Willow Belden – Sharing Intimate, Inspiring, and Thoughtful Stories from the Outdoors


0 votes

Willow’s Wild Idea: To quit her job and go on a five-hundred-mile hike in Colorado. Then, to start a podcast that shares unique stories of people in the outdoors.

Willow Belden is the host of Out There, a podcast that discusses big life questions in an outdoor setting. Willow talks to ultra-marathoners, Everest climbers, hikers, cyclist, skiers, and all kinds of adventurers about their journeys, giving listeners a chance to hear about the transformative powers of nature.

Before she started her podcast, Willow worked at Wyoming Public Radio. You can tell by the way she edits her show and her soothing radio voice. It was a great job, but she decided to quit to hike the Colorado Trail, a thru-hike of about 500 miles.

Willow and I talked about why she quit her job to go on a thru-hike, what she learned along the way, and why chocolate was so important on the trail. We also talk about the challenges of starting a podcast, what she’s learned from losing a parent, and what she has learned from her diverse guests, including great lessons about failure.

Listen to this Episode if

  • You love hiking and the outdoors.
  • You listen to public radio or want to start a podcast.
  • You’ve lost a parent.
  • You want to try thru-hiking.
  • You have ever been afraid to fail.

Key Takeaways

  • 4:10 – Why Willow quit a great job at Wyoming Public Radio.
  • 7:30 –  Why there were no huge revelations on the trail.
  • 9:00 – What was the hardest part of her first thru-hike was.
  • 10:35 – How hiking helped Willow deal with her mom’s death.
  • 12:30 – You don’t have to know how to do everything before you go.
  • 15:50 – What effect the journey had on her life.
  • 16:50 – What Out There Podcast is about.
  • 20:00 – A clip from Willow’s show.
  • 22:50 – Why we sometimes need to fail.
  • 25:10 – What to know before you start a podcast.
  • 26:40 – Willow’s podcast recording set up.
  • 27:50 – What to carry in your pack for a thru-hike.
  • 29:15 – Why Willow carries an umbrella on the trail.
  • 30:40 – You have to hike your own hike.
  • 32:00 – Willow’s trail name.
  • 33:15 – Why journalism school is not the same as college.
  • 35:00 – Willow’s dream party.
  • 35:45 – Why you should not do something you’re good at but you don’t love.

Sign up for REI Co-op emails

Stay updated on the latest news, deals, & more.
Please use name@example.com format Example: name@example.com

Check your inbox for more perks. We’ll send you a few emails every week.

You can unsubscribe from REI Co-op emails at any time.


Hmm. Something’s not working on our end.