The Best Stories We’ve Ever Told
Our greatest long reads of all time
Six young men set out on a dead-calm sea to seek their fortunes. Suddenly, they were hit by the worst gale in a century, and there wasn’t even time to shout.
There’s a common misconception that black people don’t love wild places. Latria Graham, a southerner with deep connections to farms, rivers, and forests, says the problem isn’t desire but access—and a long history of laws and customs that have whitewashed our finest public lands.
To be a surfer girl in Maui is to be the luckiest of creatures. It means you’re beautiful and tan and ready to rip. It means you’ve caught the perfect dappled wave and are on a ride that can’t possibly end.
A recklessly picaresque, highly philosophical, gloriously unmapped road trip in search of secret places you'll have to find yourself
Days into a trip spent with his father and brother in Greenland, author Wells Tower was seized by a tantrum-pitching impulse and the overwhelming desire to punch himself again and again in the face
A brilliant American financier and his wife build a lavish mansion in the jungles of Costa Rica, set up a wildlife preserve, and appear to slowly, steadily lose their minds. A spiral of handguns, angry locals, armed guards, uncut diamonds, abduction plots, and a bedroom blazing with 550 Tiffany lamps ends with a body and a compelling mystery.
At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.
A story about an American icon, environmental displacement, and slob behavior by the human race
Millionaire Forrest Fenn launched a thousand trips when he filled a chest with gold, rubies, and diamonds, and hid it somewhere north of Santa Fe. If one man is going to find it, by god, it’s an ex-cop from Seattle named Darrell Seyler.
He glanced through the glass and saw Tilikum staring back, with what appeared to be two human feet hanging down his side. There was a nude body draped across Tilikum’s back.
What kind of person sticks a ferret down his pants for more than five consecutive hours? Our writer tried to find out.
Having constructed the greatest flotation device mankind has ever known, our fearless writer embarks on an ill-conceived, possibly insane crossing of alligator-infested North Florida via a string of seriously imperiled and incredibly beautiful rivers. (Yeah, it's a tube.)
It's been more than 50 years since the Colorado River regularly reached the sea. But this spring, the U.S. and Mexico let the water storm through its natural delta for a grand experiment in ecological restoration. As the dam gates opened, a small band of river rats caught a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
On the morning of June 30, all 20 members of Prescott, Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots headed into the mountains to protect the small town of Yarnell from an advancing blaze. Later that day, every man but one was dead. Through interviews with family, colleagues, and the lone survivor, a former hotshot pieces together their final hours—and the fatal choices
What happens when an African American woman decides to solo-hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine during a summer of bitter political upheaval? Everything you can imagine, from scary moments of racism to new friendships to soaring epiphanies about the timeless value of America’s most storied trekking route.
After a legendary career in adventure writing, Tim Cahill thought his story was over. Thrown from a raft in the Grand Canyon’s Lava Falls, he was trapped underwater and out of air. When he finally reached land, his heart stopped for several minutes. Then he came back—and decided to risk Lava again.
From the Vault
Online for the first time
There’s nothing funny about motion sickness. Really. I mean it.
His life’s grand pursuit has killed his closest companions. His bride-to-be is his best friend’s widow. His exploding fame owes as much to happenstance (stumbling upon Mallory’s body on Everest) and luck (escaping an avalanche in Tibet) as it does to his great skill as a mountaineer. An intimate look at the serendipitous, tumultuous, and nearly unbearable success of Conrad Anker.
For 90 million years the turtles have massed to lay their eggs. This time they gathered for their own mass murder…
Behind the Features
Author interviews and updates
Tim Zimmermann’s feature about a 12,000-pound orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer changed the future of marine parks, was developed into a powerful 2013 documentary, and turned the author into a vegan
How Susan Orlean reported the classic Outside story about the surf girls of Maui
We caught up with author Sebastian Junger to find out how he reported the incredible Outside Classic story of the Andrea Gail’s crew, what’s changed in the commercial fishing industry, and why he’s drawn to people who have dangerous jobs
Rahawa Haile set out on the AT during one of the most tumultuous periods in our political history. The story she wrote about it for Outside in 2017 hit a nerve, and encouraged many others to get out on the trail. We followed up with her to find out what scared her the most, the one piece of gear she couldn’t live without, and why thru-hiking is always worth it in the end.
Cahill’s stories and rollicking misadventures around the world have made this publication what it is today. Here he talks about his role in the creation of Outside magazine, choking down snake blood and gallbladder cocktails in the name of journalism, and how he came back from the dead after a frigid swim in the Grand Canyon’s biggest rapid.
Freezing to death. Heatstroke. The excruciatingly painful sting of a box jellyfish, which can kill a person in under a minute. After writing the classic 1997 story “Frozen Alive,” Peter Stark became an expert on what it feels like to die in the wild. We asked him why people are so interested in reading about it—and about his own close calls.
Wells Tower on discovering the hard way that his father sleeps naked, how to navigate sibling punching episodes, and the simple fact that, pitfalls and all, it’s important to take your chances and just go