A new feature-length documentary streaming and airing on PBS nationwide and showing in some theaters is all about mental health and healing from trauma — and it features me and my family and follows our life in Alaska. Want to see it? Here’s how.

[:40] I know it’s wild, but here it goes

[1:00] What the movie is about

[1:30] Some words from the director

[2:40] Why I think you should watch it

[3:14] Here’s what I hope you take away

[4:25] All the ways you can see the film

Sometimes the best way to understand the importance of connecting to your place in the world is through wandering away from it. And when we pair that with spending time in the wild outdoors, we might also learn that things aren’t quite as wild as they seemed from the outside. Maybe what you think of as “wild” others simply consider “home.”

John Messick, author of the new book Compass Lines, is currently grounded in Alaska — but his life hasn’t always looked that way. In this episode he talks about the importance of belonging in relation to the world, how he found that in his travels and how you might be able to find it too. Listen now.

[2:23] John’s favorite outdoor space
[5:15] How he became someone who likes to go outside
[10:02] The idea of wild
[14:03] How does traveling the world impact that idea
[18:27] How many countries has he visited?
[20:23] What was he looking for during his travels?
[21:21] A diversion to “Gathland”
[27:13] Tip for finding a grounding where you are
[30:31] John’s favorite outdoor space

Keeping a daily habit, any habit, comes with a risk that it eventually transforms from something you want to do into something that’s simply a chore. You do it without thinking. It’s so a part of who you are that you may not even remember if you did it or not.

I don’t want my outdoor habit to be a chore. I want it to feel like recess, a concept introduced to me by New York Times best-selling author Gretechn Rubin in her recent guest episode with Humans Outside.

What changes when I think about heading outside as recess instead of a chore? Listen now.


[:35] What might happen when you realize that every day is a lot of days

[1:11] You don’t want this to feel like a chore

[1:37] What I want it to feel like instead

[2:15] What Gretchen Rubin taught me about this in our recent episode

[2:50] Do you remember recess as a kid?

[3:15] What would happen if I made my outdoor time recess

[4:00] Here’s how that looks

[4:45] Two great examples of this

What would you find if you spent your outdoor time focused on experiencing life through your five senses? I don’t mean just soaking in the great outdoors by seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting, but by adding an intentional focus to explore what each of them adds.

That’s a question New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin asks through her new book Life In Five Senses and is actively exploring through her own one-year outdoor challenge that she’s shared with listeners of her Happier With Gretchen Rubin podcast.

In this episode Gretchen sits down to chat with us about all things five senses, outdoor habits, what you find by doing the same thing every day — whether that be going outside of visiting a museum — and how you can use your five senses to make your life even happier. Listen now.

[3:05] Gretchen Rubin’s favorite outdoor space

[4:10] How Gretchen became someone who likes to go outside

[6:35] The problem of things taking effort

[8:47] Why Gretchen started her Life in 5 Senses project

[11:33] Does she still go to this place every day?

[11:38] How that practice is like a sit spot

[14:40] The freedom (and challenge) of doing something every day

[18:28] Gretchen’s favorite sense and how her experiment impacted it

[19:41] What do we lose when we ignore our senses?

[22:27] All about Gretchen’s daily outdoor project

[24:15] The difference between a chore and recess outside

[27:00] Why the freedom to choose your own rules is important (and hard)

[30:13] The inspiration for Gretchen’s project

[33:17] How her five sense are influencing her outdoor project

[36:19] Personal habits that make her outdoor time better

[40:21] Gretchen’s favorite outdoor moment

Is it possible to lean into preservation and conservation while also spending a ton of time outside? And if you want to be earth-friendly while also being an avid earth-user, how can you balance a desire to leave no trace while still getting out there?

In this episode of the Humans Outside Outdoor Diary, I talk about a few simple steps I take to be earth-friendly while still using nature daily. And they’re steps you can take, too. Listen now.

[:45] How do you balance use and not making it look like you use it?

[1:25] A change in my thinking

[2:27] “Outdoor minimalism”

[2:45] A few basic “leave no trace” ideas

[3:30] What “reduce, reuse, recycle” has to do with it

[3:55] The art of reusing in the outdoor industry world

[4:35] A few tips for reusing that are wallet and earth-friendly

[5:20] I will now talk about a pee cloth