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.
The grandeur of the Great Salt Lake stopped Brigham Young in his tracks and inspired John Muir to jump in for a swim. Yet now it’s in danger of disappearing, sucked dry by agriculture, climate change, and suburban lawns. Many Utahns would just as soon pave it, but as Bill Gifford learned during a yearlong exploration, there’s beauty and natural splendor here that deserves to live on.
How two rival teams fought storms and sleep deprivation to claim an 18-year-old paddling FKT
For decades, Deep Springs College in California resisted the push to go coed. But even though women are now allowed to attend, it still holds on to the past.
Each year an estimated 300,000 smugglers, known as ‘kolbars,’ haul millions of pounds of contraband from Iraq to Iran over the 14,000-foot peaks of the Zagros Mountains. More than 50 of them will die—shot dead, killed in accidents, or freezing to death—and countless more will be arrested and imprisoned. Alex Perry travels to Iraqi Kurdistan to investigate the roots of a trade that all but defies comprehension.
Over the past few years, McCastle has completed 5,804 pull-ups in a single day, pulled a 5,000-pound truck across the Mojave Desert, and climbed a rope the equivalent height of Mount Everest. How on earth has this Navy SEAL dropout accomplished some of the craziest physical feats in recent memory?
If you get lost or injured in the woods these days, aid might come from above—in the form of small-propeller drones that are revolutionizing SAR and saving lives
A revered figure in modern climbing literature, Katie Ives is known for her intense work ethic and for encouraging writers who weren’t always invited to the club. In her first book, she explores how the physical and fantastical aspects of big peaks have, for centuries, inspired human dreams.
Oregon voters have opened the door to treating mental illness with substances like ketamine and psilocybin. In a peek at the future, our seeker attends a backwoods retreat where patients get help from a powerful combination of drugs and the outdoors.
At a bold and stylish new brewery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Missy Begay and Shyla Sheppard are using traditional Native American ingredients to produce delicious craft creations, part of a growing movement that’s changing the face of domestic beer
With a pair of Army SPECS and a little ingenuity, Pit Viper’s cofounders built a brand that nobody could have predicted
Lyme-carrying ticks are a bigger threat than ever. A promising new antibody treatment looks to stop infection—even after a tick bite.
To live in the small town of Haines, Alaska, is to live with bears, with roughly one brown bear for every nine human residents. Last winter, a local snowboarder woke a hibernating brown bear in the backcountry and was severely injured, furthering tensions between food-stressed bears and anxious local residents. But in most encounters, it’s the bear that ends up dead, prompting the question of what it means to coexist.
Her list of physical feats seems almost impossible. Win national sport-climbing competitions starting at the age of 13? Check. Summit Mount Everest? Check. Free-climb El Capitan in under 24 hours? That, too. But in order to cement her status as one of the world’s best climbers, there were more daunting obstacles to overcome.
On a backpacking trip through Utah’s Buckskin Gulch with ultralight gear legend Glen Van Peski, our writer learns about the Crotch Pot, an Oscar-winning actor’s anti-snoring technique, and that there’s a whole lot of shit you don’t need when you’re on the trail 1,000 miles from home
It’s not just the gear purchases—it’s how we think about the future. Here’s the Outside guide to getting your financial $hit together, no selling out required.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.