Summer and sunshine are great until you get so excited about them that you lose the focus on the peace heading into nature gives you. It’s so easy to just go, go and go some more.

In this Outdoor Diary Amy talks about the push and pull of making the most of summer and wanting to use it for the peace and restoration it gives her. She also talks about how you can get an outdoor inspiration summer printable.

[:30] Finding balance

[:57] Summer in Alaska

[2:00] Amy’s summer pitfall

[2:55] Prioritizing health over hype

[4:00] A freebie!

We know so much about success is determined by having – or not having – a good attitude. So why is it so hard to learn?

In this episode Amy talks about a few recent challenges as well as details on their first family camping trip in the Vanimal.

[:28] This one may sound a bit different…

[:55] Not the most ideal weather

[2:30] A run with a new friend

[4:07] What’s coming up for Humans Outside

We spend a lot of time talking about getting the most from nature as humans outside. But we share this big, wide world with a whole host of living things. So this episode is dedicated to our interactions with animals, including the time Luke almost got kidnapped by a sloth. Instead of just interviewing one person about interacting with animals in nature — although we should definitely do that later — we built this episode with a collection of stories shared from both listeners and previous podcast guests.

In this episode you’ll hear stories from: Dwight Rabe, Carol Seppilu (episode 58), Melinda Kilian, Rebekah Sanderlin (episode 40), Darcy Gaechter (episode 36), Sarah Schulting Kranz (episode 103) and Luke Bushatz.

[2:05] That time Dwight Rabe met a kangaroo and an animal we don’t really want to talk about

[7:46] When Carol Seppilu meets a musk ox

[13:08] Melinda Killian and the great trash panda caper

[17:06] Dogs are wild animals, too — especially Rebekah Sanderlin’s dog Hank

[25:12] Darcy Gaechter and the rare farting river dolphins

[29:48] Sarah Schulting Kranz meets at butterfly at just the right time

[36:54] The time Luke Bushatz almost got kidnapped by a sloth (sort of)

How do you tackle an outdoor activity or sport that scares you? If you’re Amy, you probably avoid it until confronted with the truth that you are not practicing what you preach. And that’s why she’ll be taking this sport on the road – literally – all summer long as she works to overcome her fear.

Hear about that fear and how you can mark Memorial Day in a meaningful way in this episode of the Humans Outside weekly Outdoor Diary.

[:26] Amy’s fear

[:48] Amy’s cycling experience

[2:54] Practice what you preach, Amy!

[4:07] How Amy got outside this week

[4:53] wear blue: run to remember

After a year focused for better or worse on only the nature within our bubbles, Florence Williams has learned a thing or two about making the most of what you have right outside your door and the tools you already possess to do so. Since Florence, author of “The Nature Fix,” literally wrote the book on how going outside creates positive impacts on our mental health and wellbeing, that’s really saying something.

We learned about Florence before we even started going outside every day. It was her book, published shortly before we knew we were looking for it, that gave us the 20-minute daily goal. We are so honored that she gave some of her time to share her latest lessons in exactly how you can harness the power of nature for your health, happiness and mental wellbeing.

[2:05] Florence William’s favorite outdoor space

[3:14] Why she started writing about outdoor benefits

[5:16] Why going outside makes us feel good

[8:01] Why going outside is good for your brain

[10:26] Why going outside helps trauma

[16:36] Why finding what speaks to you is important

[19:05] Why tuning in matters

[21:24] The difference between “seeking” and “available”

[23:48] Why many doctors love drugs and ignore nature

[25:49] How to find awe in what’s right outside your door

[35:30] Florence’s favorite and most essential gear

[36:47] Florence’s favorite outdoor moment


They’re calling it — the van project is done! (Is a van project ever actually done?). After buying a 1997 Coachman Ford E250 Econoline van in September, 2020, Amy and Luke have finished all of the remodel work they needed or wanted to do. So what does that mean? Here’s how they did their van conversion project.

[:27] The Vanimal

[:55] Buying and renovating the Vanimal

[3:35] Renovating the interior

[4:45] Work to be done

[5:18] Send us your tips!

We’ve all heard it: going outside is good for you. We also know from experience that’s true. From improved health thanks to exercise to simply feeling better after some fresh air, it’s clear that spending time in nature is a good thing, no other evidence required.

But have you ever once had a medical doctor actually prescribe simply heading outside as a solution to a health problem? Unless you see Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller at her Iowa integrated health and OBGYN practice, probably not. But that’s exactly what she does. In this episode she talks about the specific health benefits of getting out in nature, and reveals what it’s like to prescribe nature as a type of medicine, prescription pad and all.

[2:06] Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller’s favorite outdoor space

[3:30] How Suzanne got into going outside

[8:39] Why Amy and Suzanne both think running is the best-ish

[11:45] Amy knows you don’t want to hear anymore about running and moves on

[12:11] Why going outside is good for you

[16:55] What is a “nature prescription” and how it looks to give one to a patient

[19:31] What Suzanne thinks about dosage and Amy’s 20 minutes

[23:15] An uncanny mindmeld situation where no one copies each other but still has the exact same idea

[26:52] Does what you do outside matter?

[36:00] The importance of nearby nature

[38:11] 3 ways to improve your health with nature starting right now

[43:40] Suzanne’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[45:10] Suzanne’s favorite outdoor moment

It’s finally nice outside, but you’re still just as busy as ever inside. If you’re anything like Amy, you’ve noticed that you are getting nowhere near the amount of outdoor time you wish you could. So how do you make sure your summer doesn’t fly away without you even noticing? In this Outdoor Diary episode Amy shares her best tips for making the most of summer.

[:26] Staying intentional in the summer

[2:40] Make a summer checklist

[3:27] Pull out that calendar!

[3:56] A tool to keep you on track

[4:48] How to keep up with Humans Outside this summer

One of the best things about U.S. national and state parks is how accessible they are to every kind of user. Kids to Parks Day, organized by the National Parks Trust, looks to encourage families and kids into parks nationwide.

Chris Rief has made a project of taking his young daughter into the National Park units to do the Jr. Ranger program and collect the Jr. Ranger park cancellation stamps. In this episode Chris talks to us about what he’s learned about taking his own kid into the parks, how to make the most of the Jr. Ranger program and mistakes he’s made along the way.

[2:21] Chris Rief ’s favorite outdoor space

[3:32] How Chris became someone who likes to go outside

[6:31] How Chris became interested in the National Parks

[8:10] What is Park Geek?

[9:19] How many parks Chris has visited with and without his daughter

[14:30] Teaching his daughter to love the parks

[24:17] All about the Jr. Park stamps and Jr. Park Ranger program

[36:00] Biggest mistakes of visiting parks with kids

[39:40] How to do Jr. Ranger books and programs without driving yourself crazy

[44:21] Tips for making the most of parks with your kids

[46:26] Chris’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[48:50] Chris’s favorite outdoor moment

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