What are diverse and inclusive outdoor podcasts? I’m so glad that you asked! Let’s talk about it, my mountain loving friends!
To start, let’s begin with what it means to embrace diversity and inclusion within a community.
Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people different and unique while inclusion refers to the social norms and behaviors that make people feel welcome into a particular community.
With this is mind, a diverse and inclusive podcast is an audio based media sharing a wide spectrum of outdoor narratives about connecting with the outdoors from a diverse community.
Why is this important?
Traditionally, people connecting with and enjoying the outdoors has been represented by a pretty narrow and specific group of people: white, straight, able-bodied, cisgender males, commonly from middle to upperclass households, and often seen shredding the gnar.
Although the stories from this community may be inspiring, entertaining, insightful, and all the wonderful things— they are not the only stories worthy of sharing on media platforms.
The outdoors is for all of us regardless of our skin color, class, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, what our bodies look like or their abilities.
The outdoors is for all of us.
Speaking of podcasts, are you as big of a podcast junkie as I am?
You can find me listening to podcasts pretty much any time I’m cleaning, cooking, or driving. What can I say? I’m a sucker for deep, meaningful conversations with awesome people doing awesome things.
The following podcasts really grabbed my attention because not only are they sharing great outdoor stories and important conversations, but they’re sharing stories from a big, beautiful rainbow spectrum of folx, and they’re hosted by women!
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are so important to outdoor narratives and media.
With that said, onto the best diverse and inclusive outdoor podcasts for women, by women!
Outside Voices isn’t the podcast you go to listen to stories about first ascents or gnarly, backcountry mountaineering expeditions. It’s where you go to listen to stories about how we all relate to nature.
Outside Voices podcast, hosted by Sarah Shimazaki, brings you “stories from People of Color, LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented folks in the outdoors.”
It’s a space where you can find ethical storytelling from people of the global majority, acknowledgment of the indigenous communities from the public lands we climb, hike, and camp on, and so much more.
Although it’s a new podcast with only a few episodes launched so far, it’s real, unique, much needed, and it already has me hooked and hungry for more.
Okay confession, I’ve cried more than my fair share listening to this podcast.
It’s real, it’s raw, and it goes where most other conversations about living an outdoor life don’t.
It’s a place where climbers and their loved ones openly talk about pain and tell stories that might impact someone in hopes to transform their struggle into meaning and strength.
This is not a climbing podcast. It’s a podcast about choosing vulnerability and talking about real moments (even the painful ones), and how we are all really just shining examples of this messy human existence. Lots of things can happen in a lifetime, and this podcast is about those ugly, awful things that we all have to go through in life.Kathy from For The Love of Climbing
From eating disorders, to fatal climbing accidents, to the societal repercussions for pursing mountain climbing, For the Love of Climbing podcast covers a wide range of awkward and uncomfortable topics from the first person perspectives of climbers and their loved ones.
Originally, Kathy Karlo, created this podcast with the intention to “normalize talking about vulnerability and create a collective storytelling platform that will somehow bleed into our daily interactions–and maybe the world will be a slightly better place for it.”
After all, climbing can stir up a ton of intense and varied emotions within us from frustration to excitement to fear.
Certainly, Kathy isn’t afraid to explore these less talked about elements of climbing.
This diverse and inclusive outdoor podcast, hosted by Laura Hughes, goes beyond the glamorized instagram #vanlife hype and brings you honest interviews from women living life on the road.
Life on the road from the feminine perspective. Host Laura Hughes, alongside inspiring voices of female travelers, bring you closer to some of the honest experiences that life on the road has to offer—from the perspective of women who’ve lived them firsthand. Find out what life is like when the road becomes your home.Women On The Road Podcast
Conversation from women on the road of all sizes, colors, sexual orientations, abilities, and economic statuses include:
- solo female travel
- motivation to hit the road
- the journey of learning vehicle repairs and conversions
- life on the road with pets
- ugly vans
- decked out vans
- no vans (enter your your current vehicle here)
- privilege or lack of privilege
Additionally, Women On The Road even hosts an annual camp out event for women and non-binary individuals to connect in person. Similar to the podcast, it’s a place where women on the road can host skill share workshops + discussion panels for people to learn from one another.
Did I mention 10% of the profits going to a local organization?
Likewise, they have a Dispatch Log on their site with tips and advice for life on the road from road trip inspiration to more logistical information like how to receive mail.
Although I don’t have plans to live out of a vehicle in the near future, this podcast has given me honest insight into the freedom and challenges that comes with living the road.
I’ve learned a ton and will continue to be inspired by courageous women taking ownership of their lives and pursuing happiness through a lifestyle of mobility and minimalism.
Next on our list of diverse and inclusive outdoor podcasts, we have the longest standing podcast sharing stories of women in the outdoors.
She Explores Podcast was started in 2014 by Gale Straub, and has featured over 500 different women’s unique stories, voices, photographs, and artwork.
“We all have vastly different experiences in life and in the outdoors, but we connect over meaningful expression and feeling inspired by time spent outside.”She Explores Podcast
Conversations range from solo hiking, to chronic illness, to aging, to DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), there’s an interview or narrative for every woman out there connecting to the outdoors to relate to.
This podcast is all about creating a platform for those voices that “still aren’t being heard, or what’s next in the outdoor industry and environmental world, for discussions that are hard to start but important to have, and for stories that reveal we are not alone — even in our private journeys.”
Here’s a quote from Sydney Williams on episode 135, Hiking My Feelings:
“Some people kayak their feelings, some people backpack their feelings, some people rock climb their feelings, some people trail run their feelings. All these different activities that get us outside, the key theme through all of it is that we are getting the devices out of our hand, we’re removing ourselves from the messaging that tells us that we’re too much or not enough, and it gives us a space… to reconnect with ourselves.”Sydney Williams
It’s even inspired and grew into a printed, physical book highlighting first-person stories of 40 women sharing their experiences with “mental health, motherhood, conservation, diversity, equity and inclusion, on-the-road travel” and so much more. You can check it out here.
For the most part, diversity, by many facets, isn’t often being represented in the outdoor community with media platforms like podcasts.
It’s essential to tell all the stories from all the people in our outdoor community. These diverse and inclusive outdoor podcasts have been doing that fantastically and I hope you give them a listen.
Do you know of a podcast that tells outdoor stories through an intersectional feminist or JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) lens?
Please comment below so I can add them to this awesome resource. Thanks for reading. 🌻