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The Best Adventure Podcasts To Inspire Your Boldest Dreams


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Adventure, by definition, is when you risk your own safety for the sake of an experience. It’s about living on the edge and pushing through fear. Adventure is hard, often dangerous, and rewarding as hell… if you can handle it. It takes a lot of grit, planning, and nerve.

Luckily, there are incredible adventure podcasts out there to help you become a real-life Indiana Jones (or live vicariously through other real-life Joneses). The below list of podcasts are gateways into new worlds of derring-do. Each one is one part enthralling storytelling, one part spine-tingling danger, and all awe-inspiring wanderlust.

Let’s dive straight in!

ON THE WIND SAILING

There’s something about sailing the oceans that resonates deep inside all of us. The wind at our backs, the waves breaking on the bow, the spray of salty water, and the seemingly endless list of ports of call around the globe are all a big draw.

On The Wind Sailing is the perfect podcast for those of us who sail already or are seeking to make sailing part of our lives. The podcast talks with everyone from average sailors who circumnavigate the world for fun to big-name sailing racers and adventurers who are out there pushing the limits of the human experience at sea.

Suggested Episode: How To Sail Across The Atlantic is the perfect spot to jump in and get a feel for the show. You’ll also learn how to sail across an entire ocean.

MEATEATER PODCAST

Steven Rinella’s MeatEater empire has grown from a group of friends who care deeply about conservation, hunting, and eating wild foods into must-have cookbooks, hit TV shows, touring shows, and one of the greatest American outdoors podcasts there is.

The MeatEater Podcast is a great entry point for those looking to embrace the public lands of America and beyond to get insight into the great outdoors and how to live off it. On some of the podcasts, Rinella and his crew bring on scientists to talk about animals and nature. On others, they travel the world, embracing the wild side of life and finding all sorts of adventure along the way.

Suggested Episode: Path of the Puma is a great place to start and will give you a sense of the great lion of North and South America and the people who care deeply about its survival.

SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD

Joshua Slocum’s 1900 tome, Sailing Alone Around The World, is the adventurer’s bible. The autobiographical book about solo sailing helped launch an entire genre of thrill-seeking, life-risking adventure travel (and travel writing) that changed the way we look at travel altogether.

The book is now available in podcast form (thanks to it being the public domain). While, yes, this is technically an audiobook, it still works as a podcast. Each chapter is presented as one episode, making this a 23-part series. It’s enthralling and essential if you want to be an adventurer too.

Suggested Episode: Chapter One is the place to start for obvious reasons.

THE FIRST 40 MILES

Sadly, The First 40 Miles came to an end at the close of 2018. Don’t let that stop you from diving into to their archives. This is the ultimate show for backpackers looking to escape the hustle of the city for the quiet challenges of nature.

The podcast is essential for trail enthusiasts, trekkers, day-hikers, and strollers looking to embrace the great outdoors right now. All 214 episodes are available for free on the show’s website and via iTunes.

Suggested Episode: Dreaming of Trail Time allows you to get into the style of the show while inspiring you to get out there.

TOUGH GIRL PODCAST

Tough Girl Challenges chronicles women who are pushing the boundaries of travel and adventure to set records around the world and smash a few records along the way. This is a show that’ll get you amped up for your own adventure. Seriously, you’ll be googling flights, looking up gear, and making plans to go out there after listening to these women’s stories of determination.

The Tough Girl Podcast tells the story of one amazing, thrill-seeking “tough girl” in each episode. This is storytelling at its finest and the show is always as engaging as it is inspiring.

Suggested Episode: Sara Hastreiter: Current challenge — to be the first women to sail the 7 seas and to climb the highest summits of the world’s 7 continents!

OUTSIDE/IN

Outside/In is, well, about everything to do with the outdoors: Enjoying it, saving it, living in it, and so on. Host Sam Evans-Brown leads the way with a storytelling vibe that draws you in and gives you a new understanding of nature.

Each episode serves as an entry point to embracing the outdoors more in your everyday life. You’ll learn something new about the great outdoors in each episode and, most importantly, you’ll learn how to experience the outside in a way that’s fulfilling and, dare we say, real.

Suggested Episode: Falling Doesn’t Count looks at how humans traveled before the invention of the car. That is, how we traveled and experienced the world when we only had wind, wheels, and our own feet to get anywhere.

THE DIRTBAG DIARIES

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The late Adam Roberts, charging the North Face onto the Adams Glacier. Sharing several amazing shots from @jasonhummel: the voice, photographer and adventurer behind our recent Diaries episode, The Glacier Project. Flip through and make your own tick list and have a listen to his episode at the link in our bio.👌🏽 Thank you to guest producer @mattmartin507 for this story. 📷 All images courtesy of @jasonhummel — Thanks for being part of the family, Jason. 1. The late Adam Roberts descending the North Face onto the Adams Glacier. 2. Ascending the Blue Glacier while doing a loop, which would include the summit of Mercury Peak, and the Ice River Glacier. 3. Hiking the North Fork of the Sauk River before circumnavigating Glacier Peak on skis. 4. Looking at Outrigger Peak and the Southern Pickets midway through a mid-winter traverse of the range. 5. The top of Mt. Custer, deep in he Chilliwacks. Moments later, they’d be descending the Mansilpanik Glacier. 6. Carl Simpson descending the massive and remote SW Face of Mt. Olympus — Olympic National Park, WA. 7. Adam Roberts gapping a crevasse on the Paradise Glacier. 8. Jake Chartier surmounting the SW Face of Mt. Olympus for the second time, after skiing the White Glacier and the very remote Black Glacier. 9. The broken mass of the Nisqually Glacier in 2015 — a lean year. @patagonia @kuatracks @vasenbrewing

A post shared by The Dirtbag Diaries Podcast (@dirtbag_diaries) on

The Dirtbag Diaries is an essential adventure podcast. The show goes deep on stories about people and their experiences pushing the limits of their abilities in the natural world. This is pure inspirational storytelling that’ll either leave you in reverent awe or planning on taking on one of these trips yourself.

Each episode stands alone and moves through forms of story-telling and reporting of a trip, a place, or a movement. Its part environmental activism, part natural encyclopedia, and part adventure travel.

Suggested Episode: Endangered Spaces: Cook Inlet blends adventure travel with conservation around an amazing and remote Alaskan island.

WILD IDEAS WORTH LIVING

Wild Ideas Worth Living is all about pushing the limits of human experience in nature. This is about adrenaline. It’s about facing death and surviving. It’s about overcoming your fears and coming out the other end a stronger person. It’s about sharing those adventures with others.

The REI-sponsored podcast — run by longtime travel and adventure writer Shelby Stanger — is all about giving you practical informational alongside inspirational stories. You’ll learn about gear, planning, and realities of adventure travel in an accessible way that’ll help you actually go out and do it. That’s essential listening right there.

Suggested Episode: Writing and Publishing Stories About People Who Live Their Wild Ideas is an interesting listen for anyone looking to make a living on the road as an adventurer.

SAFETY THIRD

This one is for the mad ones who burn bright. Safety Third is about teaching you to push past your limits to a higher existence in this world.

The show is the offspring of the Dirtbag Dairies crew and takes a deeper look at life in general. The show dives into everything from how we experience adventure in the social media age to how some of us deal with the loss of a loved one by embracing the adventurous life.

Suggested Episode: Security Is A Myth follows the story of how experience trumps things or possessions in this world.

SHE EXPLORES

She Explores highlights the women changing the world through outdoor adventure and business around the world. The show highlights the voices of women who are pushing the boundaries of travel and then coming home to change the world through their experience. This is essential listening that’ll inspire you in damn near every way.

Each episode tells the story of a woman who takes inspiration from spending time outside. The show combines practical information about a place and activity with a raconteur vibe, revealing what it’s like actually being in the moment and the feelings you have after succeeding or failing in the quest at hand.

Suggested Episode: Reading a River: Heather Hansman is the perfect mix of real-world information and engaging storytelling.

OUT THERE

This one is all in the name. Out There is about getting you out of your rut and into nature. That doesn’t have to be a grand adventure trekking the world’s highest peaks. It can just be a stroll through the woods near your house every day. Then you go further each time out, until you find yourself on that grand adventure.

The podcast has one of the most engaging knacks for getting you to believe that you can do it all, too. This is about a starting point that can help you feel better mentally and physically in your everyday life. And, maybe, it’ll inspire you to take a leap and hit the road for a little adventure of your own.

Suggested Episode: Seeing the Forest through the Trees tells the story of the migrant workers who are replanting our forests.

AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS PODCAST

Adventure doesn’t have to be on the other side of the planet. Sometimes it’s in our own backyards. America’s National Parks Podcast is a great entry point into both the history of America’s national monuments (natural and man-made) and engaging in those places in a real way.

Each episode is about a single place. The history is parsed and you’re given an experience. Then it’s up to you to go and have an adventure in one of the amazing national parks.

Suggested Episode: The Sleeping Volcano takes a deep dive into Mount Rainier National Park and the wonders (and dangers) of the mountain.

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