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Outside Podcast

Author: Outside

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.

296 Episodes
There’s no more difficult or uncomfortable physical challenge than holding your breath underwater for an extended period. Which is why the Air Force has long made breath holds part of its training programs for parajumpers, or parachute rescue specialists. If your duty is to pull downed military personnel from waters all over the world, you need to prove your ability to perform in the most hostile and unforgiving conditions. In this classic episode from our archives, we join a parajumper candidate who finds himself facing elimination from training for the most surprising reason: he can hold his breath way too long.
When Scott Pirsig’s close friend Bob Sturtz suffered a stroke deep in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, Pirsig had no choice but to leave him in the wilderness and make a desperate sprint to get help. The two men had been on an early-spring canoeing adventure when Sturtz started acting strangely: it started with a headache, then he became disoriented, lost control of his hands, and stopped speaking. Pirsig’s only choice was zip him into a sleeping bag and beg him to stay put while he raced off into the fog to contact first responders. In this replay from our Science of Survival series, we hear the story of a harrowing scenario in the woods wild and an enduring friendship.
Why do we keep skiing, despite the crowds, the cost, and the unpredictable conditions? Spend an entire day on a chairlift and you’ll find out. Outside contributing editor Gloria Liu rode up and down (and up and down…) a lift at Truckee’s Northstar California Resort, talking to fellow skiers and snowboarders about the many hassles and challenges to enjoying a day in the mountains—and what makes all the effort worth it, at least some of the time.
In Aspen, Colorado, and other alpine communities, the future depends on making sure the weirdos and oddballs are still welcome. That’s what gets concerned locals the most animated: any suggestion that their neighborhoods are becoming exclusive playgrounds for the rich, forcing out the gonzo characters that help make them so special. What’s needed, according to planning experts and many longtime residents, are smarter growth strategies that include affordable housing, increased transportation options, and forward-thinking management of public lands. For this episode, we take a walk around Aspen and ask what it’ll take to get such things done.
She was one of the world’s best big-mountain freeskiers—and then, suddenly, she decided she was done. Angel Collinson’s announcement shocked the sport and left fans wondering what was going on. The fact that she’d started living full-time on a sailboat with her partner, and without and solid plans for what was next, only made people more curious. As Collinson, 29, tells it, after more than a decade of ripping down insanely steep slopes, trying to “make friends" with her fear, she began to question whether the thrill-seeking habit she’d fallen in love was actually good for her. The Outside Podcast is made possible by Outside+ subscribers. Learn about the many benefits of a subscription and sign up now at
For an episode of our new podcast, The Daily Rally, the professional skier talks about learning to get out of his own way while on an expedition in Alaska. He was on Denali, struggling mightily to keep up with his extremely fit teammates as they climbed towards the summit. At first, he tried to convince them to slow down. When they ignored him, he was furious. Then he took a moment to look at himself—and realized that what was really making him angry was his own bruised ego. That realization freed him to fully enjoy a remarkable experience. The Daily Rally is a new weekday podcast featuring short stories of resilience in the face of big challenges and unexpected adventures. You can follow The Daily Rally on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen, and nominate someone to be featured on the show here.
Emily Pennington wanted to see it all. But life on the road was fiercer than she ever imagined. After almost half a decade of planning a cross-country expedition to see every one of America’s National Parks, she quit her job, left her home and her boyfriend in Los Angeles, and set off in her van to find herself in January of 2020. Almost right away, a pandemic, a string of natural disasters, and a breakup sent her veering way off her roadmap—and searching for healing in the unforgiving magnificence of our public lands.
After suffering a brutal accident while on a kite-skiing expedition in Patagonia, Jim Harris’s painstaking recovery took a sudden leap forward when he had an experience with magic mushrooms. The adventure photographer had been pushing hard with his rehabilitation efforts and making impressive progress, but when he took mushrooms while at a music festival to have some fun, something very unexpected happened: suddenly, muscle groups in his legs that had been unresponsive since his injury started firing. Thus began a fascinating journey that offers insights into the emerging science of psychedelics and physical healing.
Endurance athlete Mallory Arnold was struggling with extreme fatigue when her coach made an unexpected suggestion: start eating meat again. Arnold, 26, had adopted a plant-based diet in high school and was initially reluctant to reincorporate to animal protein. But she was also desperate to avoid the post-training crashes that left her passed out on the floor. So she decided to give meat a try—and immediately realized that she had no clue how to cook even a simple chicken breast. Thus began a journey with the Outside Food team that took her from a family farm to a whole-animal butcher to a professional kitchen, with the primary goal of finding her lost energy while actually learning to enjoy preparing and eating meat along the way.
For a community of hardy souls in Maine, there’s no better way to feel fully alive in winter than immersing yourself in the frigid Atlantic. Yes, the entrance is jolting. But if you take it slow, you allow for what members of the group call “a conversation with the nervous system” that produces a sensation you can’t achieve any other way: a powerful, blossoming inner warmth that’s both delightful and grounding, leaving you with a lasting elevated mood and enhanced feelings of empathy and responsiveness. In this episode, from our friends at the Outside/In podcast, we learn how the dippers found their way to this bold practice, and why they’ll never give it up. Interested in trying cold-water immersion? Outside/In offers some safety tips before you get started).
Figuring out how to get better sleep and more excise and is hard—which is why we tried out some new programs for you. Every year, Outside reporters put their bodies and minds on the line to test new routines designed to help us become healthier, happier, more productive human beings. Hear from three of this year’s subjects about what stuck, what didn’t, and how you can benefit from our mistakes.
If you’ve ever seen a skier pull a hot dog out of a jacket pocket while on a chairlift or devour a towering plate of nachos back at the lodge, you know that few athletes chase calories harder than skiers. And with good reason. Charging down a mountain in the cold empties your body’s glycogen stores—fail to refuel, and you’re going to get sore and sad very quickly. And when it comes to favorite power-up snacks, every skier has an opinion, from endless gummy worms to peanut butter straight from the jar. But you can also fill your tank on scrumptious meals prepared by chefs with a real passion for stoking winter sports athletes. In this episode, we explore the wild world of skier nutrition to get you hungry for your next powder day
Escaping the craziness of the season to head into the wild can sound amazing—right up until that overnight snowstorm crushes your tent. Because while the appeal of getting out there, away from the bustle of parties and gifts and eggnog, can inspire especially bold trips, there might be nothing more disappointing than a holiday mission that ends in disaster. For our final episode of 2022, we bring you a collection of tales from intrepid travelers who learned the hard way that eating dry turkey while debating politics with uncle Fred is hardly the worst way to spend a vacation.
Witnessing the Aurora Borealis can feel like you’re glimpsing another world. For some people, that’s exactly what’s happening. Photographer Hugo Sanchez captured his first images of the spectacle accidentally, when he was taking shots of a meteor shower. But soon he became hooked, and then, when his young son died, the dancing lights took on a whole new meaning. In this replay of one our favorite episodes from our archives, we hear the story of a man who found a sense of purpose in the wintertime sky.
Talk to the victims of crashes and their families, and they’ll tell you: when a motor vehicle injures or kills a bicyclist, the American justice system lets drivers off the hook. The harsh truth is that our roads are frighteningly dangerous for cyclists, and our country has a high tolerance for traffic deaths. In this episode, part of Outside’s ongoing coverage of cycling crashes and deaths, we chronicle two incidents that reveal deep problems with our legal system and consider the work that needs to be done to make our roads safer.
Racing around a mountain resort to aid injured skiers sounds like the ultimate adventure job. But with housing and other costs soaring, getting paid in fun is no longer cutting it. Last year a battle over wages in the ski industry sparked conversations about what those workers—who frequently put their lives on the line—deserve. In the final episode of our fall Weekend Read series, we bring you the story of a Utah patroller who is doing everything he can to raise a family in the winter paradise he loves.
He was born to a herd of wild horses on an island off Virginia and found his way into the heart of a little girl on the dusty trails of the Southwest. Legend was a descendant of fabled swimming ponies: every year, cowboys lead them across a quarter-mile crossing between the islands of Assateague and Chincoteague, where 60 of them are put up for auction. In this episode of our Weekend Read series, we hear how Legend’s journey took him thousands of miles West, and eventually to a child that would return him to the sand and waves at the end of his days. The Outside Podcast is made possible by the members of Outside+. Learn about the many benefits of membership at
As Ukraine prepares for months of frigid conflict with Russia, its troops might look to another nation that held its own against the Red Army in the cold: Finland. During the winter of 1939-1940, Finnish soldiers, many on skis and using snow caves as shelters, weaponized the freezing conditions, fending off the much larger Soviet Union army for 105 days and ultimately conceding only a small amount of their borderlands. Today, Finland’s soldiers are some of the most advanced winter warfare specialists anywhere. In this episode from our archives, we head into the snow with the storied Jaeger Brigade for combat training and hear remarkable tales of how the Finns pushed back against Stalin’s forces. This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by the Golden Isles, a destination off the coast of Georgia that’s one of the best adventure getaways in the country. Learn more at
Richard Carr was halfway across the Pacific, alone on a 36-foot yacht, when he began sending frantic alerts that he was being kidnapped by pirates. The retired psychologist had set off from Mexico 26 days earlier and was bound for the Marquesas Islands on the first leg of a lifelong dream: sailing around the world. But when his family woke up to a series of frightening and confusing messages, it became their nightmare. In this episode of our Weekend Read series, Carr’s daughter, Alicia Carr-Troxell tells the mysterious story of his final voyage. This episode was brought to you by New Balance. Learn more about its commitment to responsibly made products and find gear to explore the outdoors at
People encounter all kinds of threats in the natural world, but a virus presents an especially ominous challenge, as Outside contributing editor David Quammen can attest after decades of research on the topic. Quammen forecast a COVID-19–like pandemic in his 2012 book, Spillover, and beginning in the 1980s, he wrote a column for Outside called Natural Acts that had him pursuing fascinating scientific questions around the planet. He eventually took a special interest in zoonotic diseases, traveling to remote jungles and villages where contagions like HIV and Ebola had crossed over from animals to humans. Now he’s back with Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus, a gripping investigation of our battle against COVID. In this episode, Quammen describes why the disease will be with us for a long time and what we can do reduce the risk of future pandemics. This episode is brought to you by Tracksmith, a proudly independent running brand that makes high-performance products for amateur runners striving to be their best. Check out its entire collection at New customers get $15 off their first order of $75 or more for a limited time by entering the code OUTSIDE at checkout.
Comments (22)

Janet Locane

I think that everyone is faced with mental disorders at different ages. And it is very important to turn for help in time. I recently found a website and found out about a company that helps in difficult life situations. This has become especially relevant during the pandemic. I think that it is important to know such information when you feel bad.

Jan 9th

Jay Sila

That is so nice. waffle unlimited

Aug 9th

Megan Brewster

You have a list of things to do and projects to complete hastily, but you’ll need to wait on some supplies. You feel the disappointment of missing out on a good deal.

Jul 31st

Jeff Morgan

I work as a volunteer taking people down a suburban river. One contribution that I make is to carry a pop-up room and a lugable-loo, a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat top, and a liner bag. But as a nod to the story that I read in Outside many years ago, the extra bags, tp, wipes, and hand sanitizer, are carried in an ammo can. Groover Boy lives on!

Jul 30th

john smith

I'm also facing the issue, please help me to resolve this issue

Jul 27th

Craig George

i Really do love this podcast but some of the recent stories are going away from the telling of great adventures and storytelling and turning into a political left leaning progressive lecture on where my moral compass should be pointing, i don't mind a little bit of that but it's getting out of hand can we get back to the roots of Outside please!

Apr 27th


Why does everything have to be an NPR episode and why does every NPR episode have to be "green, diversity, and progressive" politics?

Oct 26th
Reply (1)

Stormie Valentine

n d.djedd

Sep 17th


sounds like a tent will hold up better than what these genius’s built, i’d be curious how they passed an inspection with something build so shoddy.

Sep 25th

Nicole Zaatar

Iam not sure if I can make that work if you want to come to my house and I can come 😊😊😁😊😀😀😊😁😁😀😉😀 to get a ride to the airport 😁😊😁😊 hiI love you too ❤️ 😘😘 uyyu Ihope you have a wonderful day and I love you too my love I love you too baby I hope you have a great day and I will be in touch with him and he said he would be great if I could get some help with the kids and get it done by the end of the day I was in the shower and then I will be able to make it to the meeting tonight but I will be there in a few days and I have an appointment at 5 30 but I can come in at the end of the day today and tomorrow and tomorrow but I will be there in a few minutes to talk to you about it when I get home I will send you a check 😊😁 I will you be around 😘😊😁😊 hiI and I are going really well and I hope you are you still looking for some fun w w be few minutes to talk to him about it and he w he would have to go back to few questions about your 💯 it in when I get home u7uu want to you the updated resume I will be up there in a few t he U hi come over and over again u Outer tostitos an hour uuuu it was a great

May 25th

Jenni Hubbard

This was great. I find "the wedge" riding my mountain bike. I find, as a 41 year old newbie to mountain biking, that those uphill pushes and the ensuing state of exhaustion, that point of "I can't breathe any faster or harder"... is actually something I've come to crave. Not just the fun of the downhill but the sheer uncomfortable exhaustion if the uphill... Good stuff

Apr 22nd


I as the same experience after a brain injury/concussion. Music was my worst nightmare. It took me 8 months to be able to listen to a song and another 6 months to listen to music more regularly. I am just now (18 months after accident) to be able to listen to music in a car and have a conversation at the same time. Its amazing what your brain filters and ignores when it is not injured. I also found that being quiet in nature was a huge part of my recovery and lower my developed anxiety. I had to go through extensive vestibular and vision therapy to further heal. I hope you are getting the help you need to make a full recovery. Best wishes!

Mar 11th

Amanda Joy

this podcast is so quiet. I have my volume maxed and can hardly hear it

Jan 30th

Kevin Graber

what a bunch of shit...taken from scripture of those whom no nothing about how natural ecosystems,have been working for a billion years. go smoke some shit.

Aug 29th


Someone should show this guy the Mosin Nagant. He'll lose his mind.

May 29th

Grahame Neil

Great podcast! I initially put this on for what I thought might be a chuckle, but I found the further it played on I was unable to walk out of the room as I was hanging onto every word in genuine interest. I will say that I lean toward being scientifically minded, but I'm certainly open to believe that we only know as much as we are capable of knowing in this point in time. I think we are a terribly naive people if we are to dismiss any possibility of their being life, or signs of it, other than ourselves. My question is, does anybody know if there is a follow-up episode to this one as of yet?

Mar 15th

Jaguar Domingo

6:00 was this intentional? very disorienting for me haha

Dec 17th

Diane Ly

If this was translated in Vietnamese, there would be so many more that could appreciate this. Great story!

Jul 26th
Reply (1)

Chris Hahn

Love the podcast. wish episodes were more frequent.

Apr 1st

Chris Hahn

Anxiously awaiting the next episode!

Jan 22nd
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