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

You know that intentionality is the foundation of keeping any habit, challenging or not. But maybe we’re overthinking this whole thing. What if there was a way to not only make and keep the outdoor, nature-focused habit you want to create, but also give better focus to your entire day? And what if it was only a matter of setting aside 10 minutes?

That’s the theory that drives the work of today’s guest, Christina Dunbar. Her program, Intentional Ten, works with clients (and a focus on busy moms) to give them the framework to drive focus and success all day long. And guess what? Heading outside is a vital part of that.

In this episode Christina walks us through the simple but powerful Intentional Ten framework while handing us tools for making, keeping or reenergizing a daily nature habit.

[3:37] Christina Dunbar’s favorite outdoor space

[4:33] How Christina became a person who goes outside

[10:38] Is there a moment where things changed?

[15:35] What is the Intentional 10 method?

[22:49] Why 10 minutes?

[27:01] What are the reasons people struggle to make this happen?

[29:06] Specific steps for creating a habit

[35:36] What role does nature play?

[40:33] How to create daily mindfulness

[45:04] Christina’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[47:29] Christna’s favorite outdoor moment

Amy is a sucker for a new challenge, but this is one worth doing. Between now and September 2022 she’s going to do 52 hikes as part of the 52 Hike Challenge. Why? Listen to this Outdoor Diary episode to find out.

[:28] A sucker for a challenge

[1:00] Karla Amador

[2:13] Amy’s newest challenge

[3:00] Join us—from anywhere!

When Amy started her daily outdoor habit in 2017 she had no idea there was a whole world of others already tackling an outdoor effort of their own, formed around a different idea known as the 52 Hike Challenge. Through that program participants pledge to complete 52 hikes over a year.

The things its co-founder, Karla Amador, has learned over both her own journey of hiking and by helping people around the world participate in the challenge are about more than just hiking 52 times. They are also perfect for anyone looking to build and keep a new and challenging outdoor habit like the daily one we focus on at Humans Outside.

In this episode of Humans Outside Karla shares what she’s learned about outdoor habits by helping people complete their 52 Hikes, her own journey to spending time in nature and the insight and health it has given her.

[2:23] Karla Amador’s favorite outdoor place

[4:18] How Karla became a person who likes to go outside

[6:09] Nature as a healing tool

[7:12] How the 52 Hike Challenge was born

[13:41] What derails hikers from their goals

[18:21] Advice for building the habit

[25:16] Habit pitfalls

[31:20] The healing gift of being out in nature

[32:55] How to avoid those habit pitfalls

[37:46] How to get involved in 52 Hikes

[43:23] Karla’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[44:35] Karla’s favorite outdoor moment

It’s been four years since Amy started her daily outdoor habit. In this episode of her weekly outdoor diary, Amy reflects on how keeping that habit has not just influenced her, but impacted the people around — her friends, family and even you.

[:28] How it all began

[1:40] The impact of four years outside

[2:16] Heading outside as a spouse

[2:59] Spending time outside as a parent

[4:08] How heading outside impacts those around us

When Amy first started her outdoor challenge it wasn’t to inspire anyone but herself to make getting into nature a daily habit. It wasn’t even because she had found heading outside to be so transformative she had to do it every day. Originally, the 20 minute daily challenge was born of a question: how would her life change if she went outside for a certain amount of time every day for a year?

The experiment started September 1, 2017. And there at the beginning was Amy’s friend Holly Wise, helping her develop the concept just as she had for all of Amy’s big ideas since 2004.

Today, four years after starting her experiment hundreds and hundreds of hours outside as part of her daily practice Amy and Holly discuss what Amy has learned over the course of her habit — and what you can learn, too.

[2:42] Amy’s favorite outdoor space

[4:37] A question no one is asking

[5:47] What Amy has learned over the last four years

[9:02] Was this a surprise?

[12:00] The importance of incremental changes

[16:24] How doing hard things outside helps with life inside

[20:45] How she gets herself to do hard things

[31:49] The stories we tell ourselves and why they matter

[37:49] The going outside pep talks

[49:02] Amy’s relationship with nature

[51:28] Amy’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[55:51] Amy’s favorite outdoor moment

Even in summer in Alaska it can be hard to make yourself do things outside when inside life is calling or the outside isn’t exactly what you want it to be. So how do you get yourself out there?

In this episode of Humans Outside’s Outdoor Diary Amy talks through three situations she recently faced where she didn’t want to go outside, and thinks through what it takes to get out anyway.

[:28] Deciding to make an effort

[2:43] The Lost Lake Race

[4:43] Worth it

[6:11] How do you take risks?

[7:14] Awareness