The Acid Ramblers

The portraits you see below you are 11 of the individuals who have, for us, encapsulated the essence of outdoor culture.

Henry David Thoreau

Our Acid Rambler, Emeritus, Thoreau practiced a life lived simply, uncluttered by the unnecessary, the natural world preeminent and with equality as a guiding principle. His words would go on to influence Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and JFK; Muir, Hemingway and Abbey.

Miki Dora

Trickster, scammer and holy fool, Dora embodied the myth of outsider surfer impeccibly. We’ve been in his thrall for fifty years.

Thelonious Monk

The high priest of bebop, Monk was a musical genius who helped take modern jazz to new heights and in doing so exhibited a level of individualism that continues to inspire.

Fausto Coppi

Italian icon. The epitome of cool. Possessor of a fine sense of the dramatic. Fausto Coppi, one of bike racing’s greatest champions, helped to define, one epic ride after another, cycling’s enduring aesthetic.

Brian Wilson

Creator of the Californian imaginary that transcends clichés, category and genre.

Yvon Chounard

The founder of Patagonia, pioneering climber, original California surfer and environmental realist...

Gary Snyder

The postwar American counterculture always had at its heart the great outdoors. Gary Snyder is the link that connects Thoreau and Whitman with Ginsberg and Burroughs – yet leapfrogs them all in simple authenticity.

Reinhold Messner

Defying convention and common belief, Reinhold Messner climbed one 8,000 metre peak after another, shunning oxygen, working quickly and travelling light. Mountaineering would never be the same again.

Mark Gonzales

Glorious nutcase and the most influential skater the world has ever seen, Mark Gonzales's mentalist creativity explodes the boundaries of what skateboarding can be.

Mickey Smith

Documenting the 'dark side of the lens' may have exposed Mickey Smith's work to a wide audience – but for years he has been deeply committed to the planet's heaviest water.

John Muir

Grandfather of the National Parks, co-founder of the Sierra Club and original preservationist, John Muir was never more content that when he was simply walking in the mountains.

They have seen the wide open spaces as an invitation to explore, to create, to live. Their outdoors encompasses the city streets as well as the mountains, the oceans, the rivers. Their adventures have been real as well as imagined, the stuff of legend; a stroll in the forest; a retreat to the woods; a way of defying gravity; musical notes on a page.

Beneath the pavement, they realise, lies the beach. And inside the city the wilderness remains.

Some of these unwitting revolutionaries were simply sportsmen - young men exploring the boundaries of their freedom, dancing with the elements and almost by accident taking the human race further. But we know also their particular, maverick, creative, rebellious engagement with the mountains, the ocean and the earth gave birth to a way of seeing the world that resonates more strongly than ever.

Its this boundless aspect to the culture of the outdoors that The Acid Rambler celebrates – creatively imagining human engagement with the elemental forces around them – and redefining the meaning of living here, now, under the ceaseless sky.