We all tell ourselves stories about ourselves. Sometimes they’re true, sometimes they’re not. Whatever the case may be, don’t let any story stand in the way of you doing something you want. Listen to Amy unpack this concept in this installment of her outdoor diary.

[:27] The unintentional theme of Season 4

[1:17] Outside is for everyone—even you!

[2:05] The stories Amy tells herself

[4:12] Tell yourself stories, but make sure they’re true

[5:10] Where to find Humans Outside

I know what you’re thinking. “What is a ‘pee cloth?’” And, maybe, “do I want to know?” And possibly also “gross.”

If you’ve ever been a woman trying to pee outside you know that the struggle is real and the solutions are sparse. Your options for good hygiene while taking care of business are limited to: a drip-shake dry method, which is ineffective at best; packing out dirty toilet paper, which is not great for obvious reasons; or using some kind of fabric that you plan to wash later. (And if you’re a dude who is thinking “what about those female urination devices like a ‘She-wee?’” — great idea for solving the squatting issue, but it doesn’t actually impact this hygiene conundrum at all.)

So what’s a girl to do? That’s exactly the problem Anastasia Allison was trying to solve when she got the idea for Kula Kloth. Instead of using an ugly piece of fabric, why not create and produce a product for women that can make using the outdoors not just more sanitary, but at the same time also create community and be fun.

In this episode Anastasia shares her infectious joy, personal story of getting close to nature — including the time she literally stole toilet paper during her first-ever backpacking trip — and a window into how she is working through her small brand to make heading outside more accessible for everyone.

[2:50] Anastasia Allison’s favorite outdoor space

[5:00] How Anastasia became someone who likes to go outside

[9:35] How a change of identity changes your perspective

[14:55] How Kula was born

[20:30] The danger of over-thinking

[27:55] What exactly is a Kula Kloth?

[34:35] What has running Kula taught her about inclusivity?

[40:00] Why Kula is a small step for inclusivity

[44:31] That time she stole toilet paper — like, literally stole it.

[53:49] Anastasia’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[56:45] Anastasia’s favorite outdoor moment

Is there ever a time that keeping a habit with intentionality and focus is simply easy? Amy hit 1,500 days outside this month, and she noticed that the answer is, well, not really.

But there’s a reason for that — a solution. In this episode of the weekly Outdoor Diary, Amy talks about what it takes to keep a focused habit going.

[:25] One might think…

[1:09] Disruptions and habits

[2:23] Going outside with intentionality

[3:10] This week’s hike

[4:22] Stay accountable with Humans Outside

There’s something about getting hooked on nature that can help you move past the things that are stealing or numbing your ability to experience life. For the sober or sober-curious, heading outside can offer the fresh perspective and push needed to find freedom from reliance on substances or habits that distract from living fully.

That’s the subject Emily Holland explores in her own podcast, Nature Untold. In this episode of Humans Outside, Emily shares with us the lessons she’s learned about heading outside for sobriety from her guests and through her own journey. She offers a window into how our listeners can use the outdoors that way, too.

[2:31] Emily Holland’s favorite outdoor space

[4:52] How Emily became someone who likes to go outside

[9:40] Why she got sober

[14:08] What COVID had to do with it

[22:19] What is “sobriety” anyway?

[29:18] What sobriety has to do with going outside

[33:09] Is sobriety especially important for people who want to be close to nature?

[36:16] What’s the most powerful sobriety tool from nature?

[38:42] How to use nature for sobriety

[49:02] Emily’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[51:47] Emily’s favorite outdoor moment

When things outside are absolutely miserable and you’re in the thick of it, what do you do? Do you stick it out? Is it worth it? Why even bother?

In this episode Amy talks about a recent miserable outside experience and why she’s been thinking about being uncomfortable outside, why being uncomfortable is OK and why it’s worth it.

[:27] Unexpectedly uncomfortable

[2:20] Amy’s interview with Michael Easter

[3:58] The benefits of discomfort

[5:20] Preparing yourself for discomfort

[5:45] Where to find Humans Outside

When the boredom first set in as he sat in the middle of nowhere for more than 30 days during a caribou hunt on the arctic tundra, Michael Easter looked for a way to entertain himself. He read the labels on his food. He made his Christmas lists. He wrote portions of his book by hand in a small notebook. And when that was done he did, well, nothing.

Looking back on the experience as part of his new book, The Comfort Crises: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self, Michael has since discovered that boredom doesn’t just make you feel crazy or give you a perfect excuse for understanding the contents and labeling on every food package in your bag, it also does something actually useful: it makes you happier.

In this episode Michael discusses the experiences that brought about his book, boredom and what he discovered about happiness and nature along the way.

Warning to those listening with tender ears: there’s some salty language towards the end of this episode.

[2:31] Michael Easter’s favorite outdoor space

[4:47] How Michael became someone who likes to go outside

[7:18] What, exactly, the middle of nowhere in Alaska is like

[10:41] Why being open to stuff matters

[15:47] What it’s like to be out there for 33 days

[18:41] Why do we get bored?

[23:43] What does boredom do to your brain?

[27:47] What’s the intersection of discomfort, boredom and going outside?

[30:37] Why does it make us happier?

[33:05] Why do we shy away from risk and boredom?

[36:19] How do we insert boredom into our lives?

[38:52] How to get bored and stay bored

[44:07] Michael’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[50:37] Michael’s favorite outdoor moment

Been feeling in a bit of a funk recently? Grumpy about summer ending or winter approaching? Even if you love fall, it can be a way too short a bridge to cold weather.

If you’re feeling the feels or have felt them, you’re not alone. In this Outdoor Diary episode Amy talks about dealing with that certain sense of loss that comes with the changing of the seasons.

Some of the good stuff:

[:30] In a funk

[1:16] Unusual weather

[2:06] Sitting in the sadness

[4:10] Embracing the changes

[5:14] Where to find Humans Outside

Making heading into nature a regular habit takes purpose and focus. Add in small children, and you just amped-up the amount of planning you have to do before you can tackle any big adventure. Have differently abled family members who require extra care and consideration? The challenge just got even bigger — and getting outside just became even more worth it.

It’s that juxtaposition that Melody Forsyth, a mom of four, discovered after her daughter, Ruby, was born with Down Syndrome. While the experience of Down can span a broad spectrum, Ruby, now age 5, is nonverbal, uses oxygen overnight and can only hike short distances. Still, it was her birth and learning how to care for her that first pushed Melody and her family into nature to find calm and adventure.

The family now backpacks together with one parent typically carrying Ruby, explores National Parks and other wild spaces and makes an intentional habit of spending time together outside not just in spite of their challenges, but because of them.

It’s that experience of watching Ruby and each other grow and discover their own interests and abilities outside that inspired Melody to start her Instagram feed, DownWithAdventure. There she shares her family’s journey to connect in nature and raise awareness around Down Syndrome.

But chasing big dreams in nature doesn’t come to Melody’s busy family without some really careful planning, factoring in the needs of all of her children and each of their special interests — not just Ruby. In today’s episode Melody gifts us insight into not just how she makes it work, but how you can, too.

[2:13] Melody Forsyth’s favorite outdoor space

[3:18] How Melody learned to head outside

[4:25] All about Ruby

[5:42] What it’s like to adventure with an awesome but heavy daughter

[9:44] What nature means to their family

[12:10] Does nature mean different things to different family members?

[15:00] How it connects them

[20:24] How nature has helped her connect with her kids

[30:02] How do we bring the calm nature gives our families to our inside life?

[33:00] How do we set and chase big outdoor family goals?

[39:27] Melody’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[43:09] Melody’s favorite outdoor moment

We know that being intentional is one of the most important keys to forming and keeping any habit, including outdoor ones. But Amy has a special knack for smashing something good into her box and then taking it way too far. In this episode she explores where she goes wrong, and how to keep that from happening.

[:26] Amy loves rules

[2:10] What is intentionality?

[2:36]Intentionality or rotten rules?

[5:25] Where to find Humans Outside