These Podcasts Will Inspire You to Get Out into the Backcountry

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Quirky characters, stories of survival, and a behind-the-scenes look at the most badass trail crew in the U.S.

Looking for a little adventure inspiration? These five episodes about hiking from five of our favorite podcasts are guaranteed to get you dreaming about the trails.

“The Real Hiking Viking” on MtnMeister

The Real Hiking Viking is, in his own words, “one-half Viking, one-half thrill-seeker, and two-thirds beard.” He’s completed the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the 3,100-mile-long Continental Divide trail. In the 164th episode of MtnMeister, we catch up with him as he attempts to hike the AT southbound—through the winter.

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“WTF Is TFC?” on Outside/In

Meet the most badass trail crew in the country. Outside/In, a podcast about how we use and enjoy the natural world, delves into the legendary group of men and women known as the Fu*king Trail Crew (FTC). Members of the FTC, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s professional trail crew, lug hundreds of pounds of gear and supplies into the woods to maintain and build the paths you walk each weekend. This is their story.

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“All the Angels” on Sounds of the Trail

We hear a lot about the gear and fuel it takes to thru-hike the AT and the Pacific Crest Trail, but what about the mental obstacles you have to overcome? Sounds of the Trail, a podcast that depicts what it’s like to complete some of the country’s longest trails, asks thru-hikers why they embarked on their journeys, and explores the idea of spirituality and spirit quests in Episode 9 of its second season.

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“What’s up with Queen Moonracer?” on the First 40 Miles

Episode 93 of this beginner-friendly hiking podcast sums up everything you ever wanted to know about the tradition of trail names. Learn about the thru-culture, the philosophy behind these nicknames, and what goes into selecting one.

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“Paul’s Boots” on Dirtbag Diaries

When her husband Paul died at age 53 before accomplishing his dream to thru-hike the AT, his wife M’Lynn wanted to find a way for his boots to complete the 2,190 miles in his memory. With the help of adventure podcast the Dirtbag Diaries, REI, and 17 volunteer hikers, Paul’s boots made it to the summit of Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Listen to the episode of the Dirtbag Diaries that started the journey.

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