Nature. It’s a driving force. It helped bring us into this world, and it can take us out of it. Many people take it for granted. Others, like myself, want to protect it with every fiber of our being. Aside from protecting it, I want to get lost in the wilderness and enjoy the calm and quiet that it provides. In moving from an urban area in the Midwest to the Appalachian region of the southeast, I had a feeling I would be happier. I figured I would be inspired to create new and exciting things. Despite these accurate assumptions, I never anticipated how strong the wilderness’s siren song would be.
Before I go wandering off into the woods, I’ve been studying. The winter in western North Carolina isn’t so cold that I can’t go hiking, but I still need to build up my endurance and my gear. Gear is not cheap by any means, and being able to withstand elevation gains is something I need to work up to. I’m also unfortunately stuck at a desk 5 out of the 7 days of the week. Since I can’t be out there gaining hands-on experience and having adventures all the time, I’ve taken to listening to several podcasts while I’m working.
The First 40 Miles
The First 40 Miles is geared towards new backpackers, but it has some segments that might be educational to regular hikers. Heather Legler, the host, had just started backpacking when she began the show in December 2014. Her husband, Josh Legler, is the co-host and has been hitting the trails for years. Together they recap trail stories, review new gear, and provide tips, tricks, and trail recipes. The overall tone is extremely cheerful and family friendly. As someone who hasn’t done any backpacking yet, it’s a bit helpful; however, it’s probably your standard information for a seasoned hiker.
G.O. Get Outside
Created by Butcher Bird Studios, G.O. Get Outside began as web series in 2014. The podcast launched in September 2015. G.O. was created to peek into the lives of adventurers. The definition for adventurer in this instance covers anything from hikers, cyclists, cave explorers, sky divers, outdoor advocates, and more. Jason Milligan, the host, leads interviews with “average” people who enjoy doing extraordinary things. Tune in every week to meet a new and interesting person. You may be inspired to try something you’ve never done before.
Of the three podcasts listed here, She Explores is by far my absolute favorite. It embraces the outdoors with a sense of feminism as it follows the stories of many female hikers and cyclists. The show has visited topics such as diversity in the outdoors; women working in the NPS and US Forest Service; female entrepreneurs; hiking with kids, friends, or alone; and other creative blogs, books, and media that outdoor women have put forth into the world. It’s an informative and inspiring podcast that is still fresh since it only began in June 2016. I look forward to many more episodes as it grows and develops.
I’m on the lookout for other outdoorsy and environmental podcasts to listen to. There seem to be several people recording in the western US with a recurring emphasis on the Pacific Crest Trail. While I hope to get back out west someday, I’m currently interested in learning more about the eastern trails and forests, with a strong interest for the Appalachian Trail.
Feel free to contact with any suggestions of podcast, books, or groups!
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