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Out There

Willow Belden

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Out There is a podcast that explores big questions through intimate stories in the great outdoors.
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45:21 | Jun 27th

On this episode, we bring you a guest story from the podcast Outlandish, a show that focuses on stories from our public lands. The story is about a remarkable discovery that happened in the wilderness of Canada. It takes us behind the scenes on ...Show More

16:51 | Jun 13th

Carolyn McDonald adores trees. She even spends time pondering what trees would say if they could talk. But she’s not the typical outdoorsy type; the very idea of camping gives her the shivers. On this episode, Carolyn shares her story. She take...Show More
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30:14 | May 30th

Most of us want to speed through the hard times; we want to get to a place where life feels smooth and easy. But what if the line between good times and bad isn’t so clear? What if hardship can actually be enjoyable? On this episode, Heather Da...Show More

34:00 | May 16th

Growing up, Adrienne Lindholm was dead set against having children. She didn’t like kids, and she felt parenthood would force her to give up the things she loved most in life. But as time went on, her husband became determined to start a family. E...Show More

30:50 | May 2nd

Shannon Prince's ancestors were skilled at using plants as medicine. But her family’s eco-literacy had been stripped away over the generations. Yearning to rediscover forgotten knowledge, Shannon traveled across the world, to a place where ancient...Show More

29:05 | Apr 18th

We often hear about people escaping to nature as an antidote to stress. Quiet places can help us find inner peace, we’re told. But what if it isn’t so simple for everyone? What if some people need busier urban environments — and not just for the c...Show More

29:40 | Apr 4th

This episode is about control: control of wildfires, and control of your own life. My guests are Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson, producers the film Wildland. We talk about the deeply personal forces that draw people to wildland firefighting;...Show More

20:59 | Mar 21st

Most of us want a life partner. But what if your soulmate never materializes? On this episode, writer and photographer Mara Kuhn shares a story about being single well past the age when most of your peers are paired off. It’s a story that take...Show More

23:29 | Mar 7th

We hear it again and again: relationships require compromise. But what happens when you realize you’ve been letting your own identity slip away, for the benefit of a relationship? Today’s story, by Dani Harris, is about young love and a cross-coun...Show More

51:23 | Feb 21st

This is a story about our beliefs — about things we’re brought up to know to be true. Beliefs so strong and powerful that they shape the identity, culture, and attitudes of an entire nation. We all have these kinds of beliefs. But what causes us t...Show More

36:03 | Feb 7th

Beth Jusino was neither outdoorsy nor religious, but, craving a break from her hectic life, she set her sights on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route through Europe. Her book Walking to the End of the World chronicles the trip, an...Show More

34:20 | Jan 24th

What happens when you realize the quest to achieve has been holding you back? On this episode, producer Noam Osband shares the story of something surprising that happened while he was researching his PhD dissertation. His story that takes us fr...Show More

21:24 | Jan 18th

Tear-jerking stories of joy, pain, hope and love, from Out There's first cohort of ambassadors.

19:57 | Jan 10th

Part of our mission at Out There is to make the concept of ‘the outdoors’ more accessible to all. But so far, we don’t have a great track record. Contrary to our intentions, this has become a show mostly about white people — and while we’re at it,...Show More

31:32 | Dec 27th, 2018

Adrian Fernandez thought he would never speak to his father again. His dad had ruined everything, and the situation seemed hopeless. But sometimes, the people who hurt us most are the only ones we can turn to for help. On this episode, Adrian s...Show More

45:47 | Dec 13th, 2018

On this episode, we have a guest story from the podcast Hear in the Gorge, about what happens when something goes terribly wrong in the outdoors. Producer Sarah Fox brings us the story of an accident that happened to a 10-year-old boy in Oregon, a...Show More

28:58 | Nov 29th, 2018

Bill and Linda Ware live in the middle of Maine's notorious 100-Mile Wilderness. The only people they see on a regular basis are thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail. On this episode, we explore why people would choose to live like that — totally...Show More

32:25 | Nov 15th, 2018

When Halimah Marcus moved to Brooklyn, she took pride in getting to know Prospect Park. But eventually, her little oasis lost its luster. After logging hundreds of miles on the same loop, she knew every twist and turn, every tree. There was nothing n...Show More

52:47 | Nov 1st, 2018

In 2015, Tiffany Duong was living the life: she’d finished law school, joined a big law firm, and traveled as much as she could. And yet, she was miserable. Then, on a whim, Tiffany signed up for a scuba diving trip to the Galapagos Islands. At th...Show More

23:51 | Oct 18th, 2018

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast, dumping 51 inches of water on Houston and devastating coastal communities. But that’s just the physical impact. Natural disasters can have deep emotional effects for us, too. On this episode, Ho...Show More

19:47 | Oct 4th, 2018

Monica Gokey was an avid whitewater kayaker. Paddling had stolen her heart, shaped her identity, and given her a tribe to belong to. Then she had kids. These days, Monica’s life of adventure has been replaced by her new identity as a parent. ...Show More

21:32 | Sep 20th, 2018

Bill Appel has devoted his retirement years to helping strangers. He’s a “trail angel” on several long-distance trails (the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Colorado Trail, etc). He offers food and beverages to hikers, and giv...Show More

19:49 | Sep 6th, 2018

Susan Shain was on track to pursue her dream. She had worked hard in college, put in her time with unpaid internships, and had landed interviews with top media companies. And then, just as she was about to graduate from college, one interview chan...Show More

28:33 | Aug 30th, 2018

On this episode of our advice segment, Dear Nature, we respond to a question from a listener called Feeling Stuck, who is struggling to find motivation and passion.  "I’ve never been very adventurous or a go getter," Feeling Stuck writes, "and I h...Show More

30:11 | Aug 16th, 2018

Kayla Bordelon grew up thinking she didn't have a brain for science. Charts and numbers were indecipherable to her, and Latin names of plants and animals seemed irrelevant to her life. But then, something happened that would unlock a part of her ...Show More

25:15 | Aug 2nd, 2018

When Paula Davis went to Alaska to work with sled dogs, she had a storybook vision of what her life there would be like. There would be fur-filled cuddles, meaningful gazes, and nonstop dog kisses. But of course, it wasn't that simple. On this ...Show More

41:04 | Jul 26th, 2018

On this episode of Out There's advice segment, Dear Nature, we answer a question from a listener who wants to know how to instill a love of the outdoors in her two small children. "Day adventures used to be so easy before I had children," she says...Show More

18:50 | Jul 19th, 2018

Cindy Gagnon was backcountry skiing in Canada when she was buried in an avalanche. Just a few hours later, the people she was skiing with — her friends — acted like nothing had happened. How could that be? And what did it mean? This is a story abo...Show More

26:01 | Jul 5th, 2018

Out There recently received a first-place award from PRNDI, a nation-wide association of radio professionals, for our story The Instinct to Kill. To celebrate, we thought we'd play you the story. It's about one New Yorker's first experience huntin...Show More

39:54 | Jun 28th, 2018

On this installment of our advice segment, we address a question about making a huge life change. A listener named Where Am I Going writes of his disillusionment with his corporate job, and shares his dreams to live a nomadic lifestyle. But taking th...Show More

42:26 | Jun 21st, 2018

When Olivia Round set off on a cross-country bicycle trip, she told people she was doing it to have an adventure, or to take a semester off school. But her real reason was more personal, more urgent: she wanted to overcome a paralyzing fear. A fear o...Show More

26:36 | Jun 7th, 2018

Jen Kinney wanted to be a strong, independent woman. She had just split up with her long-term partner, and she felt a powerful need to prove that she could meet her own needs. So she decided to take herself backpacking. Alone.  What happened t...Show More

37:13 | May 31st, 2018

On this episode of The Nature Fix, we respond to a question about fear. A listener describes a terrifying whitewater rafting trip she went on with her husband two years ago. The experience left her so rattled that she has not set foot in a raft again...Show More

14:11 | May 17th, 2018

Maya Kroth had her future all planned out: she and her boyfriend would move to Greece, settle down in a beautiful village, lead an idyllic expat existence. But that vision was shattered when the couple split up. No matter how good her life was, M...Show More

20:33 | May 3rd, 2018

Camille von Kaenel lost her mother when she was just 18. Her mom’s death left a gaping hole in her life. But in the years that followed, Camille discovered things about her mother that would give her a whole new appreciation for the parent she lost. ...Show More

31:40 | Apr 26th, 2018

On the first episode of our advice segment, The Nature Fix, we tackle a question from a listener who feels trapped in his own life. He's desperate to move away from a place he hates, but feels obligated to stay, in order to care for his daughter and ...Show More

31:26 | Apr 19th, 2018

If you have a problem, but others are worse off, should you shut up? This episode is about Australian journalist James Bennett, who moved to India in 2015 to take up a long-coveted role as a foreign correspondent. James was an outdoorsy type: ...Show More

46:45 | Apr 5th, 2018

We're thrilled to be launching a new segment on Out There: an advice series called The Nature Fix. Each month, we'll use wisdom from the outdoors to address your most pressing personal questions. On this episode, we introduce our wonderful new adv...Show More

19:07 | Mar 15th, 2018

When Mary Roberts went on a backpacking trip in the Sangre de Cristos, she was looking for an epiphany — a vision that would help her sort out her life's problems. What happened out in the wilderness wasn't at all what she'd expected or hoped. The "v...Show More

26:07 | Mar 1st, 2018

When it comes to making decisions, we often know what we should do. But then there's that little voice, urging you to throw caution to the wind. What happens when we give into that voice - when we make a decision that's clearly irrational - that ever...Show More

29:21 | Feb 15th, 2018

When Bassam Tarazi set out to hike the 23-mile Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire, he wasn't worried. It was a nice summer day, he had a lifetime of mountaineering experience behind him, and compared to his other outdoor conquests, this would be ...Show More

32:19 | Feb 1st, 2018

This is the story of a homeless man named Michael and a lost cat named Tabor, who find - and adopt - each other. On this episode, we talk with Britt Collins, who wrote a book chronicling their story. It's a story of love and tenderness, and of the su...Show More

29:35 | Jan 18th, 2018

Throughout most of her life, whenever things weren't going well, Susan Conrad's tendency was to run. But seven years ago, she embarked on a trip that would change all that. She decided to kayak the Inside Passage, a 1,200-mile coastal route from Wash...Show More

43:41 | Jan 4th, 2018

On this episode, we bring you excerpts from an episode of Wild Ideas Worth Living, a podcast about people who have wild ideas and do them anyway. We talk with host Shelby Stanger about her choice to give up a stable career in order to pursue her p...Show More

30:49 | Dec 21st, 2017

When we lose a loved one, distracting ourselves can sometimes make grieving easier. But it can also make you forget things you didn't think you could, like what your loved one looked or sounded like. Writer Lara McCaffrey had such an experience, ...Show More

38:28 | Dec 7th, 2017

Mari Andrew was leading a charmed existence. Then one day, she came down with a mysterious disease -- a disease that would turn her life on its head. The illness kept her hospitalized for a month -- and disabled long after that. It took her away f...Show More

24:05 | Nov 28th, 2017

On this episode, we preview some of the stories we have in the works, share feedback from you (our listeners), and introduce you to the people behind the scenes at Out There. We also offer a vision for the future. We talk about what we want to bui...Show More

23:57 | Nov 16th, 2017

Journalist Maya Kroth was in Mexico City this fall, when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck. Hundreds of people died; it was the deadliest quake in a generation. But in the weeks after the earthquake, Maya watched something happen out in the streets o...Show More

26:40 | Nov 2nd, 2017

Becky Jensen was that girl with the acne and the crooked teeth. The girl who always felt she had to hide. As she grew older, even though her complexion improved, the emotional scars persisted. But last year, on a backpacking trip in Colorado, somethi...Show More

20:10 | Oct 19th, 2017

I used to think the cure for unhappiness was to go on tough solo adventures. So two years ago, I planned out a 500-mile bike-packing trip through the mountains of Idaho. But instead of wrenching me out of my gloom, the trip broke me. On this episo...Show More

21:01 | Oct 5th, 2017

New York City isn't known for being bike friendly, and if you're a cyclist, it often seems like raising your voice is the only way to get anywhere. But last New Years, something happened on the Brooklyn Bridge that changed the way one New Yorker thin...Show More

34:06 | Sep 21st, 2017

A woman who has struggled with depression her whole life -- and who has tried to commit suicide many times -- heads into the woods, determined to die. Three days later, she comes out fighting to live. On this episode, reporter Heather Kitching explor...Show More

29:37 | Sep 7th, 2017

In an effort to understand what goes on in the minds of wild animals, a man named Charles Foster decides to "become" a badger. This is a story about obsessive curiosity, and about the surprising things that can happen when you never stop asking quest...Show More

44:04 | Aug 17th, 2017

What's it like doing something that People Like You almost never do? This week, we introduce you to another outdoor podcast we think you'll love: She Explores. We chat with the host, Gale Straub, and share her thought-provoking interview with Rahawa ...Show More

41:25 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Outdoor adventures have a remarkable ability to instill a sense of confidence in us. In 2009, Jackie Sofia went on a trip that did just that. It was a cross-country bike ride, which she was undertaking with dozens of other riders. When she set off, J...Show More

27:21 | Jul 20th, 2017

When Bernadette Murphy flew to an island in the South Pacific, her friends thought she was indulging in an extended tropical vacation. But the three months she spent on the Island of Mo'orea were anything but relaxing. In the past two years, Bernadet...Show More

33:18 | Jul 6th, 2017

For Matt Miller, cycling was golden. It was his exercise, his commute, and his therapy. When he was in the saddle, troubles seemed to melt away, and he felt free -- completely, utterly free. So when he set out for a cross-country bike tour the summer...Show More

34:38 | Jun 15th, 2017

Becky Jensen had a lot of things going for her: sweet kids, a caring fiance, a promising career. But deep down, she wasn't happy. So last summer, she left everything (and everyone) behind to do a 500-mile hike by herself. On this episode, she shares ...Show More

24:21 | Jun 1st, 2017

When evolutionary biologist Brian Barber first heard that some stuffed birds had been found at a Wyoming high school, he didn't think much of it. But as luck would have it, the mysterious collection would turn out to be a goldmine. On this episode, w...Show More

17:27 | May 18th, 2017

Stories about the outdoors often focus on extremes: the fastest runners, the strongest climbers, people who set records and accomplish the impossible. But what about the rest of us? On this episode, a PhD student named Ryan Haupt shares what it's lik...Show More

08:34 | May 14th, 2017

In honor of mother's day, we're sharing stories from you - our listeners - about your mothers, and how they've influenced your relationship with the outdoors.

34:10 | May 4th, 2017

Three years ago, folk singer Joel Shupack set off from Portland, Oregon on his bicycle. The plan was to ride across the entire U.S., all the way to New Hampshire. Joel's dream was to escape a life that wasn’t filling him up.  He wanted to travel, to ...Show More

36:46 | Apr 22nd, 2017

Two friends set out one March morning with an inflatable raft, a camouflage tent ... and a ridiculous idea. They plan to paddle the Bronx River, all the way from Valhalla to New York City. It's the kind of trip that no one even talks about attempting...Show More

23:21 | Apr 20th, 2017

We’ve gotten a lot of new listeners in the past few months, so this week, we're playing a story that some of you may have missed.  It ran back in 2015, when the show was still very new, and it won a national award last year. The story is about a 70-m...Show More

23:35 | Apr 6th, 2017

Many of us put science and religion into separate boxes, assuming they're mutually exclusive. But what if it isn't that simple? On this episode, producer Maya Kroth brings us a story about something that happened on a beach in Mexico, which cast one ...Show More

31:05 | Mar 16th, 2017

Many of us spend a lot of time and energy striving for equality -- equality between men and women, rich and poor, gay and straight, Christian and Muslim. But what does it mean for a society to truly be equal? What would that actually look like? Could...Show More

11:43 | Mar 9th, 2017

It's Out There's second birthday! To celebrate, we're sharing some of our favorite moments from stories we've aired over the past two years. We'll also give you a sneak peak at upcoming episodes, invite you to a party, and offer a special birthday di...Show More

35:17 | Mar 2nd, 2017

When Myles Osborne set out to climb Mt. Everest, he knew he was up against a dangerous mountain. What he didn't consider was that it might not be his own life on the line. On this episode, producer Phoebe Flanigan brings us Myles' story. It's a story...Show More

25:37 | Feb 16th, 2017

Producer Jackie Sojico brings us a story about a man who doesn’t fit the description of a traditional “outdoorsman.” It’s a story about trying to do something you love, when you don’t look the part. And it's about making space for yourself in a world...Show More

28:02 | Feb 2nd, 2017

Colorado-based writer Stacey McKenna shares a story about love, fear, and what happens when you don’t share your partner’s obsession.

27:25 | Jan 19th, 2017

Sam Anderson lives in New York City, and for most of his life, it never occurred to him to go hunting. But last year, at his father's request, he decided to give it a try. Sam had no idea whether he'd actually be able to bring himself to pull the tri...Show More

25:05 | Jan 5th, 2017

Brooklyn-based writer Rebecca Worby first visited Moab in 2011. The small Utah town, surrounded by some of the country's most stunning desert landscapes, stole her heart immediately. But Rebecca's love affair with Moab was complicated, because her re...Show More

27:12 | Dec 8th, 2016

Emily Stewart always wanted to be a singer. It was her deepest wish, her strongest desire. Growing up, she doggedly pursued a career in the opera. But part way through college, she came to a startling realization. On this episode, producer David Wate...Show More

05:01 | Nov 29th, 2016

Tune in to hear what's in store for Out There in the coming months. Plus, a special message for Giving Tuesday.

23:13 | Nov 10th, 2016

Across the country, communities are running out of landfill space -- and running out of money to deal with their trash. But recently, some cities have been responding with creative new plans. From Durham, North Carolina, reporter Rebecca Martinez bri...Show More

22:33 | Oct 13th, 2016

Fresh out of college, Brendan Leonard was an alcoholic. A total mess.  And -- spoiler alert -- he got sober. But drinking had been his favorite thing; it was what defined him. After alcohol was taken away from him, he didn't know who he was anymore. ...Show More

23:17 | Sep 8th, 2016

Growing up, Heather Kitching loved the countryside. She loved the rolling hills, the open fields, the horses, country music. And she dreamed of a home in a close-knit small town, with a rocking chair on the porch and wide open spaces all around.  But...Show More

18:45 | Aug 11th, 2016

Lynn Downey first fell for Fred Loring when she discovered a photo of him amongst some archives in a small town in Arizona. Her crush led her on a journey across the American West, and through time. On this episode, she shares her story. It's a story...Show More

26:33 | Jul 14th, 2016

When we think about weapons, we usually think of guns and bombs and swords -- military instruments. But in his book "Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle," beetle biologist Doug Emlen gives us an inside look at the weapons that animals use: things...Show More

22:04 | Jun 9th, 2016

In the Spring of 2015, writer Chilton Tippin quit his job and set off on the Continental Divide Trail, a 3,000-mile hiking route that runs from Mexico to Canada along the Rocky Mountains.  In the five months he spent on the trail, Chilton made friend...Show More

39:54 | May 12th, 2016

Last spring, Jordan Wirfs-Brock attempted one of the toughest trail running races in existence: a 550-miler called Infinitus. Jordan wasn't new to ultra running, but this race was more extreme than anything she'd done before. And it broke her; she fa...Show More

13:32 | Apr 14th, 2016

When we talk about the outdoors, we often think of places that are wild and untouched. But even in cities, there's a world outside our walls. On this episode, New York-based writer Jessica Gross recounts how a simple experiment changed the way she se...Show More

09:39 | Mar 10th, 2016

On this episode, writer-philosopher-entomologist Jeff Lockwood shares an essay that was inspired by his work as a grasshopper killer. The story takes us out into the grasslands, and grapples with a child's question about just when it is moral to kill...Show More

18:57 | Feb 11th, 2016

This is a story about relationships, and in particular, how to take a relationship to the next level. Some couples try to accomplish that with marathon all-night conversations. Or maybe they dash off on a trip together. Houston-based reporter Laura I...Show More

23:17 | Jan 14th, 2016

Last summer, writer Erin Jones set out to hike the Colorado Trial, a 500-mile footpath through the Rocky Mountains.  Erin was pursuing her master's degree, and as is so often the case for grad students, her future seemed uncertain. She felt powerles...Show More

27:40 | Dec 10th, 2015

Tranquility; meditation; serenity. These are words that many of us might use to describe what we feel when we’re in the woods. But for Tiara Lin, a different word comes to mind: terror. Since she was a teen, Tiara has had botanophobia—a crippling fea...Show More

21:13 | Nov 12th, 2015

This summer, I signed up for a 70-mile mountain bike race called the Laramie Enduro. I've always liked big athletic challenges, like triathlons and half marathons. But this race was different. This time, pushing my limits turned out to be a big mista...Show More

17:53 | Oct 8th, 2015

On Episode 5, a scientist named Trista Vick-Majors shared a first-person account of her team's quest to find out if there's life, deep beneath the ice in Antarctica. After the story aired, several listeners asked to know more about the discoveries th...Show More

32:39 | Sep 10th, 2015

Last year, I quit my job, packed everything I needed into a backpack, and started walking. The plan was to thru-hike the Colorado Trail, a long-distance footpath through the Rocky Mountains. I was a total novice at backpacking, but I craved an escap...Show More

16:19 | Aug 13th, 2015

This spring, I found myself in a lonely situation: I craved a vacation (and actually had time for one), but I had no one to go with. This is the story of what transpired -- how I turned a social failure into an emotional victory.

32:34 | Jul 9th, 2015

What happens when something you love keeps hurting you? Many of the activities that draw us to the outdoors are inherently risky, and millions of sports injuries are documented in the U.S. each year. On this episode, Denver-based reporter Dan Boyce s...Show More

32:15 | Jun 11th, 2015

What should conservation look like, in a world where people have affected every inch of the planet? Environmental writer Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, joins us to discuss a new approach to caring for ...Show More

25:09 | May 14th, 2015

Antarctica is dotted with a series of lakes buried deep beneath the ice. Several years ago, scientists set out to discover whether those subglacial lakes contain life. Team member Trista Vick-Majors joins us to offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse ...Show More

25:31 | Apr 9th, 2015

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14:07 | Mar 12th, 2015

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33:48 | Mar 11th, 2015

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21:03 | Mar 10th, 2015

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