The Wilderness Issue—“I like to think of wilderness as any place where you can escape cellphone service, traffic noise, and other people altogether. Wilderness should also scare you a little. There, stupid mistakes are amplified. The freedom to live in the moment—not the glow of your social media feed, but the real life-and-death, bloody-hands, muddy-boots moment—is the true gift of a wilderness experience. If we destroy our last wild places, we’ll also lose the last of our wild selves.”

—Alex Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

RULES OF THE WILD

Public land is owned by everyone, but wilderness only truly belongs to those who are willing to brave it. Outdoor Life contributor Aram von Benedikt has spent years doing that in his home state of Utah, but he was willing to share his secret elk spot and an epic, snow-filled hunt with Senior Editor Natalie Krebs. “A longing for open, untouched country remains among many who were born into crowded counties or work in cities where Rottweiler-size raccoons have replaced wild game, and office buildings block the sky,” Krebs writes. “The knowledge that I can hunt a place like this keeps me going when I’m stuck in traffic, and it revives me fully once I’m here. This particular place will always be Aram’s. Yet in a way, it belongs to me now too.”

THE FIRST FRONTIER 

A knowledgeable guide and a good boat will go a long way in Greenland. Outdoor Life Hunting Editor Andrew McKean traversed the craggy, beautiful coastline of North America’s largest island in search of musk ox, caribou, and miles of empty country.

 A WILDERNESS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK (page 90)

At 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. It’s also a hunting and fishing paradise, and its tourism and seafood economies support 25 percent of jobs in the region. But the U.S. Forest Service announced plans to exempt the Tongass from the Clinton-era Roadless Rule to allow more old-growth logging and development on 9.2 million acres that are currently protected. Editor-in-Chief Alex Robinson put boots on the ground in Alaska to hunt and fish with locals, unpack the debate, and report on the ways this rollback will impact the local environment and economy. 

HOOKED 

Fishing helped save Lance Clinton’s life from drugs and despair, and propelled him to become one of the top big-game kayak anglers in the world. Contributor Michael Shea traveled to Clinton’s hideaway in Costa Rica to chase tuna, dorado, and mahi on the open waters, and learn about this recovered addict’s gospel of the surf.

PLUS 100 Rams; Hunting the High Seas; Wyoming’s Wilderness Problem; the Ultimate Open-Country Hunting Rifle; the Gear You Need for the Backcountry; and more.