As a certified forest therapist, Michelle Abbey knows the personal benefits of heading outside. She’s even shared them with us during Humans Outside Season One. But getting into nature isn’t just something she recommends for clients — it’s also a tool she and her husband Derek Abbey use for bettering their marriage.

In this episode of Humans Outside Michelle and Derek reveal not only why spending time has been an incredible marriage tool, but how others can leverage nature for both themselves and their relationships.

[1:49] Derek Abbey’s favorite outdoor space

[3:18] Derek and Michelle’s National Parks challenge

[4:13] A reminder about forest therapy

[5:56] Derek’s outdoor story

[7:57] Michelle’s outdoor story

[12:02] Outdoor appreciation vs. connection

[13:06] The value of getting outside your comfort zone

[16:05] Is three a crowd outside?

[19:02] How the outdoors has benefited their relationship

[28:01] An epic couples adventure

[33:04] How to get past hard stuff outside together

[41:00] How to compromise outside

[47:32] Creating ‘sacred spaces’ outside

[50:19] Derek’s favorite outdoor gear

[52:52] Derek’s favorite outdoor moment

Need a little motivation to get out there and follow your own plans and goals? It’s “mission accomplished” time for Amy’s modified, one-mile-per-day marathon, and has some thoughts on goal hitting and never, ever letting someone else tell you what your goals should look like.

Hear all about the importance of relative goals and following your own path, plus a few recommendations for some fantastic warm jackets on this week’s Humans Outside Outdoor Diary.

[:30] Amy’s latest goal

[1:08] Amy’s Marine Corps Marathon experiences

[1:40] Challenge is relative

[2:26] A different kind of finish

[4:00] This week’s Outdoor Hero

Toby Israel calls herself a “vagabondess.” Her book of the same title, part personal exploration, part practical guide for female travelers, gives readers are a window into what it’s like to wander the world happy and free.

In this episode of Humans Outside Toby gives us a window into that experience, and offers some practical tips for making full time travel happen for yourself that any one — man or woman — can use. Someday we will operate in a post-pandemic world. For now, prepare for that reality by hearing Toby’s great advice.

[1:15] Toby Israel’s favorite outdoor space

[4:33] About Toby’s book

[6:40] Why a female-specific travel focus matters

[11:33] How spending time outside has changed her travel experience

[17:14] Using travel to connect with intuition

[25:00] The practicalities of a travel-focused lifestyle

[31:00] How to be a vagabond

[35:40] How to afford a travel lifestyle

[42:45] How to know when it’s time to stop and stay put

[44:19] Toby’s favorite outdoor gear

[45:09] Toby’s most essential outdoor gear

[46:02] Toby’s favorite outdoor moment

Alaska Day is the perfect to contemplate what we love about living in Alaska. When it happens to correspond with the first snowfall of the year? Well, how could we not talk about Alaska Day — and even sing for you. 

Enjoy this episode of the Outdoor Diary and the only time you’ll probably ever hear Amy do this.

[:45] What is Alaska Day?

[1:05] How the Bushatz family wound up in Alaska

[2:47] Why Amy is still in Alaska

[3:22] This week’s Outdoor Hero

[4:21] Alaska’s official song

Few careers are as demanding and all encompassing as military service. Your time, where you live, where you’ll be tomorrow and how long you’ll be there are not your own. So how do you prioritize an outdoor-adventure focused life around those things?

The lessons Kathy Beasley learned about that effort over her career in the U.S. Navy and a dedication to staying active have guided her to incredible heights — literally — and aren’t only applicable for those who work for Uncle Sam. Listen to this episode with Kathy Beasley for insight into not only how to build outdoor adventures into regular life, but how to keep them a priority for a lifetime.

[1:29] Kathy’s happy place

[3:23] The city vs. the parks 

[4:17] Kathy’s Navy story 

[8:55] Kathy’s outdoor story

[11:46] Katyh’s trip to Patagonia

[12:15] How to decide where you want to travel

[14:18] How to balance outdoor goals with career demands

[20:22] What it’s like going to Everest base camp

[21:40] Why Kathy decided to tackle the 7 Peaks

[22:18] Why doing things no matter your age is important

[23:33] How to stay healthy

[25:10] Kathy’s advice for picking activities

[29:38] How to make adventure a priority 

[33:22] Kathy’s favorite gear

[34:50] Kathy’s most essential outdoor gear

[37:15] Kathy favorite outdoor moment

Bio Bio Expeditions 

Kathy’s favorite gear: Gortex wind pants and a headlamp (links to ones we like)

Kathy’s most essential outdoor gear: knife and a Patagonia gear bag

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Listen as Amy Bushatz explains why she calls being in a funk “floor time” and how she recovers.

[:37] Amy’s two emotional states

[1:00] What is floor time?

[1:50] How to put a stop to floor time

[3:06] How Amy got outside this week

[4:06] Outdoor Hero

If all you know of attorney and entrepreneur Rachel Brenke is her online presence, you might be tricked into thinking she literally does it all. Her boutique law firm specializes in supporting small businesses nationwide with their brands, providing legal resources for digital entrepreneurs, photographers and gym owners. But she’s also a mom, spouse, runner, ironman and thyroid cancer survivor. 

But behind the magic is a finely tuned system of hard work, maximizing what she spends her time on — and hitting the outdoors to help the whole thing work. In this episode Rachel talks about how the outdoors helps her make it happen, how she fits it in with her multiple jobs and hobbies and tips for others looking to balance it all.

[2:28] Rachel Brenke’s favorite outdoor space

[3:33] Is Rachel a human or a robot?

[4:49] How Rachel got to apparently doing everything

[9:03] Does she have it all together?

[12:12] Rachel’s outdoor story

[17:04] The murder of her dog, Archer

[18:52] How the outdoors helped with her trauma 

[22:37] Fitting nature in with running a small business

[26:54] Balancing the schedule

[35:46] The problem of multitasking 

[37:31] Rachel’s favorite outdoor gear

[38:33] Rachel’s most essential outdoor gear

[41:52] Rachel’s favorite outdoor moment

Learn more about Rachel Brenke

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Eden Law

The Lawtog 


Rachel Brenke, Team USA Triathlon 

Rachel’s favorite gear: a great visor
Rachel’s most essential gear: Garmin running watch

As promised, we have received names for our new camper van based on our your suggestions — and picked a winner. But before we go there, we have to talk about Amy’s new challenge. 

That’s right, not despite having surgery but rather because of that, Amy needs a new challenge. But what is “challenge?” And how does a challenge differ person to person? And how does doing something with purpose impact it?

[:52] The Marine Corps Marathon

[2:12] Amy’s new goal

[3:10] What is a challenge?

[4:22] The new van name

[5:20] This week’s Outdoor Hero

After a suicide attempt almost took her life and left her with a tracheotomy, Carol Seppilu ultimately made the choice to pursue mental health through ultra trail running. If you think running 100 miles sounds hard, imagine how hard it must be when breathing is a challenge under even non-running circumstances.

But Carol is relentless in her pursuit of doing great things. Listen to her share her journey and why staying in touch with her Indigenous Alaskan culture is an important part of that on this episode of the Humans Outside podcast.

[2:15] Carol’s favorite outdoor space

[4:19] About Nome Alaska

[6:54] Carol’s story of suicide and healing

[11:16] Why Carol got into running

[16:28] Carol’s advice for mental health

[20:45] The importance of being outside and movement to Indigenous culture

[28:00] What it’s like to run 100 miles in Alaska

[32:20] Why deciding matters

[39:42] Carol’s favorite outdoor gear

[41:10] Carol’s most essential outdoor gear

[41:54] Carol’s favorite outdoor moment.