While many of us have unexpected down time, we’ve put together five of our favourite adventure podcasts so we can indulge in our second-favourite hobby: thinking about adventure. Some are light-hearted, some more serious, and they feature a combination of well-known explorers and everyday adventurers. We hope you enjoy them – tell us what you think, and your own suggestions for podcasts, in the comments section below.
Of Mountains and Minds
Run by Edinburgh-based ultrarunner and adventurer Caroline Mckay, Of Mountains and Minds explores not just adventure but the psychology of outdoor pursuits, with discussions about mental health and welfare. The podcast chats to people who have been through a life-changing endurance event, transition or challenge, sharing their raw experiences. Notable interviewees include Ben Page, who starred in the 2018 Banff Tour film The Frozen Road. Following his round-the-world bike journey, Ben talks about the challenges of travels in inhospitable places; the psychological struggles of intense solitude, and what it’s like coming home and settling back in the UK after such an experience.
Of Mountains and Mind is in its sixth series, with new episodes released on Fridays. See www.ofmountainsandminds.com.
The Mpora Podcast
No subject is scared in action sports website Mpora’s occasional podcasts, run by Ben Mondy and Paul Evans, with the duo delving into the big questions such as, how do you poo while sailing non-stop around the UK? And, why does no-one called Wayne or Gary walk to the North Pole? Light-hearted, entertaining adventure-chat – listen with a beer and you’ll feel like you’re in the pub with your mates after a day on the hill. See www.mpora.com.
Terra Incognita: The Adventure Podcast
Aiming to allow the listener to get up close with people who live extraordinary lives, in Terra Incognita film-maker Matt Pycroft chats to the most knowledgeable, accomplished and respected voices in the exploration and adventure field. Particularly relevant now are the Solitude Specials – conversations with adventurers who have coped with being alone in challenging or confined environments, such as climber Hazel Findlay, who recommends embracing the situation, and meditation. Also check out episodes with Leo Houlding, whose film Mission Antarctica: Spectre Expedition is part of the Banff 2020 tour. Here Leo talks about leading a recent expedition to climb otherworldly Mount Roraima in Guyana… including what happens when the expedition’s generator gets dropped into a pond. See www.theadventurepodcast.co.uk.
The Dirtbag Diaries
Described as a homegrown podcast for dirtbags and their allies, The Dirtbag Diaries tells stories of ‘normal’ people and the fantastic adventures you can have without climbing the highest mountains or breaking any records. We love the feel-good story of Colorado trail runner Marvin Sandoval, who runs with his trusty running partner, Buttercup the donkey, over some of the country’s toughest terrain. What has he learnt? To “hang on and see what happens.” Donkey trail running mirroring life.
With proper campfire stories, it’s not surprising this American podcast is in its 13th year. See www.dirtbagdiaries.com.
Women on the Road
In Women on the Road, host Laura Borichevsky chats to a variety of female travellers and van dwellers, from Em Cheng, a travel nurse on the West Coast of America, to Veronica Castillo, who has moved into a campervan while still working in her full-time (stationary) job. Honest tales of life on the road that relish the highs but don’t sugar coat the lows. Ideal for anyone with an interest in van life, from long-term travellers to weekend warriors… and it’s likely to inspire you to follow your dreams. There are almost 100 episodes to choose from, see www.womenontheroadpodcast.com.
Like these, want more adventure? Check out the Banff UK & Ireland tour’s weekly collections of handpicked adventure films here.