As nice as it would be, we can’t spend all of our time in the great outdoors. Don’t worry, though, while you may not be able to physically experience these outdoor adventures, you can still escape from the daily grind by listening to some epic tales in podcast form.
For those of you new to the podcasting world, or those of you looking for something different to listen to, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best stuff out there. These podcasts are guaranteed to get you revved up for your next great adventure.
To bring you this list, we’ve researched hundreds of podcasts for your listening pleasure. Each podcast was compared on equal metrics, such as episode length, content, listener numbers, and rating. Unless otherwise specified, we recommend you take your time and start at the beginning!
1. Outside Podcast
With support from Public Radio Exchange, the editors of Outside Magazine have brought their long-standing story methods to an audio realm. Since it’s launch in March 2016, it has quite a few episodes already, but make sure you don’t miss the episodes focused on Science of Survival. These, as the name suggests, are focused on the science of survival in the most extreme environments in the world. We’re sure this podcast will inspire you not only for hikes next to home but also for grand adventures further beyond.
2. The Dirtbag Diaries
This podcast has been a staple on almost all of the roundups of best outdoor podcasts for years, as it covers a broad realm of topics. This podcast is backed by REI and Patagonia and packs more than ten years of true tales about outdoor athletes, wanderers, and dreamers.
The Dirtbag Diaries episodes come in two formats: The Shorts and Features. The Shorts are focused on short essays submitted and read by listeners, and Features are long episodes narrated by the co-founder of the production company Duct Tape Then Beer, Fitz Cahall, which will inspire you to start crossing things off your bucket list.
This podcast, which focuses on how we use our natural world, is produced by the New Hampshire Public Radio. Its broad range of topics means that it's basically for anyone that's spent any time outdoors. Combining long-form narrative storytelling with news reporting, they cover issues from people who live outdoors and off the grid, to lesser-known plants and animals and how individuals and groups are working to harness the earth in a globally conscious and sustainable way.
Not sure where to start? We recommend starting right at the beginning, with the episode “Let’s Take This Outside”, where Scott Jurek discusses his adventure in breaking the Appalachian Trail speed record. You’ll be hooked from the first word.
4. Sounds of the Trail
Sounds of the Trail is a podcast regaling the all-around experiences of life on the trail, including its pros and cons. Season 2 is focused on the tales of thru-hikers as they take us through their real-time journeys through the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s produced by AT thru-hiker “Kimchi,” editor-in-chief “Gizmo”, and “Par 3” and “Saina,” their correspondents from the PTC.
If tackling a thru-hike is on your bucket list, this is a great podcast to get you inspired.
5. She Explores
She Explores is a podcast for and about women who love the outdoors. Founder of the She Explores website; Gale Straub started this podcast in order to bring voices together, creating a resource and a platform for women. From everyday explorers to big names in the outdoors world, explore over 200 stories, artwork, and photographs created by women.
6. The Sharp End
This podcast is aimed at climbers, but it will have anyone that listens gripping the edge of their seat. Host Ashley Saupe brings to life stories from “Accidents in North American Climbing” which is the annual publication of the American Alpine Club.
Their episodes focus on interviewing climbers and rescuers that have been part of life-threatening accidents, while sharing lessons learned, inspiring all of us to become safer climbers.
7. The Trail Show
This podcast is best paired with your favorite beer, as your hosts will be toasting along with one with their motto “less gear, more beer,” so why not join them? They air new episodes monthly and they are a mish-mash of the hosts, which all have at least one thru-hike experience, discussing all things that have to do with trail life. Get ready for some laughs, and fill the uninhabited hiking space in your podcast subscriptions.
8. Wild Ideas Worth Living
The ethos of this podcast is that a little adventure can cure almost anything. Shelby Stranger aims to empower you to escape the humdrum of daily life and live out your wildest ideas. Listen to it for fantastic interviews with health experts, entrepreneurs, performers, and world-class athletes on how they’ve managed to turn their wildest ideas into reality.
Intelligent and thought-provoking, the MtnMeister podcast aims to create a link between the challenges faced by mountaineers tackling high altitudes, such as frostbite and oxygen depletion, with daily ideas affecting the rest of us. This podcast questions the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone, and how human behavior impacts the way we make our decisions.
Host Ben Schenck asks fantastic questions not customarily heard in your regular job interview and has interviewed notable guests such as Sasha DiGiulian, Jeremy Jones, Alex Honnold, Ueli Steck and loads of other adventurers in hiking, climbing, biking, skiing and every other mountain sport.
10. The Advantage Survival
Host Les Baker has more than 25 years of urban and wilderness Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer experience, and he’s sharing his knowledge with the rest of us. He has a particular insight of human survival, both in the outdoors and as a whole, and with this podcast, you’ll up your survival knowledge game.
11. Practical Backpacking Podcast
The name pretty much says it all. This podcast is based on informative interviews with outdoor industry leaders and adventurers. If you want to be up to date with the outdoor community, this is the podcast for you.
There’s an impressive archive of episodes, so if you’re not sure where to start, begin with episode 50, where hiking legend Eric Ryback is acknowledged. Ryback is recognized as the first thru-hiker to complete the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.
12. Happy Camper Radio
This podcast believes that camping is a fantastic way for the family to come together. They aim to help its listeners build and maintain a family unit while having outdoor adventures. Happy Camper Radio will help you and your family select new gear, decide where you should set up your tent, and prove that the paramount recreational activity for families is camping.