Outside's longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.
To Save a Life on the North Shore
For more than 60 years, the Hawaiian island of Oahu has beckoned surfers hoping to drop into some of the world’s biggest waves. The result has been many epic rides, all kinds of brutal wipeouts, and the occasional harrowing rescue. In each case, the experience and skills of those involved can make all the difference. And of course, there’s sheer luck. In this replay of one of our favorite episodes from a couple winters ago, we hear the story of a young lifeguard who set out to prove himself in the legendary swells of Sunset Beach, followed by the tale of a hard-charging North Shore local who started training surfers to save each other, only to find himself in desperate need of a rescue. This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Tracksmith, maker of high-performance products for amateur athletes striving to be their best. Learn more about its No Days Off collection, designed for winter training, at tracksmith.com.
A Man, a Plan, a Steam Room
Outside reviews editor Jeremy Rellosa needed something—anything—to cure his winter COVID blues. Then he remembered the rather dank steam room in the magazine’s office, which had briefly become a sanctuary for him before the pandemic. Digging into research on heat therapies, he learned that the popular Finnish wellness routine of going back and forth between hot and cold could dispel seasonal depression. Thus began a purposely discomforting journey, one that offers lessons for all of us on how to build fortitude, resilience, and even happiness in dark times. This episode of the Outside Podcast was brought to you by Tracksmith, maker of high-performance products for amateur athletes striving to be their best. Learn more about its No Days Off collection, designed for winter training, at tracksmith.com .
Who Killed the Ski Bum?
It’s been one of the most enduring archetypes in mountain sports: that great wintry countercultural hero, who will work any job and live in squalor so long as they can ski 100-plus days a season. But now, after decades of inspiring people everywhere to chase their powder dreams, the ski bum has at last been extinguished by… well, that’s the question. Was it the crazy cost of mountain-town housing? The corporatization of the ski industry? No, wait! Of course—it was the Man. Or, just maybe, has the ski bum actually survived it all and taken on a surprising new form?
Forces of Good: So a Drag Queen Walks into a Mountain Town…
What makes a queer person choose to live in an outdoorsy hot spot instead of an urban gayborhood? A spirited grassroots organization working to make its town a haven for LGBTQ+ nature lovers. Photographer Wyn Wiley, who moonlights as drag queen Pattie Gonia , was living in Nebraska and dreaming of making a move. The most obvious choice was a big city, where queer people often go find their community. But then a group called Out Central Oregon invited Wiley to Bend to host an event on Mount Bachelor called Winter Pride Fest. What they found in Bend was much more than a seasonal party: here was a place with a highly visible queer community. This, Wiley decided, is the place for me and my go-go boots. This episode is brought to you by Hydro Flask, a company that believes every adventure starts with two simple words: let’s go! Shop Hydro Flask products for yourself or the outdoor lovers on your holiday list this season at hydroflask.com .
Forces of Good: Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament is on a Mission to Build Havens for Young Skateboarders
In recent years, rock-star bassist Jeff Ament has dedicated himself to developing world-class skateboarding parks in the rural American West, particularly in his home state of Montana. For him, the point isn't just to create concrete playgrounds so kids have somewhere to rip: he wants to give young people in small towns similar to the one he grew up in a place to gather and build community. This is desperately needed. America’s youth are facing a mental health crisis that was in the making long before the pandemic caused depression and anxiety to spike. What kids in small towns could use now more than ever is real-life human connection—and as Ament tells it, this happens best in a space that they can call their own. This episode is brought to you by Hydro Flask, a company that believes every adventure starts with two simple words: let’s go! Shop Hydro Flask products for yourself or the outdoor lovers on your holiday list this season at hydroflask.com .
Forces of Good: Hiking 48,000 Miles to Create Community
Lo Phong La Kiatoukaysy, a.k.a. Lil’ Buddha, started thru-hiking America’s trails after 9/11 in hopes of creating the same powerful human connections with backpackers that he’d made with New Yorkers in the wake of that tragic day. In many ways, his whole life has been an ongoing journey. His parents fled the violence of the Vietnam War while his mother was pregnant with him, eventually immigrating to the United States and settling in Kansas. When he was a boy, his family took regular trips to the mountains of the West, where Kiatoukaysy fell in love with the outdoors. As a young adult, he was working near the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Soon after, he left the city with a vision of building community among thru-hikers on America’s great trails. Almost 20 years later, he’s still at it.This episode was brought to you by Hydro Flask, a company that believes every adventure starts with two simple words: let’s go! Shop Hydro Flask products for yourself or the outdoor lovers on your holiday list this season at hydroflask.com.
Forces of Good. Words to action
Thank you so much for sharing this story. It might have helped to save a life.
Only a day after learning about how we can approach trauma in a real world setting I found myself standing next to a good friend who had a simple, but incredibly hard decision to make: to accept he needed help and enter rehab.
Before we moved, before we even really talked: we hugged. Touch was the most direct way I think I supported him.
Four hours we hugged again as he stepped through the entrance to professional support and the journey to recovery.
I don’t know that I would have had the mindset or the tools to get through that day, without listening to the Forces of Good episode.
Thank you, Outside!
How do they do it? This has become my favourite podcast. Every week I find the subject matter wide ranging yet always relevant. Thank you Outside Podcast! Keep up the great work.
Great Shows, less fry please
I love this podcast. However the vocal fry in Stephanies voice is hard to hear I feel she may expire mid-word sometimes.
Edited. After another episode - a fry up! Can’t listen any more.