Relearning how to be outside When Ira Edwards was struck by a rogue tree he was felling in 2010 and paralyzed from the waist down, he knew life would never be the same. But it never occurred to him to stop doing the things he loved: hunting, fishing, skiing, and being outside in Alaska. “A lot of that is believing you can. It just takes me a lot longer to do.” Named “the real-life most interesting man in the world” by The Chive, Ira shares how this injury has shaped him and how the outdoors helped him become happy and healthy again. —AS TOLD TO AND EDITED BY MOLLY RETTIG Let’s start by talking about life before your injury. I grew up in Palmer skiing and being outside. The whole world revolved around skiing, having kept up a 163-consecutive-month ski streak. I raced for the University of Alaska Fairbanks and…
Loss beyond years and miles I’ve just checked my box at the Ambler post office on a mid-August afternoon; Sarah Tickett might have smiled and handed me my mail; instead, it’s someone else. Just across the trail stands Nelson and Edna Greist’s plywood cabin. The door is open, an armload of wood on the stoop; a familiar, fireweed-framed clutter fills the yard. But there’s no sign of Nelson sitting in his spot to the right of the door, working on a piece of spruce or jade; no huge, squinting, gap-toothed smile as he invites me in with his signature “Gonna coffee!” and he and Edna welcome me like a long-lost relative; no Inupiaq legends or tales of his youth, living from the land in the wind-raked Killik River country, his family sometimes on the edge of survival. Another couple hundred yards toward my place on the downstream edge…
An Arctic Miracle on Hold Seth Kantner and I sat, leaning into our binoculars. The sandy knoll commanded a huge sweep of autumn-bright country—rolling tundra banded with willow and spruce, framed by the ragged, snow-dusted heave of the western Brooks Range. Working near to far, we scanned each crease and hummock, studied clumps of brush and jumbles of rock, searching the blue-tinted distance for shimmers of movement, anything that stood out or reflected light a bit differently. This place was far more than a fine view in a landscape defined by countless others. Half a lifetime had passed since I’d first looked out from this crest, and I’d returned more times than I could count. Seth’s attachment lay deeper still. He’d been born just a few miles to the east and knew this place from childhood. Each of us, together and alone, and in varying company, had spent time here…
Frank E. Baker shares 13 outdoor mistakes he’s made during half a century of exploring Alaska that you can avoid.
Nick Jans writes that the real work of hunting begins after the animal is down, in the diligence needed to properly take care of the meat.
Shockproof and waterproof, these binoculars are made for heavy field use. They also do well in low light and are durable.
Tales bear encounters, moose, and beautiful country from a father and son who are sheep hunting in the Chugach.
Heather Douville lives in the Tongass National Forest and has honed her impressive skillset from years of hunting, fishing, and gathering.
Adventure Medical Kits offers a wide variety of ready-made first aid kits targeted to different pursuits and scenarios.
Eric Beeman recounts the tale of a Kodiak deer hunt when a bear got to the deer before he and a client could.