Outside Magazine, September 2017

Innovation 2017



A new nonfiction book by Ted Genoways looks at the complex argument over how best to grow food in America, told from the farmer's perspective. Another good read explores how a drug kingpin made millions breeding horses.

Millions are streaming soft-core adventure b-roll on the web

Falling hard for a futuristic shelter

Everything you need to scramble up your local alpine summit

If there’s anything better than an epic day outside, it’s reliving it over great food and drink. From mountain decks to beachside watering holes, our favorite après spots have mastered Cajun fries, crustaceans, and craft ales.

Former pro cyclist Kathryn Bertine launched a nonprofit to give female riders a leg up in the sport. Will it make a difference?

Why one couple couldn’t keep a secluded Caribbean island to themselves

Most gear evolves step by step. With this stuff, it’s by leaps and bounds.

The next phase of FKT-worthy custom gear puts consumers in the design chair

What if you could alter your DNA profile, erase your risk for cancer, or just brew glowing beer? Whether that makes you giddy or terrified, that’s the dream of biohacker Josiah Zayner.

We talked to design maverick Thomas Meyerhoffer about the importance of always exploring. Then we had him speak with four other visionaries building an ingenious new world.

MIT research scientist Hugh Herr lost both legs below the knee after a 1982 winter climbing ordeal. In less than a year, he hacked his prosthetics to allow him to climb again, and he went on to become one of the world’s leading innovators in the field. Author Todd Balf, who lost partial use of his legs after a spinal-cord injury, gets a front-row seat as Herr and his MIT colleagues plot their next big act—new science and technology to end a slate of disabling conditions.

Normally, not something you want a shark scientist to say. But Eric Stroud is talking about his chemistry-lab quest for the ultimate shark repellent, which he appears to have found. The questions that remain: Does it work on the great white, the ocean’s most fearsome predator? And can a couple of rookie entrepreneurs get it to market?

To see more than just paved roads and parking lots, a new breed of explorers are taking a cue from the Aussies

The iconic brand has long been the conscience of the outdoor industry, forsaking hefty profits to do the right thing. Now the company is going to war against the Trump administration over protections for public land in a bid to become a serious political player—which happens to be very good for sales.


While the word may be out about Tofino, on Canada’s Vancouver Island, the incredible setting and eclectic locals still make it one of the best surf towns in North America

Innovation 2017

The Creatives, Playmaker: Thomas Meyerhoffer is obsessed with simplicity, whether it’s in his industrial designs or the surfboards he rides in California. We talked to him about the importance of always exploring—and had him speak with four more visionaries building an ingenious new world. —Michael Roberts 

The Big Business of #Resist: Patagonia has long made a point of putting the planet before profits (while raking in the dough). Now it’s taking that mantra into politics, spur­ring the outdoor industry into battle over public lands. —Abe Streep 

“It Just Consumed Me”: The idea, not the shark. Chemist Eric Stroud has devoted years to the quest for a reliable shark repellent. Charles Bethea dives in as a group of entrepreneurs test their latest creation on great whites. —Charles Bethea

The Ultimate Life Hack: The frontiers of genetic engineering aren’t in some elite lab. They’re in basements and garages all over the world, where DIY science buffs are tinkering with the building blocks of life. Rowan Jacobsen visits Josiah Zayner, king of the biohackers. —Rowan Jacobsen

The Biomechatronic Man: Biophysicist Hugh Herr—a double amputee who revolutionized prosthetics—wants to find remedies for everything from Parkinson’s disease to paralysis, bringing hope and mobility to people who long ago gave up. Todd Balf, who lost partial use of his legs, seeks answers from the master. —Todd Balf

Style Special

Swell City: Surrounded by whales and waves on Vancouver Island, Tofino is the best little surf town north of the border. —Erin Berger


First Look: Veteran cyclist Kathryn Bertine is giving a boost to women athletes struggling to make ends meet. 

Gear: Salomon puts its best foot forward with fully customizable running shoes

Icon: Big-wave (and paddle- and foil-boarding) legend Laird Hamilton.

Travel: The right stuff for overlanding, our new favorite way to see the world.

Media: The surprising YouTube stars bringing the great outdoors inside. Plus, Bones and This Blessed Earth.


2017 Adventure Bars: We’re pretty sure the best part of any hike, ski, paddle, or bike epic is the beer at journey’s end. So we rounded up a dozen perfect watering holes, from a stone hut in the Andes to the perfect California beach hangout—dogs allowed. 

Base Camp: Bedding down in the treetops at Dominica’s Secret Bay.

Essentials Special

Wanted: Heimplanet’s inflatable tent

Design and Tech: Our picks for the game changers—helmet, wetsuit, jacket, sunglasses, shoes, and more—upending the gear world. 

Upgrade: Scrambling up high peaks requires elevating your kit

Spectrum: The best Bluetooth speakers for rocking outside.