The Five Best Adventure Podcasts

Apr 18, 2010
Outside Magazine

There are lots of good news podcasts, but we're ranking something different here. Great podcasts should be entertaining and teach you something. Podcasts that do both are few and far between, but they are out there. The ones below are culled from the masses, and range from travel advice, to stories about science, to conversations on sports. Disagree with our list? Leave a note in the comments section below.

Trave with Rick Steves 5) Travel with Rick Steves and TEDTalks (Tie)
In TEDTalks, the biggest names and brightest minds get up on stage and talk at length about a topic. Some people won't interest you. That's OK. There's a slew of cool people to pick from. Speakers range from entertainer James Cameron to software wizard Bill Gates. In Travel with Rick Steves, the globe hopper offers helplful travel tips, interviews celebrity travelers, and asks the quirkiest experts how you should prep for your next jaunt.
Sample: Dan Buettner, 1/5/10 on TedTalks. He goes into the process of aging, something he wrote about for Outside in January, 2010. Rick Steves inteviews Greg Mortenson, who we profiled back in December of 2008.

4) Stuff You Should Know
Brought to you by How Stuff Works, these podcasts explain the nuts and bolts of a topic. Podcasts range from tech advice, like how to set up your own podcasts, to outdoor advice, like how to noodle. Hosts Josh and Chuck throw out strange facts, jokes, and history lessons to keep you entertained.
Sample: How Noodling Works, 1/5/10
Did you know that when you stick you're hand underwater into a catfish nest, it's most likely the male that's going to bite you? The female is off somewhere else while the male protects her eggs. If you do get one to bite, you'll want to thrust your hand back behind his gills as he grinds his sandpaper like teeth over your skin. Then pull him out.

3) The BS Report
Yes, Bill Simmons mostly talks about big name sports. Yes, he talks about television more than he talks about adventure sports. We don't care. He's entertaining, in a big way. You feel like you're listening to your buddy from college that could pull the strangest stats and minor player's names out of the air in the most passionate way. He's funny and brings on big name guests. To talk about the Olympics, his guests included Chuck Klosterman and Seth Myers.
Sample: Chuck Klosterman, 3/5/10, On Twitter, The Olympics, and Lost
If you don't watch Lost, just stick to the Twitter and Olympics part of the show. The type of question that spurs discussions...Is it better to learn about a topic immediately through Twitter then to learn about it in-depth in a larger news story?

2) WNYC's Radiolab
The most entertaining science podcast on the web. Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich tell captivating stories—weave in sounds, interesting asides, and a little history—to bring you into the heart of science in the most elegant way.
Example: Limits, 4/16/10
The hosts tell stories about extreme adventure athletes before moving into the science of the mind to get at human boundaries. In one part of this podcast, Outside Literary All-Star Daniel Coyle is featured.

The Dirtbag Diaries
1) The Dirtbag Diaries
Fitz Cahall edits and narrates this podcast that appeals to the core Outside reader. It's funny, sincere, and features solid storytelling about the world of adventure.
Example: A Successful Life, 4/8/10
Is it worth it to trade a great life in an outdoor town for success in the big city? Listen to the podcast.

Would you like to see Outside resume its podcasts? If so, tell us what you would like to hear in the comments section below.

--Joe Spring

Filed To: Adventure, Media, Science, Travel

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