Spending time at home during the covid-19 crisis can be difficult for anyone. For outdoor enthusiasts, everything from thru-hikes to weekend bouldering trips have been postponed. But don’t despair! Below you’ll find Appalachian Mountain Club staff picks of podcasts to listen to and stay connected with the outdoors.
“The Wild has taken me on a true journey. It explores the interactions between humans and the wild places that are always deceptively close by… From cougars wandering into backyards in Washington State to the diverse ecosystem of Italy’s Lazio e Molise National Park (where wild bears and wolves live just two hours away from Rome!), and many other incredible places. The host, ecologist and conservationist Chris Morgan, is passionate about preserving wild places and makes an incredible case for why maintaining a close and thoughtful connection to them is so vital.”
– Amanda Garza, Content Project Manager in Boston
“I first discovered Dirtbag Diaries during A Mountain Classroom staff training last spring. All of us were telling stories on the dock of Lonesome Lake Hut. As we were going around the circle, I was gifted with a tale about meeting Death along the Lafayette Ridge on a school trip gone wrong. This is a podcast dedicated to the campfire tale – which is ubiquitous in mountain culture. As long as we’ve climbed, skied, boated or traveled, we’ve been telling stories. In March of 2007, Fitz launched The Dirtbag Diaries, a grassroots podcast dedicated to the sometimes serious, often humorous stories from wild places.
Personally, I enjoy this podcast because it feels like I’m sitting around a fire with good friends who tell me interesting and meaningful stories about their lives. One story that impacted me in particular was about two partners who set off into the Alaskan wilderness and set up basecamp on Powell Glacier. The trip started perfectly and then went terribly wrong. It is an example of the violent power of nature and the limitations of our physical forms. Most of us think we know what we would do in a survival situation. It’s all theoretical – until it’s not. If folks are interested in that particular episode it is called Flip of a Coin.”
– Darren Holmes, Visitor Services Specialist at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
“I stumbled on the Threshold podcast when I was sick and not able to watch screens or read; I was intrigued by its sub-head ‘Stories of Life on Earth.’ I’m a sucker for a good animal story, and the first season was focused on the story of the American bison, which I knew very little about before binge-listening (is that a thing?!). The first season explores how buffalo have shaped life in the Americas for millennia, and it works to connect the dots between their history and current controversy around the bison. The host’s soothing voice was just what I needed when I was feeling a bit under the weather, and the sound quality really made me feel as if I were standing in a field in the West, mist rising from the ground, and bison standing nearby.”
– Barbara Evans, Major Gifts Officer of the New York Region
“The People Places Planet Podcast offers timely discussions on how to bring about large-scale changes to move toward sustainability, for the planet and people. The podcast focuses a lot on technology-driven innovations, green business practices, and policy strategies to address environmental problems. I’m particularly drawn to the Environmental Disrupters segment which features leaders working to disrupt systems of inequality and move away from practices that harm our planet. I view Appalachian Mountain Club as an organization that promotes the well-being of people, places – especially amazing outdoors places! – and the Earth as whole. It’s inspiring to hear about the strategies that so many people and organizations are employing, on so many levels, to reach sustainability goals.”
– Kimberly Witt, Mid-Atlantic Conservation Policy Manager
“I binge-listened to Outside/In during my cross-country drive from Arizona back to New Hampshire last fall. It’s a show about ‘the natural world and how we use it.’ When I found the show, I had just completed a degree in the Environmental Humanities – literally a degree about the natural world and how we interact with it – so I found the podcast to be excellent company on a five-day traverse of the American landscape.
What I enjoy most about the podcast, beyond its wit and high-quality production value, is that it uses so many different avenues to engage listeners in meaningful considerations of our relationships with our environments. The stories and conversations in each episode cover such a broad spectrum, from hidden messages in The Lion King, to the efficacy of geoengineering as a mode of climate change mitigation, to mountain biking in the White Mountains, proving episode after episode that our relationship to the natural world is an inextricable part of our lives, whoever and wherever we may be.”
– Emily Grubby, General Manager of the AMC Highland Center
Mtnmeister is one of the newer pod casts I started listening to while filling in as a Backcountry Caretaker at Carter Notch Hut. However, there are 3 outdoor themed pod casts I listen to regularly:
Of those 3, I listen to the Dirtbag Diaries the most. This podcast runs the gamut of outdoor stories. From ideas about how to look at the outdoors, to savage adventure stories, this podcast has it all. I happened to discover this one while trying to find something to do while I was recovering from my broken leg accident a few years ago.”
– Ben Cargill, Storehouse Supervisor at Pinkham Notch