The Best Outdoor Podcasts for 2017
Looking for some inspiration to get outside and explore in 2017? Or need something to listen to when you’re on that road trip? Here is the Bearfoot Theory list of the best outdoor podcasts to tune in to for the new year!
••• Best NEW Outdoor Podcast •••
Just launched this past April, from the editors of Outside Magazine and support from Public Radio Exchange, Outside Podcast is our favorite new outdoor-themed podcast. Make sure to start at the beginning, where their first series focuses on the science of survival in our world’s most extreme environments. It’ll leave you inspired for both grand adventures and casual hikes close to home. Also don’t miss episode 6 which features an interview with Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, immediately following our most recent presidential election. We are excited to see what else Outside Podcast will bring in the coming year.
Photo: Michael Matti
••• Best Adventure Stories Podcast •••
A staple for years on almost all of the best outdoor podcasts lists, Dirtbag Diaries, is backed by REI & Patagonia and full of true stories from the adventure community. They have two formats for their episodes: The Shorts, which are short essays written and read by listeners, and Features, which are longer episodes done in an interview/narration format. Dirtbag Diaries has been around since 2007 so there is a huge archive of episodes to check out. The episode, “Paul’s Boots” will humble you while reminding you just how short life is to fulfill the deepest desires of our bucket lists – it is a must listen.
••• Best Podcast for Outdoor Adventure Environmentalists •••
Outside/In is produced by the New Hampshire Public Radio and focuses on our natural world and how we use it. They talk with people who live, work and play outside, as well as discuss interesting animals and plants you’ve never heard of. They discuss how environmentally conscientious groups and individuals are working to utilize and harness the very earth we live on in a sustainable way. Just take a look at the summaries of their episodes and we’re sure you’ll have a difficult time picking where to start. Overwhelmed? S01lE01, “Let’s Take This Outside” begins with inspiring words from Scott Jurek on his Appalachian Trail speed record-setting adventure and is sure to draw you in from the first word.
Read Next: If you feel inspired to protect our world and want to do more, make sure to check out our list of top environmental groups to support in 2017.
••• Best Podcast for Thru-Hikers •••
Trailside Radio seems to no longer be producing new episodes but they have 21 timeless episodes that capture life on the Pacific Crest Trail. We highly recommend episode 19 which features a conversation with Heather Anderson, “Anish”, just 3 days after she set a new speed record for a self-supported hike of the Appalachian Trail, while also holding the Pacific Crest Trail record.
Sounds of the Trail just capped its second season this past Fall. Season 2 follows thru-hikers on their journeys on all three long distance trails: the AT, the CDT and the PCT.
If you are thinking about embarking on a thru-hike, these two great podcasts will help prepare you and inspire you for your adventure.
••• Best Outdoor Podcast for Females •••
Gale Straub, founder of She-Explores.com, just branched into the outdoor adventure podcast world. She is a pro at including multiple voices on her podcast from big names in the community to everyday explorers across the world. Gale is all about creating a platform and resource for creative outdoors women. We hear Podcast Episode 15: After the PCT with Kim Vawter is pretty fun (as in BearFoot Theory’s newest employee, Kim Vawter), but since Gale is in her first season we highly recommend starting with Episode 1.
••• Best Podcast for Outdoor Newbies •••
Looking to branch into backpacking and hiking or to expand your basic outdoor skill set? The First 40 miles is all about first trips and learning experiences. It is geared towards beginners and is filled with the basics to help you feel confident and comfortable in the great outdoors.
••• For Climbers •••
Only eleven episodes in, The Sharp End, will have you on the edge of your seat. We love it for so many reasons but first and foremost, it is female hosted. In monthly episodes host Ashley Saupe, who is a long time instructor for Outward Bound, brings stories to life from the pages of “Accidents in North American Climbing,” the annual publication of the American Alpine Club (AAC). In the episodes Ashley interviews the climbers and rescuers involved in life-threatening incidents and shares their lessons, helping all of us become safer climbers—and outdoor adventurers in general.
Photo: Reno Tahoe
••• Best Podcast For Ultra Athletes •••
Endurance Planet focuses on runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes and adventure racers with GRIT. The podcast will leave you inspired, educated and in awe of how absolutely incredible our bodies and minds are. All episodes are over an hour so they are great for motivating and fueling your next adventure.
••• For Beer Lovers Who Love Outdoor Podcasts •••
We highly recommend grabbing a beer when you put this one on. Trust us, they will be toasting to one, so you might as well join in. The hosts, who all have at least one thru-hike under their belt, broadcast from Boulder, CO and are determined to fill the hiking void in your podcast library. Get ready for some laughs!
••• Our Favorite non-Outdoor Podcast for Digital Nomads •••
Hosted by internet entrepreneur, Pat Flynn, the Smart Passive Income podcast features interviews with people who have self-made careers off the internet. It is a huge source of inspiration for digital nomads trying to figure out how to take the career path less traveled, be it a blog, online course, product, or something else. It’s fueled many of my (Kristen’s) ideas and has helped me grow Bearfoot Theory into what it is today.
Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, I receive a tiny bit of compensation at no added cost to you. Any purchases you make help keep this blog going…so thanks for all of your support! If you ever have any questions about any of the products featured on my site, please email me. Thanks! Kristen