Sure, you’d rather be outside actually having the adventure yourself, but downtime is unavoidable—even for the full-time explorer. Whether you’re a paddler staring wistfully at the river waiting for the ice to melt (or a skier scouring the sky for snow clouds on a July afternoon), a mountain biker nursing an injury, a runner making the daily commute to work, or that full-time explorer just on your way to your next adventure, there’s a podcast out there that’ll make the time in-between worthwhile.
We’ve rounded up the best outdoor podcasts that will shake up your training regimen, keep you updated on the latest gear, inspire your next adventure, or, at the very least, keep you thoroughly entertained.
1. The Pursuit Zone
In an era of podcasts making the host the star (we’re looking at you, Tim Ferris), The Pursuit Zone’s Paul Schmid’s hands-off Q&A style is a breath of fresh air. Schmid’s less-is-more interview technique lets adventurers and athletes take centre stage.
The 150-plus episodes are focused on dreamers pushing outside of comfort zones into the so-called pursuit zone. With a multi-sport focus, there are Atlantic Ocean rowers, round-the-world cyclists and record-breaking hikers featured, plus many episodes specific to paddlers, including rafting the Amazon River and packrafting Alaska’s Brooks Range.
2. The Dirtbag Diaries
With 12 years and over 10 million downloads, The Dirtbag Diaries probably needs no introduction. Likely the most well-known podcast on adventure, it’s a staple in outdoor circles and on road trips.
No other podcast has captured the adventurous lifestyle so poignantly, spinning campfire tales into often humorous lessons on life and human nature.
3. Hammer Factor
Each week on the Hammer Factor, Immersion Research’s John Weld, North Fork champ Louis Geltman and Green Race director John Grace discuss the biggest news of the week in the whitewater world. Industry buffs will love the immersion in gear, expeditions, athletes and gossip.
We love the banter and feeling like we’re right there in the room.
4. Outside Podcast
Top-notch research and compelling storytelling is brought to us by the editors of Outside magazine. Each episode is inspired by the archives or a theme Outside has explored.
Whether mental mastery in sport, the science of survival, or the story of how one celebrated journalist ended up at the bottom of the Grand Canyon captaining a boat full of poop called Jackass, the Outside Podcast has something for everyone.
5. Zero To Travel
Whether you’re dreaming of quitting your job and chasing flow full-time or saving for the next big river trip, Zero to Travel offers top-notch tips and hacks to make travel dreams a reality.
Host Jason Moore interviews a slew of seasoned adventurers and travellers to talk budget tips, airline hacks, aspirational travel and digital nomadism. By far, Zero To Travel offers the most actionable advice to take listeners from daydreamers to doers.
6. Wild Ideas Worth Living
Wild Ideas Worth Living’s host and journalist Shelby Stanger interviews world-class explorers, scientists, authors, athletes and entrepreneurs about how they’ve taken a wild idea and made it a reality.
Stranger’s goal is to empower others to take a break from the mundane and live their dream. Perfectly suited for the river runners with an entrepreneurial bent and those looking to shake things up, don’t miss the episode with photographer Chris Burkhard’s advice on getting your work noticed.
A Radiolab-esque podcast for the outdoors. Host Sam Evans-Brown weaves stories about nature with solid reporting and long-form narrative storytelling on topics as varied as the complexities of rescues, why humans will never outwit beavers, and the lasting effects of French-Canada’s hydro revolution.
You don’t have to be a science buff or hardcore river ecologist to love Outside/In—its intelligence and humour will win over even your non-outdoorsy family members.
8. Horizon Line
A podcast about history’s most intrepid explorers pushing the limits of what was believed to be possible at the time. Created by editors of strange-travel-destination-compendium Atlas Obscura , the bold innovators featured in Horizon Line will have you questioning whether anything is truly impossible.
There’s only a handful of episodes in Season 1, bookended by a story about smokejumpers in peril and an ill-fated hot air balloon expedition across the Arctic.
9. Paddling Adventures Radio
This podcast hosted by Sean Rowley and Derek Specht features news, events, stories, and reviews from the world of paddlesports. Whether you are into canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards or rafts, Paddling Adventures Radio brings you information from the paddling community.
10. Under The Yoke
Under the Yoke showcases the paddlers and organizations helping to inspire and enable adventure. With a focus on all things backcountry, Under the Yoke is a go-to podcast for trip planning, advice, and entertainment. J oin the weekly campfire, where industry experts discuss new trends, gear, and share their favourite wilderness stories.
11. In Between Swims
We can’t forget the daddy of whitewater and river conservation podcasts. So what if In Between Swims hasn’t had a new episode since December 2016? Go way back with some playback from 2007. The lessons imparted by paddling greats such as Doug Ammons, Steve Fisher and Tao Berman are as relevant today as they ever were. The gotta-have gear news is arguably less so.
12. Adventure Sports Podcast
From guides and long-time instructors to misfits and average enthusiasts, Jolandie Rust brings you stories from all over the world, from all different outdoor adventure activities. Whether you dream of micro-adventures or news-making expeditions, you will find like-minded stories from the Adventure Sports Podcast.
13. The Paul Kirtley Podcast
As an extension of his survival blog, The Paul Kirtley Podcast takes you on a journey through the popularized world of bushcraft and wilderness travel skills. The topics covered through casual conversations and expert interviews include urban foraging, source to sea river descents and adventuring by canoe.
14. The Stay Adventurous Podcast
Are you planning for a last-minute getaway or looking a year in advance to book your next adventure? Podcaster and travel blogger Craig Zabransky produces a monthly audio recap of destinations he has visited and provides his thoughts on where to travel in the future. The Stay Adventurous Podcast brings you stories, tips and hidden gems from tourism operators and local residents to get you off the actual beaten track and not just as a marketing ploy.
15. The Wild With Chris Morgan
The Wild podcast host Chris Morgan knows his stuff when it comes to animals, having spent time tagging black bears in New Hampshire, studying bears and wolves in Spain, researching grizzly bears, wolves and muskox in the Northwest Territories, collaring and tracking grizzlies in the Canadian Rockies and more. He takes listeners around the world to learn first-hand about different animals and the complex ecosystems they inhabit.
Take a deep dive into the world of marathon canoe racing with the CanoeRaceWorld podcast. Whether you want to stay up to date on the professional side of the sport—from race results to recaps to interviews with athletes—or value discussions about improving training and techniques, this podcast is for you.