues, supported by a resort where Beyoncé, Obama, and other big shots chill next to a stunning private lagoon. Hampton Sides went there to meet with scientists and splash around an eco-fantasy island.

From the outside, things seemed perfect for the former world extreme skiing champion: he had a family, a successful guiding business, and unending adventure out his front door in Valdez, Alaska. But something dark festered beneath the surface.

The company sponsors some of the best athletes in the world, from Emily Harrington to Alex Honnold, all of whom are vying for a slice of the brand’s annual budget to support their expeditions. The process can be as competitive as getting into an Ivy League university—except, if approved, the athletes are often taking on death-defying adventures.

Why Apple’s CEO wants to make health and wellness the company’s greatest legacy

Ten years ago, heli-ski guide Erin Tierney survived a helicopter crash and began a relentless journey of healing and recovery. Battling injuries invisible to the naked eye, she fought to reframe and regain her hold on the life she loved.

Researcher Ken Balcomb has spent more than half his life studying the iconic killer whales of Washington’s San Juan Islands and raising awareness about their struggle for survival. Now he may have run out of time.

High school didn't serve up much adventure, so Devin Murphy signed up to do grunt work on expedition ships that sailed to Alaska, Iceland, Antarctica, and other far-flung places. Turned out to be a pretty great idea.

The brand's ethos signals a departure from an apparel industry that has been dominated by giant shoe companies. But can it stay true to the soul of the sport?

Since 1973, a groundbreaking organization has gathered thousands of Black snow-sports enthusiasts for a week of on-mountain revelry. But the event has always had a more serious mission, too: changing perceptions about who belongs on the slopes.

For nearly half a century, legends of a giant cave in the Andes—holding artifacts that could rewrite human history—have beckoned adventurers and tantalized fans of the occult. Now the daughter of a legendary explorer is on a new kind of quest: to tell the truth about the cave in order to save it.

Nearly 700 people on bikes have been killed by drivers this year. This is who we lost.

Last winter, when the robotics firm Roam released its latest version of Elevate, a revolutionary exoskeleton promising to boost skiing performance, our writer knew he had to give it a test drive. His analysis: the company's debut product is fun yet flawed—but its vision of a tech-assisted sports future will still blow your mind.

What do you do after surviving a near-death experience? Visit a dying natural wonder, of course. After his husband suffers a stroke at the age of 40, our writer plans the trip of a lifetime to the Great Barrier Reef—and discovers new meaning in the term "last-chance tourism."

Your holiday reading list, recommended by our editors

More than 17 years ago, a successful Michigan attorney took his life on a cherished trout stream, devastating close friends and family. Haunted by what happened, his nephew investigated and discovered tragic truths that were in plain sight all along.

The decade-long hunt captured the world's attention, but when it finally ended in June, everyone still wanted to know: Who had solved the mystery? This week, as legal proceedings threaten his anonymity, a 32-year-old medical student is ready to go on the record.

Across the West, fire season lasts longer and has become more intense than any time in history—tens of thousands of structures burn every year, and dozens of people die. But new research is highlighting a different problem: those who survive are never the same.

Food scientists and marketers are creating healthy, plant-based, imitation tuna, crab, and shrimp that look and taste like the real thing. Better yet, switching to faux seafood will help curb our reliance on an international fishing industry that has become an environmental and human-rights disaster.

BASE-jumping pioneer Jeb Corliss is one of the original madmen, a fiend for the extreme who has miraculously survived multiple crash landings in a sport that rarely allows second chances. Now, at 44, with a self-diagnosed psychological disorder, he's embarking on his most fraught journey yet: into the depths of his own mind.

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