Five Podcasts For Adventurous Women

Most of us don’t have the chance to visit a national park every weekend or spend nearly enough time in green spaces. Adventure and outdoor stories predominantly have to do with men climbing some big mountain in some far off place, yadda yadda yadda. Instead, let these podcasts serve as your escape into the wild and daydream about adventure in woman-focused stories.

She Explores

Gale Straub, founder and host of She Explores, knows “something happens to us when we step outside.” She believes in women’s curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness; She Explores, features all three.  In just two years, Straub has featured the work of over 300 women. Tuning in to She Explores is like listening to older sisters imparting wisdom and wit onto budding adventurers. Guests get real about Lyme disease, race, and taking up space as a woman outside. Straub’s profiles are personal and share the human undertones at the core of every outdoor adventure, oftentimes an element missing from stories about climbing mountains and surfing wild waves.

Tune in if you like:

Honest, relatable stories about achieving your dreams in the outdoors from women who feel like they could your best friend.

Check out this episode:

#22: Small Beauty on the Appalachian Trail, an Interview with thru-hiker Rahawa Haile.

Outside Podcast

Outside magazine’s podcast doesn’t focus exclusively on women, but last summer REI Co-Op sponsored a project to show how women actually make up large swaths of the outdoor community.  The problem is, stories about women aren’t being told on a proportionate level when compared to men. The XX Factor miniseries is hosted by Florence Williams and produced by Phoebe Flanigan that takes on difficult topics through the lens of women breaking the mold of extreme adventure. Listen to Mona Seraji share what it’s like to be a snowboarder based in Tehran or Diana Nyad swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage in her 60s.

Tune in if you like:

Following intense, long haul adventure that may just leave your jaw on the floor.

Check out this episode:

1200 Miles on Blood Road, Rebecca Rusch and Huyen Nguyen cycle the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the crash site of Rusch’s father.

Women Who Dare

Kerry Gross started cycling 5,700 miles across the United States after she read the back of a granola bar that had a story about “a guy and his adventures with his guy friends.” She wants women’s stories to be as prominent and accessible and the male overtones in outdoor imagery. In her show, Gross interviews small business owners, Olympians, Planned Parenthood directors, poets, and so many more women doing amazing things along the way. Tuning in to each episode, you never know whom she’s going to talk to next. Gross sets her interviews against the backdrop of pedaling away on her bike and the challenges of what it means to be a cycling nomad.

Tune in if you like:

Following a single narrative week-to-week and surprises from unexpected guests.

Check out this episode:

An Interview with Maureen Beck, world champion adaptive rock climber.

Run, Selfie, Repeat

Adventure doesn’t have to mean climbing a mountain; adventure can be an unlikely runner trying for years to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Kelly Roberts tackles issues like body image, grief, and goals that can feel impossible with a strong dose of humor. Plus, failure happens, and she get’s real about it; she’s failed to qualify for Boston several times, but creating the community that she wants running to be in the mean time. Plus some episodes feature sport psychologist Dr. Bob and running coach John Honerkamp as partners in Roberts’ journey.

Tune in if you like:

Weekly pep talks that don’t feel cheesy.

Check out this episode:

116: Running Never Gets Easier, feeling good about something you’re not good at.

Women on the Road

Laura Hughes brings you She Explores’ sister project all about life on the road featuring women adventurers and their journeys. Creativity is at the center of this podcast filled with personal essays about what it means to minimize your life into a sprinter van. Instagramers have captured all of our hearts with van life, but those posts don’t dive deep enough into what it means to live on the road. Although that doesn’t mean their Instagram isn’t totally droolworthy. Hughes speaks with artists and dreamers who have been traveling long-term and what they’ve learned along the way.  Lessons include the kindness of strangers when you’re hit by a truck in Honduras, like Dani Bradford, or what it means to live a sustainable lifestyle with Caroline Winslow.

Tune in if you like:

Day dreaming about quitting your job to pursue a passion project while on your daily commute.

Check out this episode:

14 Driving Miss Norma: Ramie Liddle, a 14-month journey with her 90-year-old mother-in-law.

Tess Stryk

Tess is a flight risk who could disappear into the Blue Ridge Mountains or on a tram in Berlin at any moment. She can sit still for exactly as long as it takes you to read this bio and is most likely on a run or sending a new climbing route while you're doing so. You can find her meandering Virginia hiking trails, guzzling flat whites, or prowling the new nonfiction section of your local library.

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