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Christopher McDougall started it, throwing a brick at long-held theories about striding styles and shoe designs in Born to Run—and inspiring believers to wear minimalist shoes or no shoes at all. What followed was a war, pitting lightfoots against traditionalists and filling shoe stores with a mind-numbing array of choices. Who’s right? Andrew Tilin jogs

Elizabeth Gilbert says she’s never going back to Luang Prabang. Her memory of the place—and of one meal in particular—is too wonderful to risk a second glance.

Several near deaths on the world’s highest peaks have shed light on a dangerous trend in mountaineering: rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs, particularly the powerful steroid dexamethasone. Devon O’Neil reports on how dope is corrupting the game.

In the quest to make—and sell—the perfect drink, no one is going further than Scott Lindquist of Alaska Distillery. To concoct his premium vodkas, he hunts down 300-pound icebergs on Prince William Sound, then taps their ancient waters to power mysterious blends that keep winning awards. David Kushner heads north to sail and sip with the intrepid craftsman.

Artisanal and organic are wildly overrated when you have a bag of freeze-dried food to cook up after a bitterly cold backcountry day. So says Steven Rinella, who reveals his love affair with mummified grub.

Chef Blaine Wetzel has one rule for his 18-course dinners at Washington's remote Willows Inn. Whether it's geoduck or fried moss, everything is foraged, fished, or farmed on a nine-square-mile patch of rocky coast.

Body fat is just an inert layer of blubber, right? If only. New research shows that it's more like a toxic parasite that doesn't want to let go. The good news: if you exercise and eat right, you can force it to.

From paleo to gluten-free, fueling an active day is more confusing than ever. Until now. Simplify your options with long-time food columnist and bestselling author Mark Bittman’s delicious new plan.

A decade before his death, Sun Myung Moon—multimillionaire founder of the controversial Unification Church—sent a band of followers deep into the wilds of Paraguay, with orders to build the ultimate utopian community and eco-resort. So how’s that working out? Monte Reel machetes his way toward heaven on Earth.

To fulfill a longtime dream and honor the memory of a fallen hero, a Turkish-American software engineer decides to circle the earth by bike and rowboat, powered solely by his own muscle, lungs, and heart. A little obsessive? Maybe, but look closely at the journey of Erden Eruc and you’ll see something else: one of the most incredible adventure stories of our ti

When the Bounty went down during Hurricane Sandy, millions watched on TV as the Coast Guard rescued 14 survivors—but couldn’t save the captain and one of his crew. A huge question lingered in the aftermath: what was this vessel—a leaking replica built in 1960 for the film Mutiny on the Bounty—doing in the eye of the storm?

With more than 57 World Cup wins and four overall titles, Lindsey Vonn has already established herself as the greatest women’s ski racer in history. Too bad they won’t let her take on the boys.

When elite athletes like three-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh and daredevil spaceman Felix Baumgartner are in a slump, they go see Los Angeles sports psychologist Michael Gervais. Sometimes boosting your performance requires sitting on a couch.

The mastermind behind CrossFit Endurance says the best way to train for a marathon is to run less and torture yourself more in the gym. Christopher Solomon laces up for a whole new level of pain.

No country on earth is more geographically blessed than Colombia, with its high-altitude peaks, lush jungles, pristine beaches, wildlife-rich rainforest, and strong coffee. Now that the guerrillas of the FARC are moving toward a peace accord, the land of cocaine and kidnappings may become the best unexplored adventure haven in South America.

A new social-media app for cycling has more than a million riders racing, cheating, and even dying for virtual supremacy over the world’s roads and trails. A recent convert to the cult explains how Strava is changing the way we ride.

Which is a serious problem when you’re the most famous stunt rider on the Internet. But as Nick Heil finds out, the oft-injured Scot is roaring out of rehab to dazzle the world once again.

14 simple habits that will change your life.

James Balog has spent his career pushing the artistic and adventure boundaries of nature photography. For the past five years, he's been capturing the impact of climate change on glaciers, culminating in the powerful film Chasing Ice. What he documented was catastrophic—and should be required viewing for every policymaker on earth.

When it comes to holiday giving, you should never have to choose. This year, our editors have pulled together 68 perfect ideas—priced from $4 to $50,000—guaranteed to make anyone on your list feel like a million bucks.

Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Home to the best unexplored ski terrain on the planet, occasional town-crushing avalanches, and only a hint of Taliban presence. Saddle up for an intrepid boot-packing expedition deep into the Hindu Kush.

These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression—and even prevent cancer.

What started as a glorious powder day ended in a desperate fight for survival after three skiers were buried by a killer avalanche in the backcountry of Stevens Pass, in Washington's Cascades. Megan Michelson lived to tell about it, but she can't shake off a haunting question: How did a group of expert skiers make such a deadly mistake?

Shaun Martin, a Navajo cross-country coach from Chinle, Arizona, uses running as a powerful motivator for high school students who yearn for opportunities beyond the reservation. But make no mistake: these kids race to win, and they usually do.

The leader of the Free Burma Rangers keeps his identity secret. But he’s real, and he’s definitely hardcore. A former U.S. Special Forces operative—and an ordained minister, climber, and triathlete—he trains rebels and refugees in the fine art of outwitting one of the world’s most oppressive regimes to deliver humanitarian aid. Adam Skolnick hits the trail with a soldier on a mission from God.

Obstacle courses are the biggest thing in adventure sports, with millions of amped-up Americans charging into the slop—and a cadre of cutthroat entrepreneurs cashing in. No one is profiting more than Tough Mudder creator Will Dean, a polished Englishman and Harvard Business School grad who will stop at nothing to sell you his brand of suffering.

Bikini Atoll, a tiny ring of islands halfway between Hawaii and Australia, is a world-class diving destination and home to one of the Pacific's last great fishing grounds. So where are all the tourists? Welcome to heaven on earth, where the vestiges of hell lie just below the surface.

The difference between hitting the summit and hitting the wall comes down to the fuel in your belly.

In Argentina, rival soccer fans don’t just hate, they kill, and the violent partisans of top clubs fuel crime syndicates that influence the sport at its highest levels. Patrick Symmes braves the bottle rockets, howling mobs, urine bombs, and drunken grannies on a wild ride through the scariest fútbol underworld on earth.

An Italian chef, a pro snowboarder, and five other Sun Valley, Idaho, locals tell you the best way to play in one of America's most pristine mountain towns

Dolphins communicate with each other, but can they communicate with us? Marine biologist Denise Herzing is drawing on decades of research, a vast digital library of whistles and clicks, and new computer wizardry designed to bridge the species gap. Tim Zimmermann goes deep with one of history's grandest experiments.

After years of sounding the climate-change alarm, writer Bill McKibben realized that gentle persuasion wasn’t cutting it. So he got mad. Then he got busy: tweeting, organizing, protesting, getting arrested, and becoming Big Oil’s biggest threat.

It started as a bluebird New Year's Day in Mount Rainier National Park. But when a gunman murdered a ranger and then fled back into the park's frozen backcountry, every climber, skier, and camper became a suspect—and a potential victim.

In the 16 years since Into Thin Air, Mount Everest has become safer in many ways, with better storm forecasting and amazing high-altitude rescue helicopters. So why did 10 people die in 2012?

Readers voted Richmond, Virginia, the nation's most livable river town. (No joke!) To find out why, Jon Billman paddles, runs, and snorkels for crabs in the former Confederate capital. Plus: the lowdown on nine other great river towns.

Burning Man, the annual super-rave in Nevada, has become Independence Week for a worldwide tribe of inventors, artists, and desert freaks. Brad Wieners talks to founders and fans about how the party got started—and the death, mayhem, and power struggles that almost shut it down.

Last spring, Bear Grylls walked away from one of the sweetest gigs in the adventure world. Was it career suicide? Or a savvy move by a born survivor?

Enlightened companies seek ambitious individuals who work hard, think big, and crave life-affirming careers, lunchtime bike rides, and soul-expanding travel

Project Angel Thunder is the largest search-and-rescue exercise in the world, involving 1,700 pilots, commandos, and recovery specialists training in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico to save your ass in some impossibly bad situations. Embed Brian Mockenhaupt discovers that while the scenarios are pure fiction, the game is deadly serious.

Maybe you've never heard of Lucky Chance—born Toby Benham—but the Australian climber, circus act, and all-around stunt monkey was testing the limits of BASE jumping in 2011 when he survived a horrible mountainside crash in France. What happens when a highflier falls to earth? He starts over—no matter how daunting the prospect.

When Robert Wood Jr. disappeared in a densely forested Virginia park, searchers faced the challenge of a lifetime. The eight-year-old boy was autistic and nonverbal, and from his perspective the largest manhunt in state history probably looked like something else: the ultimate game of hide-and-seek.

Meet the preppers, a rattled, robust survivalist movement whose members just hate being called survivalists. Emily Matchar investigates the 21st century's wildest new apocalyptic scene.

A titanium bike with swooping lines and parallel triangles for added flex and greater shock absorption.

Robert Young Pelton has traveled to war zones, been kidnapped by rebels, and tracked pirates in Somalia. Why does he keep going back?

The Olympian on beating Bolt and how he came back from his doping ban

The renowned actor and his son talk to Outside about the fight to bring back the Colorado

In February, Andy Schleck became the official winner of the 2010 Tour de France when Alberto Contador was stripped of his title following a positive drug test. This year, he plans on winning it in Paris.

Sasha DiGiulian has already climbed harder than any American woman in history. We caught up with her to talk about college and whether women will ever outclimb men.

The world record holder dishes on his diamond grills and his plans for London

The legendary daredevil talks about recovering from the accident that almost killed him

Priceless advice from world-champion decathlete Trey Hardee, who has distilled a decade of training and nutrition wisdom into one customizable gold-medal fitness formula.

In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women—by some estimates, many more—have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. Bob Friel drives into the darkness for answers.

Outside talks to the man who kick-started the minimalist revolution

The filmmaker behind The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom explains why she's drawn to the world's gnarliest spots

Nine Sonoma professionals model the season's top looks

We all hate that guy—the one who shatters your outdoor serenity by watching iPad movies on the beach and texting from a chairlift. Well, Montana-based novelist and technophile WALTER KIRN is that guy, and he says you’re missing out.

When DON WATERS finally read the unpublished memoir given to him by his late father—an absentee figure he grew up resenting— he was shocked to learn that the old man hung with Greg Noll during surfing’s golden age in California. Sounds like grounds for a quest.

The Quidditch World Cup sounds dorky, and make no mistake: it is. But these sorcery-loving Harry Potter fans play pretty rough, as Eric Hansen found out when he captained a bad-news team of ex-athletes, ultimate Frisbee studs, slobs, drunks, and some people he knows from Iceland. Brooms up, and may the best Muggles win.

Things have gotten crazy violent in the dark, dense forests of California’s Mendocino County, where pot growers from Mexico run elaborate plantations they’ll defend to the death. Damon Tabor saddles up with Sheriff Tom Allman, head of a helicopter-riding, rifle-toting paramilitary strike force determined to take back the woods.

He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah ­Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved.

Just months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, British Petroleum declared the recovery a success, and the Gulf of Mexico’s fisheries were opened for business. To celebrate, seafood freak ROWAN JACOBSEN packed his bib and went south to cook up a locally sourced gumbo. But when he got there, something didn’t taste right.

Nobody climbs faster than Swiss superman Ueli Steck, whose rapid ascents of classic routes are just as demanding as three-minute miles. Now Steck is taking his death-challenging act to the ­Himalayas, which have a way of slowing even the best men down.

The iconic brand Gore-Tex is under siege from newcomers who want a piece of the billion-dollar market for waterproof-breathable fabrics. The battle is both wonky and intense, complete with arcane science, trade secrets, industry flame wars, and confidential government-run investigations on two continents. MIKE KESSLER steps into the wet room.

In 2009, Outside readers met Colton Harris-Moore, a smart, slippery teenager who became notorious for stealing cars, boats, and planes in the Pacific Northwest. The climax came a year later, when Harris-Moore swiped a small plane in Indiana, landed in the Bahamas, and vanished.

Globe-trotters: we've got you covered. Our 2012 Travel Awards honor the best destinations on seven continents—everything from idyllic beach escapes to camping safaris in Kenya to a mountain-bike expedition in Tibet. Plus: Outside-endorsed outfitters, adventure insurance, and more.

Can a new fleet of scary-fast catamarans make the America's Cup wild enough to lure a different breed of fan? So far there have been epic wipeouts and multiple injuries. Which means everything is right on track.

The freediving world championships occur at the outer limits of competitive risk. ­During the 2011 event, held off the coast of Greece, more than 130 athletes assembled to swim hundreds of feet straight down on a single breath—without (they hoped) ­passing out, freaking out, or drowning. Meet the amazingly fit, unquestionably brave, and possibly crazy people who line up for the ultimate plunge.

Professional daredevils Rex and Melissa Pemberton were drawn together by a mutual passion for risk and adrenaline. Now they have a marriage based on love, trust, and the strange, stoic acceptance that their life partner could die at any moment.

Aksel Svindal has three Olympic medals, two World Cup titles, and the affections of fellow ski racer Julia Mancuso. But can he transcend the sport and become the next Hermann Maier? HAMPTON SIDES tracks down the Norwegian beast slopeside to talk about the 2007 crash that nearly ended his career and his chances of dominating the 2012 World Cup.

Australia’s Northern Territory is our kind of place—a vast expanse of desert playgrounds, tropical rainforests, and supersize wildlife. Buckle up with Matthew Power as he bounces through the most extreme landscapes on the planet.

Hurdler Lolo Jones was the feel-good story of the Beijing Olympics, until a tiny mistake cost her a medal—and made her tale even more compelling

When thieves stole his beloved ­commuter bike on a busy street in broad daylight, PATRICK SYMMES snapped—and set out on a cross-­country plunge into the heart of ­America’s bike-crime underbelly. What he saw will ­rattle your frame.

If Lance Armstrong went to jail and Livestrong went away, that would be a huge setback in our war against cancer, right? Not exactly, because the ­famous nonprofit donates almost ­nothing to scientific research. BILL GIFFORD looks at where the money goes and finds a mix of fine ideas, millions of dollars aimed at “awareness,” and a few very blurry lines.

Triathlon is booming, with hundreds of events being added to the calendar each year and thousands of goggle-eyed newbies lining up to swim, bike, and run for the first time. But only one race still really matters. Greetings from the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, ground zero of America's multisport madness

A crew of Bosnian snowboarders want to restore their capital's war-ravaged Olympic resorts to international glory, and a burgeoning adventure-travel scene just might make it possible. Dimiter Kenarov boot-packs to the world's gnarliest lift line.

Does stretching prior to a run prevent injuries and improve performance? Does guzzling water prevent cramps? Here's the truth about the top 10 fitness myths.

Starting with a single Alaskan Husky named Derby, Kenth Fjellborg built a dogsled-touring empire that attracts 5,000 would-be mushers a year to a frozen patch of tundra 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. And he's not afraid to yell at you in bad words.

No GPS or weather reports—just a sailboat, the wild open ocean, and the constellations. Think you could find your way across the South ­Pacific? James Campbell rides along with a master navigator in the ­Caroline Islands, where they’ve been sailing this way for thousands of years.

How does a visionary marine biologist convince brain researchers to help him revolutionize ocean conservation? With lots of hugs, a million blue marbles, and one very unorthodox conference.

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