Everybody has a hobby, and every hobby has a podcast. Whether you’re interested in cars, watches, or motorcycles, you’ll find no shortage of content on your podcast platform of choice. And if your interests revolve around the great outdoors, then you’re really in luck as there are a plethora of outdoor podcasts from which to choose. The best outdoor podcasts cover a wide range of topics, so whether your passion lies in hiking, mountain biking, hunting, or just general exploration, you should be able to find something that appeals to you.
The best outdoor podcasts are versatile (and generally free) forms of entertainment. You can listen to them at home or in the car while you plan for your next adventure, you can listen to them at work for a dose of nature-inspired escapism, and you can listen to them while you’re out in the wilderness for a little auditory companionship. However you like to listen to your outdoor podcasts, it helps to know which ones are worth listening to. So with that in mind, have a look below at our list of the ten best outdoor podcasts.
America’s National Parks Podcast
The National Parks System is America’s greatest resource, and this podcast is arguably the greatest resource for information about them. The show covers a lot of ground, as it features stories, history, news, and tips about America’s 400-plus National Parks. Whether you’re looking to learn more about specific parks, are interested in hearing from people who work in the parks, or want to know about park wildlife, this series has you covered.
Backpackers and thru-hikers have their own unique culture, and if you’re a part of it — or you’re curious about it — then you owe it to yourself to check out this podcast. The show covers everything hiking-related, from what gear you need and practical trip advice to interviews with accomplished hikers and details about specific trails. If your idea of a good time is to pack up a bag and head out into the woods, then give this show a listen.
The Dirtbag Diaries
A trailblazer in the space (no pun intended), this long-running podcast has been weaving its engaging outdoor tales since 2007. The series is a modern version of the timeless campfire story, and each episode features a new outdoor-related tale that is guaranteed to leave you inspired, amused, entertained, or moved — sometimes all within the same story. With a huge back-catalog and a passionate fanbase, The Dirtbag Diaries is a must-listen.
The First 40 Miles
If you’ve always wanted to get into backpacking but just didn’t know where to start, then The First 40 Miles is for you. The show’s title refers to how backpackers fall in love with the activity during their first 40 miles of doing it, and hosts Heather and Josh Legler offer a ton of practical advice for how you, too, can get started. The show makes backpacking less intimidating and more accessible, and it’s a must-listen for anyone new to hiking. The series ended in 2018, but you can still listen to the old episodes — all 214 of ‘em.
The MeatEater Podcast
Host Steven Rinella is a massive celebrity in the outdoor sports space, with his own Netflix hunting series and his ever-expanding MeatEater brand. His podcast remains one of his most popular endeavors, and it’s where the sportsman sounds off on not only hunting — though he does cover that pastime pretty extensively — but also conservation, fishing, nature, and whatever else he and his guests have on their minds.
Why walk when you can ride, right? If hiking is a little too slow-paced for you, then you may be interested in this podcast that’s all about mountain biking. The show covers just about everything you would possibly need to know about the world of mountain biking, from industry news to gear reviews to tips on getting better at the sport. As the show’s about page says, “If it has to do with two-wheels, no topic is off-topic.”
Outside is the premier magazine for outdoor enthusiasts, so it would make sense for them to have one of the premier outdoor podcasts, too. The Outside Podcast functions almost like an audio version of the magazine, with captivating stories from the wilderness populating its content. Each episode features an engaging yarn — harrowing tales of survival, inspirational trips through nature, etc. — that sounds like it could have been ripped directly from the magazine, and it’s the closest you’ll get to reading Outside shy of, well, reading Outside.
And now for something completely different. While most outdoor podcasts focus on things we know to be true, like what to pack on a hike, this one is all about the unknown. The most popular Bigfoot podcast gives witnesses the chance to describe their alleged hairy biped encounters in their own words, free from ridicule or overanalysis. It makes for a fun distraction — as long as you don’t listen to it alone in the woods.
The Trail Show
With a slogan of “less gear, more beer,” this is one podcast that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The series covers hiking and all things outdoors (including gear), but it does so with a carefree and humorous style you won’t find anywhere else. Listening to this show feels like hanging out with a group of your outdoor-loving buddies, with lots of jokes and ribbing, top-notch banter, and yes, plenty of beer drinking.
Wild Ideas Worth Living
REI is one of the best places to purchase outdoor gear, and they’ve turned their expertise into a pretty great outdoor podcast, too. WIWL is far from the usual fare when it comes to outdoor podcasts, as there are no discussions of gear or trail tips. Instead, the series features interviews with various people who found inspiration and purpose through their experiences with nature. Who knows, maybe listening to it will inspire you to find your own calling in the wild.
The 15 Best Podcasts For Road Trips
Chances are, you’re going to have to do a bit of travel to make it to your next outdoor locale. And that probably means a bit of driving to and fro. For those long stretches of lonely roads, you’ll find yourself better entertained with one of our picks from our guide covering the best podcasts for road trips.
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