A few years ago, the magazine Outside started showing up in my mail. At the time, I had been traveling a lot, so I assumed my name and address were sold to a marketing company trying to entice me to subscribe. After about nine months, it stopped. Enter Outside withdrawals. I couldn’t stand it so I subscribed.
The magazine is geared toward men who like being, well, outside. It is Boy’s Life all grown up. It covers sports, extreme sports, travel of the off the beaten path variety, style, health and diet, and feature stories. It also covers what they call “xx factor” features of women who participate in extreme sports.
So what draws this too old to run marathons anymore woman to a journal with a marketing focus on the latest hi-tech camping gear? The answer is the writing. And this fine writing is accompanied by even finer photography.
The travel adventure stories feature individuals touring in places like Mongolia and Yemen. One edition covers a young man who takes a summer vacation in northern Afghanistan and writes about it in travelogue format. He mentions things like the best places to stay and best places to get US Army coverage. Rudy Maxa and Rick Steves, move over.
Outside also covers the politics and business of sports. The stories run from doping in cycling completion to Red Bull sponsored BASE jumping from the stratosphere. One feature explores the history and mystery of who actually was the first person to reach Mt. Everest’s summit – Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (1953) or George Mallory (1924). Read about mountain climbing without ropes or parachutes. Exciting stuff.
The magazine also headlines investigative pieces like the mysterious running shoes washing ashore on the beaches of British Columbia (with feet still in them) and scams involving bottled water.
Outside fulfills our wanderlust to explore and to experience global adventures without leaving our reading chair. It jolts us with vicarious endorphins by revealing trailblazers doing what was said couldn’t be done. Any dad whose day is filled with family and work responsibilities will enjoy this magazine.
If you can’t get the dad in your life that exotic fishing trip to some faraway place he has been dreaming about, do the next best thing and give him a subscription to Outside magazine. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there.