I am constantly yearning for another trip, another adventure. For me, the mountains are always calling. Only lately, it’s more like a high-pitched ringing or a noisy alarm clock that doesn’t have a snooze.
I have a few trips planned out, but the anticipation is getting intense. So, to alleviate the restlessness, I’m often looking to others’ adventures for ideas, for inspiration and — simply — for a good story, because who doesn’t love a good story?
While I’m waiting for the launch date, I’m hunting around the internet and social media to get an outdoor fix.
I’ve compiled some of my favorite blogs, vlogs and podcasts to follow while I’m experiencing abnormal levels of FOMO and waiting for the day to finally come so that I can revisit the wild.
You’ll find resources for …
- Outdoor Gear
- News and Learning
For Outdoor Gear
The whole idea behind this digital backpacking resource is fantastic if you ask me. Dave and Annie, the duo behind CleverHiker, produce a range of content on backpacking and camping gear, outdoor ethics, and wilderness trips.
For me, this site really fits into every category listed, but CleverHiker has been a go-to for me mainly for gear reviews. They are comprehensive and cover a broad scope, which saves precious time surfing the internet when in need of solid outdoor gear.
Backcountry’s blog is a newer discovery for me. Traditionally, Backcountry is just the main spot for a wonderful selection of outdoor stuff that I sometimes need and often just really want.
When diving into the reviews of some products, you’ll find reviews from Backcountry’s Gearheads. Those reviews can be helpful in a pivotal way when you’re all but spent from searching through endless digital aisles of gear.
Backcountry’s blog is no different. I recently read about choosing the right snow helmet, since I’m in the market. The post was a good read, with valuable information to help point me in the right direction.
Thanks for that!
Much like the folks at CleverHiker, the Outdoor Gear Lab has been a savior for me. The focus of this site is on reviews — serious reviews.
Everything from pocket knives to sleeping bags, tents, camp kitchen stuff, and everything else you can think of for backpacking, climbing — anything outdoors related really. The reviews and guides are comprehensive, taking into account price, the pros and cons, specs, weight, and much more.
Instead of spending way too many hours sifting through online gear reviews — which can get pretty sketchy at times — the Outdoor Gear Lab is a one-stop shop.
For Outdoor Inspiration
“At the end of the day, it’s undeniable: Emily Noyd craves wilderness.”
The REI Co-op Journal featured a story about Emily Noyd, a backcountry ranger in Yosemite National Park. You learn about Noyd, her history, her passion for the outdoors and helping others experience these cherished wild places too.
It’s stories like these that inspire me to get outside and help others do the same.
“I saw a chance to break away from my desk job and comfortable life in San Francisco and strip myself down to the bare bones of what I was,” Morgan Woodhouse wrote in an article for The Outbound Collective.
Woodhouse chronicles 18 days of pure wilderness, backpacking the John Muir Trail.
I started cycling to work once, twice — and if I’m lucky — three times a week. It’s a solid 50-minute commute and the whole time I have the Dirtbag Diaries going.
Quick alert: I’m not all the way caught up. But, I’m working on it.
As much as I love getting up way earlier than normal to bike to work, I think I looked forward to this podcast just as much. The storytelling is phenomenal, and it speaks some serious truth to what it’s like being in love with wild places.
My favorite episode? Hard to say. But, I enjoy ghost stories around Halloween a bunch.
If you’re reading this, you’ve already heard of this guy.
Anybody who’s remotely interested in the outdoors — or at least likes to look at really cool pictures — has admired Chris Brin Lee, Jr.’s Instagram account.
I mean, seriously though, this is amazing.
For Outdoor News and Learning
*For the record here, Outside and Backpacker Magazines are by default on this list. That goes without saying.
The guiding principles of outdoor stewardship in my life were engrained in my head when I took my first Wilderness Experience class in high school.
Here’s the code:
The Seven Principles
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Enjoying the outdoors and all its glory can be restorative, healing. I need it. I know others do too. That’s why — among many other reasons — we need to care for the land. You can learn how to do just that through LNT. The organization has resources on their site if you’re interested.
In the meantime, check out this awesome video by LNT:
With all the doom and gloom that surrounds climate change and the politics around that, it’s nice to hear a different tone of voice delivering the news.
Grist is a non-profit news organization that takes a less, well, doom-and-gloom approach to covering this pressing topic. Every day there’s a newsletter that goes out. (It’s called Briefly. Check it out here.)
Sometimes, I can’t help but laugh out loud at the way they cover the day’s news. What’s nice about Grist — other than getting the facts right, covering the news fairly, and telling underreported stories, and more — is that they often use humor to talk about typically serious topics.
Simply put, they lighten the mood and I like that.
When you’re gridlocked in traffic and Climate Desk comes on, I get stoked — really.
Climate Desk is a podcast by MPR, or Minnesota Public Radio, that covers the big issues relating to the environment, and more.
I love that they bring on local folks to talk about the way big issues are affecting all of us, near and far. The local stuff is mixed in with international and national stories, so you get a range with this show.
I dig it, and if you’re still reading this blog post, I’m sure you will too.
For Outdoor How-Tos
The Man in the Fjallraven Shirt is pretty knowledge, and if you check out the YouTube channel, he’ll teach you how to stay safe if you’re lost, among other things.
Editor’s note: I’m mildly obsessed with Fjallraven. You’ll likely see gear reviews and photos of admiration on Instagram.
Bushcraft is a newer concept to me. I didn’t really know a whole lot about it before this year, and so far I dig it.
Although, I don’t really practice bushcraft. That’s just not the kind of camping or backpacking style I have as of now.
At any rate, MCQBushcraft is where you can learn a whole lot about bushcraft. Michael McQuilton is the founder of MCQBushcraft and its successful YouTube channel that has all you need to know and more about outdoor skills, techniques, and best practices.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time perusing through his channel, taking in the knowledge as it’s given.
TA Outdoors caught my attention with the recycled wood pallet cabin. That in itself is totally awesome (that’s what the “TA” stands for by the way).
Mike Pullen, the host and wood pallet cabin builder, has now completed the cabin. Watching how it’s all come together has been some of an inspiration for me.
I have hopes for a little cabin one day.
So, it’s been cool to see somebody go off and build one with minimal resources, also as a way to spend time with family. Oh, and the rest of his bushcraft camp is solid.