When David Klebosky was out in the desert earlier this year, he ended up being shot at. The gunfire wasn’t malicious, but there were bullets coming at him.
Yet David didn’t freak out.
This kind of response is typical for David; he always seems to remain calm in the face of stress.
On this episode, producer Max Wasserman delves into David’s past and explores what makes some of us so unflappable.
As a marine biologist, Colin Howe sees diversity as an indicator of health: the more diverse an ecosystem, the more likely it is to thrive.
But while scientists work hard to preserve diversity in the wild, they often fail to achieve it in the workplace.
Colin is one of just a handful of Black biologists in the United States. On this episode, we talk with him about pursuing his passion in a predominantly white field. And we discuss what the oceans can teach us about the benefits of diversity.
When KC Cheng decided to hike the Camino de Santiago, she imagined it as a kind of therapy. She wanted to feel young and adventurous again, in charge of her own life.
Like so many other thru-hikers, she saw a long-distance trek as an opportunity for an emotional reset.
But what does a solo adventure really do to a person? Does “getting away from it all” change us in a fundamental way?
On this episode, KC shares the story of a surprising realization she made as a result of her pilgrimage.
If you attended a predominantly white college or university, there was probably an outdoors program on campus. And it was likely composed of mostly white people.
If you went to a historically Black college or university, chances are, there was no outdoor program. And you probably grew up hearing that the outdoors was for white people.
On this episode, we talk with outdoor adventurer and educator Ron Griswell about his efforts to close the adventure gap. We share the story of how Ron became a leader in the outdoor industry; we discuss the barriers that keep many people of color from engaging in outdoor adventures; and we talk about the ways that Black joy can help combat racist narratives.
What does "Black Joy" mean to you? Send us a voice message here, and we might air it on the show!
Everyone suffers. Sometimes it’s obvious; other times it’s less visible. But it’s inevitable that we’ll suffer at some point in our lives. And typically, we hate it.
But what if hardships serve a purpose? What if the struggles we try so hard to avoid could actually enhance our lives?
On this episode, Megan McLaughlin takes us from Big Bend National Park to the forests of Arkansas, and explains how she has found sweetness, both in miserable outdoor experiences, and in a cancer diagnosis.
Growing up in an emotionally abusive household, Meg Atteberry yearned for her parents’ approval. But no matter how hard she tried, the message was always the same: you are not enough. The emotional scars from her upbringing lingered long into adulthood.
Then one day, Meg took a dangerous fall while rock climbing.
The brush with death resulted in fresh trauma. But in the aftermath of the accident, something surprising started to happen.
On this episode, Meg shares the story of how a freak accident changed her relationship with climbing, and with her parents.
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Dierdre Wolownick is the oldest woman to have climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. She’s also a teacher, a musician, a marathon runner — and the mother of renowned rock climber Alex Honnold.
On this episode, we talk with Dierdre about what it was like raising a kid like Alex.
We discuss her efforts to keep Alex safe as a child, without stifling his love for climbing. We talk about the difference between risk and consequence. And we explore Dierdre’s own journey to becoming a climber, and how learning about her son’s passion changed their relationship.
Black Lives Matter.
The events that have been unfolding over the past few weeks have made it very clear that all of us need to be doing much more to actively fight racism. One of the ways that Out There can help is to use our platform to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
The outdoors should be a place where anyone can go, without fearing violence, harassment, or discrimination.
On this episode, we talk about what we, as a podcast, commit to doing, to become part of the solution rather than adding to the problem.
The events that have been unfolding across the United States over the past weeks have driven home once again that simply existing carries risks if you have dark skin.
Many of us like to think that nature is an equalizer — a place to escape the injustices of society. But it’s not so simple.
On this bonus episode, producer Jackie Sojico bring you a story that first aired several years ago. It’s about ornithologist and birder Drew Lanham and his quest to pursue his passion outdoors as a POC.
Amber McDaniel lives on the road full-time. She and her partner are both freelance writers, so working remotely isn’t a problem for them. And they love the freedom to spend their days in America’s most beautiful natural places.
But what happens to van lifers when a pandemic hits? Where do you go, when campgrounds and public lands start to close?
On this episode, Amber joins us to talk about “staying home” when you don’t have a home.
On this bonus episode, we bring you tales from Out There’s live storytelling night earlier this month.
Each story touches on the theme of being a beginner in the outdoors:
Ashley White shares the story of his son’s injury on their first-ever backpacking trip together
Jessica Taylor explores the lessons she’s learning as she transitions from life in a house to a life on the road
Natasha Buffo reflects on the intertwined experiences of falling in love with backpacking, and losing a parent
Melanie Chambers loved traveling alone. So when she set off on a four-month solo bicycle trip through Japan and Korea, she wasn’t worried.
But almost immediately, loneliness set in.
On this episode, Melanie shares her story. It’s a story of trying to prove yourself, of discovering the limits of your independence, and of making sense of a worldview that prizes self sufficiency.
When Out There turned five earlier this year, we promised to throw a party.
That party is happening tomorrow, in the form of a live storytelling night. The theme for the evening is “beginners,” and five storytellers from across the country will share personal tales of first times in the outdoors.
On this bonus episode, we give you a taste of what you can expect if you join us.
Susan Conrad was supposed to begin a three-month expedition up the Inside Passage on May 16. But like so many plans that have been derailed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, her voyage has been cancelled.
On this episode, we talk with Susan about how she’s coping with a disappointment of this magnitude.
On this episode, we share a story from the podcast Shelter in Place, about a backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail. The story takes us into the mountains of California and explores the parallels between hiking in the wilderness and adapting to a life of social distancing.
We also chat with Shelter in Place Host Laura Joyce Davis about how producing a daily podcast is helping her ward off depression and find bright spots amidst the hardship.
For Ben Montoya, summer camp was more than just a place to play outside: it was his community, his tribe. As a teenager, he remained friends with fellow campers. And as a college student, he taught at the same camp he had attended as a child.
But in grad school in New York City, he started feeling the need to wean himself off the camp community. He told himself it was time to grow up.
Then Coronavirus struck.
Quarantined in a basement with flu-like symptoms, Ben began to re-evaluate the role that community plays in our lives. On this episode, he shares his story.
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In times of uncertainty, listener contributions matter more than ever. If you have a stable income, please consider becoming a patron of Out There.
The wilderness might seem like a good place to hide out during a pandemic. But the organizations that care for many of the nation’s long-distance trails are asking thru-hikers to cancel their trips this year.
The concern is that hikers could spread COVID-19 to communities along the trails when they stop to resupply.
On this episode, we talk with two hikers who have cancelled their trips: Maggie Slepian, managing editor at The Trek, and Allison Gonzalez, who aborted her thru-hike of the Arizona Trail after just one week.
We talk about the ethical considerations that went into their decisions, the emotional impact of giving up a potentially life-changing journey, and some silver linings from the situation.
When we lose a loved one, we often experience competing emotions and urges. On the one hand, we cling desperately to memories and mementos; on the other hand, we strive to “move on.”
Balancing the two can be tough.
On this episode, journalist Matthew Schneeman brings us the story of a fatal accident, and of one woman’s efforts to preserve the memories of her fiancee.
It’s a story that takes us from the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone, and explores how you can remember someone, while still moving forward.
When Elizabeth Miller teaches kids to ski, her goal is to introduce them to the joy of winter.
But lately, she’s been wondering whether it’s cruel to help children fall in love with something they’re about to lose. With climate change threatening to shorten ski seasons by as much as three-fourths in some parts of the country, winter could become a rare commodity.
On this episode, Elizabeth explores the merits of introducing children to natural wonders they won’t be able to enjoy as grownups.
When Kristina Marcelli Sargent was nine years old, her father was struck by lightning. Immobilized by fear, she watched helplessly, wanting to help but unable to make herself move.
As she grew older, Kristina found herself freezing up over and over again in scary situations.
Then one day, a hike in the mountains changed everything.
On this episode, Kristina shares her story. It’s a story about how we react to fear — and about what happens when our natural responses don’t serve us.
In 2015, Sarah Allely was hit by a car while riding her bike. She suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, and in the ensuing weeks and months, she found it impossible to function normally.
Only one thing seemed to help: spending time in nature.
Now, several years later, Sarah has turned her experience into a documentary podcast series called Brain on Nature. On this episode, we share an excerpt from her show and talk with her about why nature is so important for the brain — for all of us.
Stories about Mt. Everest usually focus on the people trying to summit the mountain. But what about life for those who live near the world’s highest peak?
Journalist Adam Popescu first went to Everest to report for the BBC, but while there, he realized that there was a deeper story he wanted to tell. And he needed fiction to tell it.
On this episode, we talk with Adam about his debut novel, Nima, which is about a 17-year-old Sherpa woman trapped between tradition and ambition.
How do we learn to communicate with one another?
On this episode, Oregon-based writer Chelsea Biondolillo shares an essay from her new book, The Skinned Bird. It’s about songbirds learning to sing, and humans learning to speak, and the complicated web of causality that shapes the way we interact with others.
Have you ever dreamed of dropping everything to live in a remote cabin somewhere? Waking up to the smell of pine trees? Listening to the river from a rocking chair on the front porch?
Growing up, Becky Jensen wanted to be a writer, and she wanted to live in a little cabin in the woods. But then, real life happened, and her childhood aspirations faded.
On this episode, Becky takes us on an 18-year journey from life-threatening pregnancy to new motherhood, from marriage to divorce, from an existence centered around kids to a dogged pursuit of her own individuality.
Her story is about fledging the metaphorical nest, reconsidering neglected dreams, and redefining who you are.
Growing up, Lara McCaffrey loved going outside. But then one day, something happened that left her with a chilling fear of driving into the countryside. The open spaces she knew so well came to fill her with dread.
Over time, things only got worse.
On this episode, Lara shares her story. It’s a story about a paralyzing anxiety — and about the struggle to lead a “normal” life, when you feel too fragile to function.