There are just certain outdoor things that drive me absolutely bonkers. They make my nerves feel like tattered edges, especially if they’ve been going on for awhile.

And that’s a problem, because I am committed to getting outside every single day, no matter what. … and that “no matter what” includes stuff I don’t like, and even stuff I hate.

So what do I do when this happens? I take these three steps.

Listen now.


[:35] I’m betting you have some outdoor thing you hate. Don’t be a hero about this.

[1:01] Here are some really good examples

[1:55] And here’s the thing I hate, thank you.

[2:04] I need you to hang on while I get this off my chest.

[4:06] Obviously, it’s not going to keep me inside

[4:34] Which means I have to take a few steps to move through it

[6:54] Here’s a fun fact about Amy in March

When I heard the saws, I should’ve known it was not a good thing, not just a trail crew clearing wood downed on the trail.

I never guessed the loss those sounds were bringing. And when I saw it, I stood in disbelief.

I guess that’s the risk brought by loving something. When it’s taken away, a piece of you feels gone, too.

Listen now.

[:35] Man-made destruction without warning

[1:45] I assumed it wasn’t major. Boy was I wrong.

[2:55] Only Treebeard has the words for this

[3:45] These trees were my friends

[4:50] It feels like a heavy loss

[5:12] My bad for trusting anyone on the internet

[6:22] But I do think this is a universal experience

Planning a visit to one of the many national parks or federally protected lands? You’ll be in good company. Visiting these spaces is more popular than ever before.

So how do you make sure the company isn’t too good? How do you avoid the crowded spots, still get to have that bucket list trip and make the most of the journey?

Matt and Karen Smith are national park travel experts because they’ve been there, done that, and share their journey in their podcast “Dear Bob and Sue” and books of the same title. Their show is packed with practical, clear advice on visiting the parks, and in this episode of Humans Outside they bring that help here.

In this episode hear:

  • The biggest mistakes national park visitors make
  • The wonderful parks experience you might be missing
  • The best way to avoid big crowds

Listen now!

[3:01] Matt and Karen’s favorite outdoor spaces

[6:38] How they got into visiting national parks

[11:30] What is it about the national parks that we love so much?

[13:26] How the heck can you afford that?

[16:46] Biggest national parks mistakes they see

[21:31] Their favorite parks

[25:41] How to avoid seeing too many people

[32:33] Where you really should go

[34:23] Their best tips for making the most of any national park trips

[40:00] Matt and Karen’s favorite outdoor memory

What would happen if you spent a handful of hours attempting to do every available outdoor activity in a certain area?

That’s the question I asked before a Do All The Things day I just did with a friend. We loaded up our cars with outfit changes, equipment and nowhere near enough snacks, and headed into Hatcher Pass for a packed five hours of outdoor fun.

Here’s what happened.

[:35] The siren song of a challenge, even it’s just one day

[1:09] Can we even do all the things?!

[2:16] A tiny edit, and then we set forth

[2:26] (Don’t get me started on my people and these ski passes)

[2:52] Here starts the activity check-check-check

[5:17] A few takeaways from attempting to do all of the things

The thing I like most about podcasting? It’s the connections (Outdoor Diary)

With four years of running this podcast behind me, I’ve been thinking about what I have learned from this journey and the many, many guests I’ve interviewed.

Inspiration. Thought-provoking lessons. A change in perspective. All of my interviews and outdoor hours have left a mark on me.

But this year, those are not my favorite takeaways. Instead? It’s all about connections like the ones I talk about in this episode of my Outdoor Diary.

Listen now!

[:35] Four years = a lot of takeaways

[1:33] But my favorite thing right now? Connections

[1:35] And here’s a bunch of my favorite examples, near and far

[3:15] My other favorite connections? It’s you, of course.