Three years ago, folk singer Joel Shupack set off from Portland, Oregon on his bicycle. The plan was to ride across the entire U.S., all the way to New Hampshire.
Joel's dream was to escape a life that wasn’t filling him up. He wanted to travel, to give himself space to think, to make sense out of things.
On this episode, he shares his story. It’s a story about leaving behind a comfortable life at home, in order to follow your heart. It shows us what a cross-country bike tour is really like – not just the glamorous idea, but the tough reality. And finally, it’s a story about figuring out how to belong.
Two friends set out one March morning with an inflatable raft, a camouflage tent ... and a ridiculous idea. They plan to paddle the Bronx River, all the way from Valhalla to New York City. It's the kind of trip that no one even talks about attempting.
On this episode, in honor of Earth Day, we share their story. It's a story about the trials and tribulations of exploring forgotten bits of wilderness: the places where nature and civilization meet. Places where people are not meant to go. It's also an intimate socio-environmental portrait of a waterway -- a reminder of just how much our surroundings can show us about ourselves.
Pace University Professor Brice Particelli brings us the story.
We’ve gotten a lot of new listeners in the past few months, so this week, we're playing a story that some of you may have missed. It ran back in 2015, when the show was still very new, and it won a national award last year.
The story is about a 70-mile mountain bike race called the Laramie Enduro. I've always liked big athletic challenges, but signing up for this race turned out to be a big mistake. This is the story of that mistake. It's a story about trying to prove yourself, about testing what you're capable of, and ultimately about learning when to say no.
Many of us put science and religion into separate boxes, assuming they're mutually exclusive. But what if it isn't that simple?
On this episode, producer Maya Kroth brings us a story about something that happened on a beach in Mexico, which cast one psychologist's understanding of the world into question. It’s a story about uncertainty -- about the eerie coincidences in life that can’t really be explained through science. And finally, it’s a story about losing your best friend.
Many of us spend a lot of time and energy striving for equality -- equality between men and women, rich and poor, gay and straight, Christian and Muslim.
But what does it mean for a society to truly be equal? What would that actually look like? Could we do it? And would we actually want to live that way?
Last summer, Brooklyn-based producer Katrin Redfern traveled to Tanzania to look for answers, visiting one of the few truly egalitarian societies on the planet.
On this episode, she shares her story.
To celebrate, we're sharing some of our favorite moments from stories we've aired over the past two years.
We'll also give you a sneak peak at upcoming episodes, invite you to a party, and offer a special birthday discount on Out There t-shirts and hoodies.
When Myles Osborne set out to climb Mt. Everest, he knew he was up against a dangerous mountain. What he didn't consider was that it might not be his own life on the line.
On this episode, producer Phoebe Flanigan brings us Myles' story. It's a story about what happens when your personal goals are pitted against the life of another person. And it's about how we make the toughest of moral decisions: whether or not to help someone who's nearly dead.
Producer Jackie Sojico brings us a story about a man who doesn’t fit the description of a traditional “outdoorsman.” It’s a story about trying to do something you love, when you don’t look the part. And it's about making space for yourself in a world that excludes you.
Colorado-based writer Stacey McKenna shares a story about love, fear, and what happens when you don’t share your partner’s obsession.
Sam Anderson lives in New York City, and for most of his life, it never occurred to him to go hunting. But last year, at his father's request, he decided to give it a try.
Sam had no idea whether he'd actually be able to bring himself to pull the trigger. And he wondered: if he did manage to take the life of an animal, what would that say about him? How would it change him?
On this episode, he shares his story.
Brooklyn-based writer Rebecca Worby first visited Moab in 2011. The small Utah town, surrounded by some of the country's most stunning desert landscapes, stole her heart immediately. But Rebecca's love affair with Moab was complicated, because her real life was rooted thousands of miles away, in New York City.
On this episode, she shares her story. It’s a story about falling in love -- with a place, and maybe also with a person. And it's about the difficult question of whether you should live in the place you love.
Emily Stewart always wanted to be a singer. It was her deepest wish, her strongest desire. Growing up, she doggedly pursued a career in the opera. But part way through college, she came to a startling realization.
On this episode, producer David Waters brings us her story. It's a story about what happens when you discover you don't really want the thing you've always wanted. And it's about escaping a career you thought would make you happy, and moving towards a life that actually does.
Tune in to hear what's in store for Out There in the coming months. Plus, a special message for Giving Tuesday.
Across the country, communities are running out of landfill space -- and running out of money to deal with their trash. But recently, some cities have been responding with creative new plans. From Durham, North Carolina, reporter Rebecca Martinez brings us the story of one community's quest to turn its problems into an asset.
Fresh out of college, Brendan Leonard was an alcoholic. A total mess.
And -- spoiler alert -- he got sober. But drinking had been his favorite thing; it was what defined him. After alcohol was taken away from him, he didn't know who he was anymore.
On this episode, he joins me to talk about the difficult process of creating a new life for himself. For Brendan, that new life came about in the outdoors, through rock climbing. And it happened completely by accident.
Growing up, Heather Kitching loved the countryside. She loved the rolling hills, the open fields, the horses, country music. And she dreamed of a home in a close-knit small town, with a rocking chair on the porch and wide open spaces all around.
But there was a problem: Heather was gay. And that wasn't OK in her rural utopia.
On today's episode, Heather shares her story. It's a story about what happens when the place you love becomes your enemy. And it's a story about abandoning an important part of you, in order to build a life where you fit in.
Lynn Downey first fell for Fred Loring when she discovered a photo of him amongst some archives in a small town in Arizona. Her crush led her on a journey across the American West, and through time.
On this episode, she shares her story. It's a story about exploration -- about what drives us leave the comfort of home and venture into the unknown -- and about the timeless thirst for discovery.
When we think about weapons, we usually think of guns and bombs and swords -- military instruments. But in his book "Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle," beetle biologist Doug Emlen gives us an inside look at the weapons that animals use: things like horns and tusks and claws.
The book combines science and military history to show just how much we can learn about our own wars and arms races, by understanding the way animals fight. Emlen joins us on this episode to talk about it.
In the five months he spent on the trail, Chilton made friends with fellow hikers, pushed himself to exhaustion, delighted in the natural splendor of the American West and got a taste for what it's like to live life as a vagabond.
In some ways, he learned lessons you'd expect someone to learn on a trip like this, like how to rely on himself in the wilderness. But the trail did something else to him too -- something quite unexpected. On this episode, he shares his story.
Last spring, Jordan Wirfs-Brock attempted one of the toughest trail running races in existence: a 550-miler called Infinitus. Jordan wasn't new to ultra running, but this race was more extreme than anything she'd done before. And it broke her; she failed to finish. Curiously, though, the failure didn't leave her feeling defeated. In fact, it turned out to be one of the best things that's ever happened to her. On this episode, she shares her story.
When we talk about the outdoors, we often think of places that are wild and untouched. But even in cities, there's a world outside our walls. On this episode, New York-based writer Jessica Gross recounts how a simple experiment changed the way she sees the urban outdoors.
On this episode, writer-philosopher-entomologist Jeff Lockwood shares an essay that was inspired by his work as a grasshopper killer. The story takes us out into the grasslands, and grapples with a child's question about just when it is moral to kill other animals.
This is a story about relationships, and in particular, how to take a relationship to the next level. Some couples try to accomplish that with marathon all-night conversations. Or maybe they dash off on a trip together. Houston-based reporter Laura Isensee took a different approach with her boyfriend: they decided to bike 150 miles together. This is their story.
Last summer, writer Erin Jones set out to hike the Colorado Trial, a 500-mile footpath through the Rocky Mountains.
Erin was pursuing her master's degree, and as is so often the case for grad students, her future seemed uncertain. She felt powerless, oppressed by adulthood. And so, she decided to hike. The journey, she hoped, would help her find out what she wanted, allow her soul to unfurl.
But it didn't work out that way. On this episode, Erin shares the story of her hike -- the story of what happens when you strive for something big, and fail.
Tranquility; meditation; serenity. These are words that many of us might use to describe what we feel when we’re in the woods. But for Tiara Lin, a different word comes to mind: terror. Since she was a teen, Tiara has had botanophobia—a crippling fear of plants. Most people laugh in disbelief when she first tells them that such a phobia exists. But the laughter stops when they see her dissolve into panic near a tree, or when they hear that she has broken up with boyfriends for sending her flowers.
On this episode, reporter Chelsea Davis brings us Tiara’s story. It’s a story about a fear so powerful that it disrupts how you function in society. And it’s a story about the struggle to overcome that fear – to experience nature the way others do.