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The Brief, Wondrous Life of Little Leo

When Leo Babler was born with a rare and deadly genetic disorder, his parents reshaped their lives, moving to the mountains, building out an adventure van, and making sure their son experienced the most beautiful wild places in the country during the time they had

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Adventure

Gear Guide

skis from the 2023 ski test

The 2023 Winter Gear Guide

We rallied 441 testers and 1,300 products across every category of winter gear. After more than 7,500 miles and 830,000 vertical feet, we landed on 500 pieces that stood out for skiing, snowboarding, running, climbing, hiking, and more.

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Travel

Les Dômes Charlevoix, Quebec

13 Unique and Fun Winter Trips to Plan Now

Winter opens up endless adventure opportunities. And there’s no time to hibernate, because it’ll be gone before you know it. Here are 13 unique and fun adventures, from backcountry lodges to fat biking to the world's longest ice skating path.

Food

4 Drinks We’ll Be Sipping When Temperatures Drop

Whether you're warming up after a day on the slopes or filling a flask for the pumpkin patch, we've got your drinking needs covered

Culture

Boys trapped in a cave

Everyone Wanted to Make a Movie About the Thai Cave Rescue. Did Any of Them Get It Right?

After 12 boys and their soccer coach were saved from a flooded cave in northern Thailand in 2018, Hollywood descended. Many feared filmmakers would exploit and mishandle the story, but something else happened.

Long Reads

Kurt Steiner with stones he collected on the shore of Lake Erie

Stone Skipping Is a Lost Art. Kurt Steiner Wants the World to Find It.

Meet an amazing man who has dedicated his entire adult life to stone skipping, sacrificing everything to produce world-record throws that defy the laws of physics. To hear him tell it, he has no choice.

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This Camper Comes with Its Own Stovetop, Toilet, and Shower System

In this episode of the 101, Bryan Rogala reviews a SkinnyGuy camper. This fully-featured, pop-up truck camper is one of the most unique lightweight truck-based campers on the market.

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In an illustration, a figure with light skin and long brown hair pushes an oversized shopping cart full of raw meats.

A Vegetarian Runner’s Quest to Become a Meat Eater

Endurance athlete Mallory Arnold was struggling with extreme fatigue when her coach made an unexpected suggestion: start eating meat again

Urban Adventure

A Longtime Resident Reveals His Favorite Natural Places to Explore in New York City

You might not about outdoor adventure in New York City. But you should. With 51 nature preserves and 520 miles of coastline, there are hidden worlds of natural wonders to explore. Here's how to find them.

I hope never to take a plane again. I’ve flown in my share, and I never collected miles, so I don’t have any to use up. To me, rewarding frequent fliers with miles is like giving well-behaved inmates the perk of spending more time in jail. I remember when comedians used to make jokes about airplane food—if only! Now the semi-undeclared civil war that our country is currently engaged in takes place vividly and luridly in the aisles of commercial flights, with cursing, spitting, brawling, and the assault of flight attendants. I want to miss as much of this rage-filled period of our history as I can.

Today I do my traveling on foot, aided by public transportation. I live in New Jersey, and a great wilderness for adventures lies about 15 miles east. New York City, blessed in its geography like no place else, contains expanses of wild urban outdoors that very few know about. Yes, you can rock-climb in Central Park or kayak on the Hudson River and surf or windsurf at Rockaway Beach, but that’s not the kind of adventuring I’m after. I used to fish all over the city, and have taken the subway under the East River to a favorite spot to catch striped bass—that almost unheard-of technique of catching fish by first going beneath them. Nowadays I don’t fish so much. Instead I go looking for the hidden wild places in the middle of everything, places you might see every day without imagining how wild they are.

Sometimes I get up early in the morning and walk to the commuter train and catch the 4:54 to Penn Station. From there I take the subway to a far-flung stop and get out and ramble all day through woods and weed zones and under elevated highways and along waterfronts within the city limits, where I’ve seen deer, wild turkeys, feral cats, dog packs, hawks, fish, seals, large rats, coal-black squirrels, and not many other people. Those humans I do come across generally seem half-wild themselves. Walking on a jetty on the ocean side of Queens, I saw a guy in black bathing trunks and rubber slippers who was fishing with a trident, moving in and out among the rocks and incoming waves. He assumed a position of ambush, crouched with his trident raised. Never had I seen anybody fish like that. His basic English sufficed for him to tell me that this is the way he used to fish in the Mediterranean Sea when he was growing up on Malta.

Over the centuries, humans have changed the landscape, but there is only so much they can do to it in a place like New York, where big ecosystems meet. The ocean is still in the same basic location, relative to the shore, that it’s been in since the last glaciers melted, about 14,000 years ago. In 1972, the federal government created the 26,607-acre Gateway National Recreation Area—preserving huge tracts of land in parts of New York City and Monmouth County, New Jersey—out of the land-ocean interface, mostly because urban residents didn’t have a lot of options. Might as well give the geography a name, and an official recreational status, and pretend we have some control (sea-level rise, take note).

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