What happens when you combine one of the most popular modern activities with one of the most popular media formats? We get outdoor podcasts.
Outdoor enthusiasts picked up this format, formerly called audio blogs, almost as soon as it first appeared. It happened around the same time that the first iPod came out in 2001, a great new tool for listening to stories on the go, and iTunes in 2003, from where you actually can download these stories. And also, of course, with the development of mobile internet a little later. Somewhere along with this came the birth of the term "podcast" itself, derived from the words (i)Pod and (radio) broadcast. So the forerunner of podcasts was audio broadcasting. However, the history of podcasting is a separate story.
One of the first podcasts about outdoor activities was the Dirtbag Diaries. It was launched in 2007 by American climber and struggling outdoor writer Fitz Cahall from Seattle as an attempt not to give up the dream of making a living doing what you love. The essence of the podcast is simple — a series of stories, usually told only by the campfire: about the most unusual adventures, failures, and stories of survival in nature, overcoming yourself, etc. In particular, the world's leading outdoor media outlet, Outside, calls it "the OG of outdoor-storytelling podcasts" and "one of the best outdoor podcasts of all time". By the way, the media itself has a podcast with the same name on a wide range of topics.
In 15 years of its existence, the Dirtbag Diaries has released 333 episodes, and it looks like it is not going to stop. They come in two main formats: long interviews or monologues by invited guests or short stories narrated by the listeners themselves. We should also mention the incredible covers that their illustrator Walker Cahall, brother of the founder, draws for each episode. The podcast is produced by their own company they also founded, which now focuses more on movies and collaborates with leading US outdoor brands. (So this is where life can lead you if you keep dreaming and striving.)
However, the Dirtbag Diaries is only the tip of the iceberg of outdoor podcasts, or rather one of the bricks at its base. To inspire you for your next journey or get some advice (yes, it is also of practical use), we've collected the best outdoor podcasts on various sports taking those for which the Windy.app was created in the first place. Given the sheer number of them, we've tried to focus on just three of the biggest projects by the number of episodes, description, design and some other reasons. So it's kind of like the top 3 podcasts for each popular sport.
These and other podcasts are available on many platforms starting with the Apple Podcasts (links lead to it), but also on Spotify, and others.
Austin Neill / Unsplash
Sailing, yachting and boating podcasts
Kayaking and paddling podcasts
Ty Koh / Unsplash
General aviation podcasts
Tommy Lisbin / Unsplash
Hiking and backpacking podcasts
Trail running podcasts
Mountain biking podcasts
Ebiking and emobility podcasts
Patrick Janser / Unsplash
Natural science podcasts
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov, an outdoor journalist, editor and writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland, with 10+ years of professional experience. His favorite sports are hiking, cycling and sauna. Read his other articles.
Cover photo: Jeremy Enns / Unsplash
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