If you’ve been contemplating an outdoor habit, you may have fallen into a trap Amy constantly finds herself in: thinking you have to go all in. So what’s the real deal? In this episode of Amy’s Outdoor Diary, she talks about her own “all in” habit and how it keeps her from trying new things.

[:45] What does “all in” mean to Amy?

[1:25] What all in looks like in Amy’s life

[2:00] Why thinking about going all in might stop you from trying

[2:15] The dangers of this mindset for Amy

[2:41] Lessons from a recent interview

[4:20] Don’t let this thinking keep you from doing this

Editor note: Human error got the best of me, and despite actually discussing with Carl during our interview (before recording) the difference between astrology and astronomy, I proceeded to use the wrong term in the title of this podcast episode and throughout the post and podcast notes. Carl Gawboy is an astrologist. The below has been corrected. Thank you for understanding!

Modern American culture uses Greek mythology to refer to stars and constellations in the night sky. But a rich tradition of Natvie American astronomy and indigenous star stories is out there, too, waiting for us to learn it. Better yet? Native American astronomy and learning star stories can help us chart the seasons and help us enjoy heading outside.

In this episode of Humans Outside Carl Gawboy, a Native American astronomy, Native Skywatchers elder and Ojibwe artist based in Minnesota, guides us through his groundbreaking work in Ojibwe star stories and what they can mean to us today. At almost 80, Carl shares a lifetime of work, study and cultural understanding with us.

[3:32] Carl Gawboy’s favorite outdoor space

[5:55] How Carl became someone who likes to go outside

[7:31] How indigenous star stories because a part of his journey

[16:32] How he discovered the connection of Ojibwe pictographs to star stories

[26:19] What the Hegman Lake pictographs mean

[32:05] The Ojibwe words for what’s in those pictographs

[34:00] What do you indigenous star stories teach us about our world today?

[38:19] How Carl’s artwork and star stories connect to simplicity

[42:29] The role of myth in understanding our world

[45:44] Using star stories to chart the year

[48:57] How to learn more about star stories wherever you are

Bad attitudes and not feeling like doing something are just a part of life. So is facing conditions or circumstances that aren’t fun or pleasant. And when it comes to those things being a part of your outdoor habit? There is a reason you should move into them head-on and do the thing anyway.

Amy’s been thinking about two reasons that’s true as she battles through some of her own bad attitude feelings, and talks about them in this episode of Humans Outside.

[:45] A Spring-ish confession

[1:20] What “over it” means right now

[2:30] Why this is when you need to be out there

[2:50] The muscle you build when you get out there

[3:40] The outside time you’ll absolutely regret

How’s the end of winter going for you? Across the northern hemisphere hints of spring are popping up, with daffodils and flowers pushing through the ground. That’s even true in Alaska, where the longer daylight and temperatures closer to 30 than to 10 are warming things up and offering glimmers of hope, even if they do come between arctic blasts and falling snow. In this Outdoor Diary episode Amy walks through the power of those hints and why it’s important to seize them when it comes.

[:27] Finding moments of hope

[1:36] An almost-missed opportunity

[3:45] A hint of what’s to come

[4:21] Humans Outside Challenge

[5:09] Where to find Humans Outside

“Van life.” Sounds like something fancy for someone else, right? Someone who doesn’t have a job, or commitments, or a family, or stability, or … or… or.


Wrong! Using a camping van or having longterm adventures doesn’t have to just be for other people. It can be something normal people just like you use to get closer to nature near and far.

This week’s guest Kristen Bor knows that’s true because she’s lived all versions of van life as part of her work on her website Bearfoot Theory. On this episode of Humans Outside, Kristen shares with us her best tips for making van life a part of your regular outdoor adventures.

[2:50] Kristen Bor’s favorite outdoor space

[3:20] How Kristen became someone who likes to go outside

[7:05] What does “van life” actually mean?

[8:54] Why people like the idea of van life

[11:14] The security of vans

[12:53] How to make van life a part of normal life

[19:28] Why is van life different from RV life?

[24:01] How to buy a van without spending all of your money

[33:27] Kristen’s best three tips for getting into van life

What happens when you take your date day outside? As Amy knows all too well, it can go horribly wrong or be really great. The difference? Communication. In this Outdoor Diary episode Amy talks about two very different ski dates, and why one worked but the other failed spectacularly.

[:26]: Keeping busy

[1:00]: Who is Amy dating?! (spoiler alert: her husband!)

[2:00]: Dating challenges (like, the outdoor kind)

[4:45]: Sacred spaces

[6:09]: Where to find Humans Outside

If you’ve ever experienced a broken heart, you know how dramatically it can impact all aspects of your life. The ending of a relationship or loss of a loved one can be a traumatic, emotional rollercoaster than can last years. And in the midst of it you’ll likely find yourself wondering exactly how to make the pain stop and when it will stop hurting.

Heartbreak is both the subject and title of a new book by journalist Florence Williams. You might remember Florence from her work on one of her previous books, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative. She joined us to talk about the book in a previous episode of Humans Outside. In her new book Heartbreak (and the immersive audio book) Florence pairs her own experience with the kind of research she’s known for, and in the process lays out a map for using nature to heal from a broken heart.

In this episode Florence talks about her experience healing from heartbreak by heading outside and gives us our own personal how-to on doing so in our lives, too.

[4:33] Florence William’s favorite outdoor space

[5:46] All about Florence’s heartbreak

[7:00] The not entirely secret story of Amy’s heartbreak

[8:53] Why heartbreak becomes a book

[12:58] Why she decided to try a nature cure

[17:01] What she tracked for her project

[23:00] Exactly how to heal heartbreak by going outside

[29:00] Can healing happen close to home?
[32:55] Why this is all actually really simple — but not immediate

[40:05] One surprising thing Florence learned

The Humans Outside podcast hits its two-year anniversary this week. Two years! That’s two years of episodes with outdoor-minded guests who have taught Amy (and you) countless lessons about heading into nature. In this episode hear about why the Humans Outside podcast got started and just some of the things Amy has learned through podcasting for two years.

Imagine this: you live in a city or very urban environment, maybe close enough to a major highway that you can hear it, or far away enough from a space you consider a park to make heading there every day seem impossible. You can’t imagine really enjoying being outside all the time where you live because it’s just so not “nature.”

If that sounds familiar or like it could be you, Claire Dunn is just who you need. Author of “Rewilding the Urban Soul: Searching for the Wild in the City,” Claire is an Australia-based rewilding and urban nature expert who joined us to talk about what it takes to find nature wherever you are.

[2:43] Amy is weird

[3:28] Claire Dunn’s favorite outdoor space

[4:45] How Claire became someone who likes to go outside

[6:55] How Claire got back to the city after her year without matches

[13:28] What does “rewilding” mean?

[19:36] Why humans and nature are the same

[22:02] What is the “tourist test?”
[25:35] Where do you find wild in a city?

[30:14] How the city can draw us to nature

[33:07] What is a “sit spot” and how do you find one?

[38:37] What role does fire have in rewilding?

[40:54] Quick tips for people looking for nature close to home

[47:27] Claire’s favorite outdoor gear

[49:12] Claire’s favorite outdoor moment

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