7 Outdoor Podcasts for Your Next Road Trip

You’re on the road for your next adventure. As you venture into the smaller back roads, the radio signal swaps between two stations battling for dominance, country music fading into a local talk radio show and back again. Finally, both give up the ghost and your radio falls into static monotony. You hit the scan button and realize five minutes later that it’s been endlessly cycling through every FM station on the dial without any luck.

You switch it off and stare at the single-lane highway stretching miles before you.

If only you knew of some podcasts that touched on topics you care about, like the outdoors and adventure.

Oh look, here’s a list for you, placed in alphabetical order to avoid any biases.

Dirtbag Diaries

Probably one of the best known outdoor podcasts in the adventure industry, Dirtbag Diaries was created by Fitz Cahall in 2007, is backed by Patagonia, has over three million downloads, and sports a five-star listener rating in iTunes. The show’s episodes are curated from input from “friends, from friends of friends, and from [the Dirtbag Diary] community.” Stories tend to take a conversational tone, with their focus leaning toward “exploring some bigger question, idea or truth through the lens of the outdoors.”

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Chris Kalous introduces his Enormocast podcast by saying, “I am here for you. I know how scared you were above that piece, and will hold you tightly in my podcast arms until you feel better…Here at the Enormocast, no beta is wrong, no story is too long-winded, and I will never utter the words, “Can we talk about something besides climbing for a change?” If that’s not a personality-injected intro that excites a climber, I’m not sure what will.

Enormocast features “a glimpse into the climbing life through discussion, interviews, and perspective.”

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The First 40 Miles

Heather and Josh Legler host this backpacking podcast which got its name from the pair both discovering that they loved backpacking within the first 40 miles of their first hitting the trail. Josh got his start much earlier in life than Heather, so the pair bring both beginner and expert perspectives to the table. Says Heather, “I haven’t solo hiked the Pacific Crest Trail or sawed off a frost-bitten limb with a  credit card. I have never eaten raw squirrel meat or slept under a blanket of pine needles and steaming bear dung. I haven’t been stranded for weeks in the woods with only a knife—and a camera crew.

But, I have discovered a simple love of hiking and backpacking.”

They discuss that love over topics covering backpacking “essentials, how to lighten your load, and how to make the most of your time on the trail.”

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Produced and hosted by Ben Schenck (who also produces and hosts the Outdoor Industry Association’s podcast), this podcast “explores the minds of top outdoors athletes and professionals…to gain insight which will spark inspiration in your own adventures.” The podcast has featured notable athletes such as Alex Honnold, Jeremy Jones, Lynn Hill, and Conrad Anker and attempts to bridge the gap between their experiences and the general topics that are important to the everyday human life.

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The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide Podcast

The Orvis Company puts on a highly-rated podcast for its community. Hosted by fly fishing author, Tom Rosenbauer, this (roughly) twice-monthly show goes along the educational side of podcasting, with topics covering fly fishing terminology, interviews with guides to fly designers, and tips such as how to “keep your pant legs down when wearing waders.”

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Sounds of the Trail

Hosted by correspondents revealed only by their trail names (Gizmo, Kimchi, Saina, and Par 3), this podcast slows down its show pace to an every-other-week format during North America’s hiking off-season, but ramps back up when the team can hit (at least partially) dry trails again. The show goes over the highs and lows of thru-hiking and hikes along with members of the team “as they hike on the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest trail, and send back transmissions, updates, and interviews with other hikers.” The “Sounds of the Trail” team gives this caveat to listeners of the show: “We only give bad advice.” Sounds like a fun crew to spend some audio time with.

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Produced at least twice monthly (and often times, more), the UltraRunnerPodcast is made up of a team of three: Eric, Ethan, and Sarah. The show interviews top ultra athletes and experts, as well as “people we think are pretty darn interesting,” says the crew. Topics over the hour-long show cover “nutrition, training tips, sports psychology, ultra race reviews/previews, and odd trail encounters and wacky characters” — just to keep it interesting.

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About the Author


Gina Begin

Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. Over the years, she has been consumed with skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and getting lost on back roads. When she's not playing the part of a photojournalist, Gina can be found collaborating with women worldwide through her nonprofit, Outdoor Women's Alliance, and working to improve her outdoor skills and wilderness safety certifications.