Do your interests revolve around the great outdoors? If so, you’re in luck. There are hundreds of amazing outdoor podcasts for you to choose from that can inspire your next adventure. Outdoor podcasts cover a range of topics, so whether your passion lies in mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, camping, or just general exploration, there is an outdoor podcast for you.
The best outdoor podcasts are informative, versatile, and generally free. You can listen to them at work for a dose of nature-inspired escapism, in the car or at home while planning your next adventure, or even while you’re out in the peaceful wilderness for some auditory companionship. No matter when you like to listen to your outdoor podcasts, knowing which ones are worth listening to is helpful. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the 12 best outdoor podcasts for every type of adventurer.
Headway — bonus option for outdoor inspiration
As Bear Grylls recounts in his book Mud, Sweat and Tears, our achievements are only limited by the beliefs we impose on ourselves. If we constantly tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes, that inevitably becomes our reality. Freeing ourselves from these limiting beliefs is what led Bear to be able to:
Achieve his childhood dream of climbing to the summit of Everest at age 23;
Become one of the youngest second-dan black belts in the UK;
Create a prime-time TV adventure series, “Man vs. Wild,” with 1.2 billion viewers worldwide;
Lead record-breaking expeditions to the world’s extremes, which have raised more than $2.3 million for children’s charities.
Bear’s story is just one of many to be inspired by on the Headway app. If you’re an adventurer and lover of the outdoors, you may not have time to sit down for hours to read adventure books. At Headway, we’ve made it our mission to create the best-detailed nonfiction book summaries so you can learn about amazing adventure stories while on the go.
Although Headway isn’t technically a podcast, our 15-minute book summaries come in audio format, so you can choose to listen to key insights from bestselling outdoor books at the crest of your next hike!
There are hundreds of outdoor-based nonfiction books to sift through on Headway. Whether you are interested in the psychological benefits of being in nature, how mindfulness can change your life, or are looking to source motivation from an adventure biography, there is something on the Headway app for everybody.
Download Headway and start dreaming up your next adventure today.
Not sure where to start? Check out our articles “10 Mindfulness Books that Will Change Your Life” and “How to Build a Success Mindset and Achieve Your Ambitions” for more inspiration.
12 best outdoor podcasts for your next adventure
1. Outside/In — best outdoor podcast for environmentalists
Outside/In is one of the best catchall outdoor podcasts on the market. The show is about the natural world and how we use it. Current host Nate Hegyi talks with people who work, play, and live outside. He also discusses fascinating plants and animals you’ve never heard of, as well as touching on sustainability issues and how individuals are working to harness the earth to be more eco-conscious. For example, a recent episode titled “The Race to Net Zero: Building a Car-Free Future.”
If you are looking for an outdoor podcast that discusses the beauty of nature and how we should care for it, Outside/In is a great option.
2. America’s National Parks Podcast — best outdoor podcast on National Parks
America’s greatest resource is its 400-plus outstanding National Parks. This podcast is arguably one of the greatest resources for information about them. This outdoor podcast features news, history, stories, and tips for visiting these great outdoor spaces. Whether you are interested in listening to insights from people who work in the parks or learning about wildlife and plants, this series has you covered.
3. Nomads at the Intersections — best outdoor podcast for van lifers and nomads
This insightful outdoor podcast navigates the inspirations, challenges, and journeys of the modern nomadic movement while deep diving into the stories of underrepresented voices. Formerly known as the Women on the Road podcast from the creators of She-Explores, Nomads at Intersections is hosted by Noami Grevemberg and Anaïs Moniq.
Episodes cover topics surrounding allyship, diversity in the travel community, all things van life, representation, mental health, and much more. Nomads at Intersections features inspiring interviews with outdoorsy people and nomads from all walks of life. From practical tips to compelling stories, this podcast is a must-listen for anyone toying with the idea of heading out on the open road.
4. Backpacker Radio — best outdoor podcast for hikers
From the Pacific Crest to the Appalachian Trail and everything in between, Backpacker Radio discusses all there is to know about long-distance backpacking. If you didn’t already know, thru-hikers and backpackers have their own exclusive culture, and if you are a part of it or are curious to see behind the curtain, this is the podcast for you.
Co-hosts Juliana Chauncey and Zach Davis muse on everything hiking-related, from practical trip advice, to what gear you need, to interviews with impressive hikers and details about specific trails. Topics include trail culture, advice, interviews, gear, and more. If you are considering packing up a bag and heading into the woods, give Backpacker Radio a listen.
5. The First 40 Miles: Hiking & Backpacking Podcast — best outdoor podcast for the newbie
If you’ve always been interested in backpacking and hiking but didn’t know where to start, The First 40 Miles is the outdoor podcast for you. The show aims to make backpacking more accessible and less intimidating by arming beginners with the basics they need to feel confident in the great outdoors.
Hosts Josh and Heather Legler offer practical advice and, in reference to the show’s title, promise that the new backpacker will fall in love with the activity during their first 40 miles of doing it. Although the First 40 Miles is not actively producing episodes, there is a backlog of 214 shows that are sure to answer all of your backpacking and hiking queries. This is a must-listen for anyone new to the world of hiking.
6. The Dirtbag Diaries — best outdoor podcast for adventure stories
The Dirtbag Diaries has been a trailblazer in the space and a staple on every best outdoor podcast list for years. Backed by Patagonia, this long-running podcast has been sharing thrilling outdoor tales since 2007. Think of this podcast as a modern version of the campfire story. Every episode features an inspiring outdoor-related tale.
The Dirtbag Diaries episodes have two formats. There are the “Features,” which are longer episodes done in an interview and narration format, and the “Shorts,” which are brief essays written and read by listeners.
With a huge backlogged catalog, figuring out where to start can be intimidating. One of the most famous episodes is “Paul’s Boots,” which serves as a humble reminder of how short life is to fulfill the greatest desires on our bucket lists.
7. Sounds of the Trail — best outdoor podcast for thru-hikers
Sounds of the Trail follows thru-hikers on their journeys through three long-distance trails, including the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide trail. Although the podcast is no longer producing new episodes, they have 44 timeless shows that capture the life of a thru-hiker.
The hosts discuss trail life’s ups, downs, and switchbacks while the show’s contributors send back updates, transmissions, and interviews with other hikers on their journey. If you are considering embarking on a thru-hike, this is one of the best hiking podcasts to help inspire you for the adventure.
8. Outside Podcast — best outdoor podcast for ripped-from-the-headlines stories
If you haven’t heard of Outside Podcast, you may have heard of Outside magazine — the premiere magazine outlet for outdoor enthusiasts. The podcast represents their longstanding literary storytelling tradition coming to life, which is to say, it functions like an audio version of the magazine.
Outside Podcast was launched in March of 2016 with the series “Science of Survival” and has since expanded into a range of story formats, such as interviews with notable figures in adventure and the outdoors and reports from correspondents in the field.
Each episode features a story, whether an inspirational trip through nature or a harrowing tale of survival. If you want a “ripped from the headlines” listen, this outdoor podcast is for you.
9. Downtime — best outdoor podcast for mountain bikers
If you love mountain biking, Downtime is the best adventure podcast for you. Host Chris Hall has been mountain biking for over 30 years but found that he wasn’t improving. After completing a training program and taking some mountain bike coaching sessions, his riding transformed. This outdoor podcast was born out of the wish to make that information available to as many people as possible and get more enjoyment from riding bikes in the woods.
Hall interviews coaches, athletes, professional mechanics, and anyone else involved in mountain biking to provide more insight into how they do what they do. Each episode contains useful tips and tricks to feel stronger on your bike.
10. Wild Ideas Worth Living — best outdoor podcast for motivation
REI is one of the most popular places to purchase outdoor gear. And they’ve now turned that expertise into a successful outdoor podcast. Despite being a retailer, Wild Ideas Worth Living steers clear of discussions about camping and fitness gear. Instead, the podcast features interviews with people who found purpose through their experiences with nature and took the road less traveled.
Journalist and host Shelby Stanger interviews authors, health experts, world-class explorers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and athletes about how they’ve made their wild ideas a reality. This adventure podcast might inspire you to find your calling in the wild.
11. The Sharp End — best outdoor podcast for climbers
If you love listening to a story that has you on the edge of your seat, The Sharp End is the best outdoor podcast for you. Host Ashley Saupe, a long-time instructor for Outward Bound, brings the stories from the pages of “Accidents in North American Climbing” to life.
Saupe’s intention with this outdoor podcast is to have climbers learn from other people’s mistakes and minimize future accidents through storytelling. In the episodes, Ashley interviews rescuers and climbers involved in life-threatening incidents. They share their lessons and warnings that help listeners become safer climbers and outdoor adventurers in general.
12. She Explores — best outdoor podcast for women
Since 2016, host and founder of She Explore, Gale Straub, has been discussing women’s experiences in the outdoors in relation to community, motherhood, inclusion, self-love, mental health, advocacy, and more. She brings together multiple perspectives on her podcast, from everyday explorers across the world to famous names within the community, all the while highlighting inspirational female journeys.
This outdoor podcast creates a space where expression is encouraged, and others’ voices are amplified. She Explores touches on the fact that there is no “one way” to find ourselves outside, making it a platform for the beginner adventurer and expert explorer alike. If you want a raw, in-depth conversation about solo trekking, this adventure podcast is for you.
Discover stories of the great outdoors with Headway
An inspiring outdoor podcast can be life-changing. The benefits of spending time in nature and conquering your adventure goals are endless. Use this article to discover the best outdoor podcasts for your adventure lifestyle. Whether you are interested in hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, national parks, or just a good old adventure story, there is a podcast for you.
Learning about the outdoors and how you can engage with nature can be overwhelming — there are so many different options! With Headway, you can take your outdoor journey at your own pace by dedicating just 15 minutes a day to our audiobook summaries on topics like adventure, health, mindfulness, the outdoors, and more. Enriching your mind with the words of bestselling authors in this genre can empower you to take the leap and step out into the great outdoors.
Download the Headway app today to listen to the world’s best nonfiction book summaries and enhance your outdoor experience.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best outdoor podcast?
The best outdoor podcast depends on what you are interested in learning about and listening to. Some popular outdoor podcasts include The First 40 Miles: Hiking & Backpacking Podcast, The Dirtbag Diaries, and Wild Ideas Worth Living.
What is the best survival podcast to listen to?
A great survival podcast to listen to is the rock climbing based listen to The Sharp End. Each episode brings the terrifying and thrilling stories from the pages of “Accidents in North American Climbing” to life.
What is the best Outside Podcast episode?
Some of the most popular episodes from the Outside Podcast include “Science of Survival: The Death Blow,” “The Best Worst Accidents,” and “A Bold Rescue on a Moab Cliff.”