Nicole Spitzack’s journey to the outdoors hasn’t been all fun and adventure. While her passion for world travel really has led her to some incredible places, it’s been the journey to heal from the sudden death of her father and sister that has taught her to seek solace in the everyday moments.

In this incredibly raw interview, Nicole, a fitness model, nutrition coach, CrossFit trainer, mom and Army spouse talks about finding connection and health in the outdoors. Hear her tips for getting outside and staying on track!

[1:40] Nicole’s favorite outdoor space
[2:23] How Nicole got into fitness
[4:52] How many countries has Nicole visited?
[6:28] Does fueling well make you more active?
[6:57] Nicole’s favorite place to visit
[8:38] Why the mountains have her heart
[10:43] Tips for nutrition on an adventure
[15:43] Why nutrition matters for everything
[17:30] Are there any secrets to success?
[20:38] Why Nicole has been spending more time outside
[26:23] How CrossFitters feel about running
[32:50] Why Nicole is focused on women
[37:27] How to find Nicole
[38:20] Nicole’s favorite outdoor gear
[39:16] Nicole’s most essential outdoor gear
[39:54] Nicole’s favorite outdoor moment

Erin Kirkland’s work as an Alaska travel wizard is centered not on outsides, but on Alaskans themselves. But she doesn’t stop there. She’s got an extra focus on the state’s future stewards: kids. As the founder and author of AK On the Go, she’s also worked on guide books focused on traveling the state with kids.

In this episode Erin weighs in on how playing outside makes us better as people and families, plus advice on traveling the state for residents and visitors.

[1:15] Erin’s favorite outdoor space
[2:33] Erin’s Alaska story
[3:44] Erin’s Alaska challenges
[4:46] Can you take toddlers outside in -10 degrees?
[7:41] How Erin fell into family friend travel writing
[10:05] How outdoor work fuels Erin
[11:12] How does the outdoors improve family relationships?
[16:09] Erin’s favorite Alaska State Parks
[18:00] Do people make going outside too complicated?
[21:10] What Erin tells families about visiting Alaska
[22:55] What is the best way to visit Alaska?
[23:55] What is the biggest mistake when visiting Alaska?
[27:14] What’s the best way to do Alaska with kids?
[29:15] Erin’s most essential outdoor gear
[29:55] Erin’s favorite outdoor gear
[31:25] Erin’s favorite outdoor moment

Spending time outdoors can help us heal, but what if we could use it to help others heal, too?

Elizabeth Carr has used the outdoors to help her heal from her own trauma. She also works with Back on My Feet, an organization that uses running to help the homeless, well, get back on their feet. Elizabeth tells us all about her personal journey to running and how it clears her head.

We also hear about her claim to fame: she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records…but not for running.

[1:40] Elizabeth’s favorite outdoor space
[3:02] Why her favorite spaces are important
[5:14] How Elizabeth ended up working at Runner’s World
[8:40] Elizabeth’s work at Back on My Feet
[11:28] Why Back on My Feet is so fun
[12:28] Where Back on My Feet operates
[16:10] How running can help the homeless community
[21:02] How running helps people overcome hard stuff
[25:58] Is balancing an outside job and outside recreation hard?
[29:45] How being outside helped Elizabeth move through her trauma
[34:02] Elizabeth’s world record
[35:22] What that’s like
[39:10] Elizabeth’s most essential outdoor gear
[39:33] Elizabeth’s favorite outdoor gear
[41:55] Elizabeth’s favorite outdoor memory

Read about Back on My Feet

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It’s no secret that spending time outside can help people process traumatic experiences. But about literally walking off a war? And what about doing it with your husband or wife?

Wella and Justin Jay, Army veterans who now call Alaska home, did exactly that in 2017 with the help of the organization Warrior Expeditions. In today’s episode the couple reflects on how journeying through the wilderness not only helped them work through the experiences of service overseas, but also brought them closer as a couple and back to “normal” society.

[1:22] Wella and Justin’s favorite outdoor space
[2:02] Why Justin decided to go on a long walk
[3:22] Why Wella decided to go with him
[5:05] About Warrior Expeditions
[8:15] How being outside helped them be with people
[9:40] Does spending time outside make you more social?<br>
[10:42] Why leave Alaska to go outside?
[12:06] What is it like to hike the Appalachian Trail?
[15:41] How Justin learned the hard way
[17:12] What were the right things to bring?<br>
[20:13] Is hiking as a couple risky for your relationship?
[21:30] Tips for keeping couple sanity on the trail
[26:00] Did shared experiences help their relationship?
[26:50] Why someone should hike the Appalachian Trail
[31:35] What’s next for Justin and Wella<br>
[32:40] Their most essential outdoor gear
[33:33] Most surprising moment in nature
[39:30] Most unexpected moment on the trail
[41:05] Best outdoor moment ever

One moment she was riding high off taking gold in nordic skiing at the olympics, a first for the U.S., and the next she was receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

But Kikkan Randall doesn’t take life’s challenges lying down. Not only did she fight cancer, she did so while staying active, proving that spending time outside and moving your body isn’t just possible no matter what, it’s necessary.

Kikkan joined us on The Humans Outside Podcast to talk nature therapy, kid raising, fighting cancer, body image and even a sneak peak on what’s next for her.

[1:23] Kikkan’s favorite outdoor space
[3:18] Kikkan’s cancer story
[4:14] Does having cancer bring a sense of betrayal?
[5:35] Finding peace with cancer
[6:44] Importance of staying active
[9:26] The value of being active outside daily
[12:33] The importance of sports to women
[14:50] The value of healthy habits
[17:45] The value of trying new things
[22:45] What it’s like to marathon train on a cruise ship track
[24:25] Kikkan’s outdoor story
[27:30] How to avoid burnout as an athlete
[32:28] What’s next for Kikkan
[35:23] Kikkan’s favorite outdoor gear
[35:50] Kikkan’s most essential outdoor gear
[38:27] Kikkan’s favorite outdoor moment