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If you commute, work out, or spend too much time on paperwork, you probably know firsthand how wonderful podcasts can be. Offering entertaining stories to everyone with an interest and an Internet connection, these online radio shows have enjoyed a crest of popularity ever since the wildly popular investigative show Serial exploded into the mainstream. However, the very show that first sparked interest in podcasting as a medium now holds some would-be viewers back; today, true crime shows dominate the podcasting landscape and turn away those whose interests don’t tend towards the grisly.

 

But all is not lost! While they might be hidden under a layer of true- and fictional crime shows, more cheerful adventure- and environment-centered podcasts do exist. Here, I outline just a few of my favorite informative, engaging, and thought-provoking podcasts.

 

Outside Podcast

Updates: Once every two weeks

Ongoing Since: March 2016

Website: https://www.outsideonline.com/podcasts

 

This podcast is a production of Outside Magazine, and offers stories of outdoor adventures and those who love them. The series progresses through multiple series of differently-focused arcs; the Science of Survival series, for example, examines the mistakes that can lead us into life-or-death situations in even benign settings, while the Dispatches arc adapts print stories from Outside Magazine into masterfully designed audio tales.

 

Enormocast

Updates: Once every two-three weeks

Ongoing Since: December 2011

Website: https://enormocast.com/podcasts/

 

The Enormocast predates most environmentally-centered podcasts, having begun in late 2011. The series’ experience shows: podcast host Chris Kalous does a wonderful job of sharing climbing tales and personal stories from some of the most influential climbers in the field today. This show is a must for any passionate climbers.

 

Outside/In

Updates: Once every two weeks

Ongoing Since: April 2016

Website: http://outsideinradio.org/

 

Some podcasts take themselves absurdly seriously – but Sam Evans-Brown’s Outside/In isn’t one of them. Since its initial episode, Outside-In has developed from a small production from New Hampshire Public Radio into a nationally-loved podcast on the natural world and how we use it. The show reports on a myriad of topics from extreme outdoor sports to small-town traditions.  As a listener, you can count on each episode for a cheerful and informative time.

 

She Explores

Updates: Once every two weeks

Ongoing Since: June 2016

Website: https://she-explores.com/podcast/

 

In She Explores, host Gale Straub shares stories about creative women and the adventure stories that inspired them to explore the outdoors. Guests of all proficiencies and interests interview on her show, from prominent figures in extreme sports to ordinary explorers on the trail. Off the air, the show’s website also features written articles and artwork submissions.

 

The Advantage Survival Podcast

Updates: On Hiatus

Ongoing Since: January 2014

Website: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/advantage-survival-podcast

 

Les Baker’s show is currently on hiatus, but that shouldn’t keep you from listening in. In each episode, Baker pulls on his 25+ years of search and rescue experience in Pierce County, Washington, to offer survival tips and guides for would-be explorers. It’s well-worth a look!