Every start-up, multi-national brand, charity, or influencer seems to have a podcast nowadays. And why not? They’re easy to create and are a free way of sharing wisdom, spreading a message, or establishing a human voice behind a brand.
But not all podcasts are created equal. Attention is a valuable commodity which demands more than drab industry insights and sponsored plugs. The best outdoors podcasts spin tales of endurance, natural wonders or inspiring adventures we can emulate on our next trip. And the good news? We’ve found the best ones for you…
The Dirtbag Diaries
This will be on any top 10 outdoor podcast list for anyone who’s a fan of climbing, but even if you’re scared of heights, it’s an awesome resource for adventure travel inspiration. The Dirtbag Diaries format keeps it fresh even after 12 years (that’s before podcasts were even cool). Outdoor writer Fitz Cahall and his team presents stories about the dreamers, athletes and wanderers submitted to them by fans so each episode feels uniquely personal. It’s so good that it’s had backing from the likes of Patagonia and Duct Tape Then Beer. An easy recommendation on our list of best adventure podcasts.
Where to listen: dirtbagdiaries.com
Favourite episode: Adventurer Katie Crafts’ life restart that takes her on an Antarctic cruise ship adventure after she decides to “Start Saying Yes” more.
The Mpora Podcast
We couldn’t create list of top adventure podcasts without a spot of self-promotion. After all, isn’t that what podcasts are for? But Paul Evans and Ben Mondy have created a wanderlust inspiration podcast for our sister site Mpora that’s full of loosely surf-related competition coverage, empowering women in action sports and easy eco-travel. From shark-bongs and Australia’s 1980 sheep-farming ultra-marathon runners to “industrial fishing c****”, there’s not much that’s off bounds to these two – in both a topical and comedic sense.
Where to listen: soundcloud.com
Favourite episode: An interview with endurance athlete and all-round nice guy/wildman Sean Conway.
An action sports journalist for over 20 years, the man behind this podcast series, Matt Barr, knows how to collar the right people and ask them the questions we all wanted to hear the answers to. Scroll through his list of interviewees and it’s one eclectic bunch; from record-breaking alpinists and skaters on the Southbank, to CEOs of multinationals and founders of new start-ups. There’s a common theme right across each one however, and that’s a love of action sports in all forms.
Where to listen: podcasts.apple.com
Favourite episode: Matt’s chat with Ross Edgeley, who in 2018/19 swam right around the coast of Britain.
Women on the Road
Laura Hughes’ show is a podcast for women solo travellers with a clear mission statement: just go for it. Host Laura is a full-time “Vanlifer” swapping stories and travel tips with other women doing the same, and addressing the misconception that women explorers are less inclined to ‘rough it’. Each episode is highly personal and entertaining. It goes further to uncover the reasons why these women strike it out – from becoming closer to a partner to an antidote for serious illness. A thoroughly recommended adventure podcast for both women and men.
Where to Listen: podcasts.apple.com
Favourite episode: Episode 10 “Just Try” following the hiking and camping adventures of Emily Pelland and her boyfriend on the trail with their four door sedan.
The Adventure Podcast
In this new-to-the-block podcast, Matt Pycroft, of Coldhouse Collective, a UK adventure film production company, explores the more philosophical side of adventure and the outdoors, not just asking people what they have done, but why they have done it. Guests so far have included climber Conrad Anker, and survivalist Megan Hine.
Where to listen: theadventurepodcast.co.uk
Favourite episode: Hazel Findlay, a climber trained in pyschology, explains the methods climbers can use to improve their technique through mental training.
If you’ve enjoyed the Gervais-Merchant double-act in the past, you’ll love Generic Drift. This podcast is the most exciting natural world and sciencey binge-content online right now. Best mates and massive nerds Adam Bakewell and Harvey Broadhurst discuss topics like the “ephemeral anus” of the comb jelly, billion year-old Marian lakes and the flora and fauna of the Three Peaks Challenge. It’s mates-in-a-pub, challenge-you-not-to-laugh, mind-blowing outdoorsy science banter best listened to on a starry night on long distance hikes.
Where to listen: genericdrift.com
Favourite episode: Interviewing flat earther Mike Cavanaugh.
The Trail Show
This podcast, which bears the motto “Less gear, more beer”, records the monthly get togethers of three hosts, who like to discuss hiking, brewskis and generally each others’ nonsense. Expect topics such as bear attacks, roasting marshmallows over lava and vacuums at the bottom of lakes. It’s high-quality outdoorsy banter beamed into your headphones from the U.S home of historic beers, Boulder Colorado.
Where to listen: thetrailshow.com
Favourite episode: #59 where the team hike the Inca Trail.
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