The Man Behind Outside Magazine

Larry Burke
Larry Burke founded Outside Magazine, the leading active lifestyle magazine in the U.S., 30 years ago.

At his home outside Santa Fe, N.M, Larry Burke is living the good life.

"The sun sets right over there," he told Sunday Morning correspondent Serena Altschul. "We're actually looking at the Jemez Mountains."

To begin with, his home is a stunning, 220-acre, mountain-top ranch. It's all the room he needs to indulge his passion for the outdoors. He says he tries to ride his horses about three to four times a week.

What makes Burke truly lucky, though, is that it was his love for the outdoors which brought him all this in the first place. Thirty years ago, Burke founded Outside magazine. Now, with more than 2.25 million readers a month, it's America's leading active lifestyle magazine.

"I couldn't have a job that for me is any more satisfying than for what Outside has provided me, because it really is all about my life," he said. "I live it."

Outside's headquarters is also in Santa Fe, the perfect location from which to report on everything from mountain biking to rock climbing to kayaking and more.

"It's about inspiring you to live a more active, rigorous, adventurous life," Outside's Editor Chris Keyes said. "At a time when so many people are living more and more sedentary lives, we want this magazine every month to come to people's doorsteps and just inspire people to get outside."

And the staff practices what they preach. Keyes and his co-workers often begin their day with a run in the hills near the office. Another group goes for a lunch-hour ride. Early last Saturday morning, Outside editor Justin Nyberg raced 12 miles up the Aspen Vista trail.

"The thing I like best about Outside is that you're combining your play with your work," he said. "And so, it's that old saying, if you combine your passion with your work you never have to work another day in your life and that's kind of what we're about, so we have fun."

Other contributors climb Mt. Everest or hike and bike and paddle their way around the world, reporting on health and fitness and related topics.

"We had heard these rumors that Viagra was being used for altitude sickness," Keyes said. "So, we sent him with a bunch of Viagra as our lab rat to try it on the mountain."

"Him" was contributor Nick Hyle.

"Certainly taking Viagra on Everest was one of my more bizarre experiences," Hyle said. "And I should state here for the record it was to enhance my climbing performance, and I can also state here for the record that it does not enhance your climbing performance."

Back at his ranch Burke is working hard doing what he's done for the past 30 years, inspiring others to share his passion for anything outside.

"I have probably done everything we cover in Outside magazine except hang gliding," he said. "I've climbed, I've skied the back country, I kayak, I wind-surf, I sail, I ride horses competitively. It doesn't matter really whether you're taking a jog in Central Park or climbing Mt. Everest, but if you're not getting outside you're missing a big part of being alive."