“The definition of kidnapping is moving someone from one point to another point against their will, and that’s exactly what had happened to us,” says Ben Stookesberry. “But, to me, the most noteworthy part of the day was that, for the first time in the entire trip, we were actually all working together as a team and we were all spending an entire day together.”

Ben and Chris are the expedition kayakers. The two of them have what is perhaps the longest running, most successful partnership not just in kayaking, but in the world of outdoor adventure. They’ve been at this together for over a decade now.

And, yet, in April of 2017, the two boaters wound up on an expedition on which the interpersonal dynamics grew so strained that being held hostage by an armed rebel group in the remote Amazon didn’t necessarily seem like the worst thing that could have happened.

We’ve broken today’s episode into two parts. Today, for Part I, we’ll follow Ben and Chris down a stretch of Colombia’s remote Apaporis River. In Part II, we’ll get into the history of this epic partnership, what went so wrong, and what happens moving forward.

Direct download: The_Elephant_in_the_Boat_-_Part_I.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:20am PDT

Today, we bring you the first episode of Duct Tape Then Beer's new show, "Safety Third." Big wall climber and former wingsuit flyer Chris McNamara believes risky outdoor pursuits are essential. But, what happens when something vital has the potential to kill you? You find different ways to take risks. 

Direct download: SafetyThird_Channel_Risk_Into_Reward.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm PDT

“In the early stages of my pregnancy, I was intrigued and ready for the changes that would take place,” says Chelsey Magness. “As an athlete, I expected body image and performance challenges. I expected exhaustion. I expected attachment issues to my newborn twins. I never expected what was actually to come.”

Chelsey and her husband Jason have built unique lives as professional adventure racers and partner acrobatics and slacklining instructors--among other things. When unimaginable tragedy struck their family, they came up with a unique way to move through their grief.

Find more of Chelsey’s writing about Max and Spirit at EnduranceMama.com, or take a workshop with Chelsey and Jason.

Direct download: Spirit_B.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

More fun than a powder day. Riskier than leaping from a mountain. Weirder than a week on the playa. Paddy O'Connell and Elizabeth 'Rage Kitty' Nakano take you on a wild traverse of the ideas that define the outdoor community and the stories behind them. No topic is taboo.

Welcome to Safety Third-- Ideas forged from adventure. Subscribe on iTunes. 

Direct download: Mission_Sorta_Possible_SafetyThird.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT

There are a lot of serious problems in this world, but the solutions don’t always have to be serious. Fly-fisherman and trail-runner Andrew Todd channeled his concern for Colorado’s native trout and the watersheds that support them into the creation of a joyful, irreverent, event: The Flyathlon.

The rules:

Run 10-miles

  1. Catch a fish
  2. Don’t be a jack-donkey
  3. No fish in your Camelbak that you brought from somewhere else.

Today, we join producer Cordelia Zars--and a group of Flyathletes--on Gunnison, Colorado’s Lake Fork River.

Learn more and register for a Flyathlon at flyathlon.com or check out Andrew’s non-profit at runningrivers.org

Direct download: Flyathlon.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Chronic depression and the deaths of a few close friends launched Tyler Dunning on a mission to visit all of the National Parks--to get his head and his heart straight.

He figured out how to support himself by writing for outdoor publications and coordinated logistics to make his way to 53 parks over the course of 8-years. Tyler was on a mission. Until, part way through his project, he lost interest.

“A pang of fear overtook me,” says Tyler, “I’d built an identity around this. I’d turned my outdoor hobby into a makeshift job and into a social expectation. But what happens when the thing you are most known for amongst your cohort—National Park exploration—is no longer rewarding?”


You can find more of Tyler’s work at: tylerdunning.com, or watch his short film about his journey to all the National Parks.

Direct download: The_Amazement_Meter.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30pm PDT

"I was working this corporate job, and, every day, I looked out the window and thought, 'Man, those mountains are so beautiful, I wish I was out there'," remembers Perry Cohen. 

Growing up, Perry was an outdoorsy kid--hiking and cross-country skiing in rural New Hampshire. He was thrilled when, as a teenager, he got to sign up for an Outward Bound course. But the experience left him disappointed. For the first time, he didn't click with the group.

Perry reconnected strongly to the outdoors in his late thirties, as he transitioned from female to male. Being outside helped Perry have an appreciation for a body that he had felt alienated from. Looking out that window, he realized that he wanted to help other transgender folks get outside. 

"I thought there must be some queer outdoor organization leading trips that I could go work for, but I didn't find one. So, I got despondent for about twenty-four hours, and then I thought to myself, 'I've led a corporate HR department, I understand how to run a business, maybe I should just start one'. And so I did."


Learn more at ventureoutproject.com

Direct download: Venture_Out.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:42pm PDT

“I’m learning how to listen to that subconscious voice of caution,” says Carmen Kuntz. “Where I used to feed on the feeling of adrenaline and risk, I now have to avoid risk completely. After a mild traumatic brain injury it’s simple: I’m not allowed to hit my head ever again.”

When an overexcited friend tackled Carmen at a bar and thwacked her head hard a wooden deck pillar, Carmen had just started to break into the world of competitive, freestyle whitewater kayaking. That moment changed everything. Rather than pointing her kayak into Class V whitewater, for the past four years, Carmen has had to confront a different kind of challenge: the balance between the risk of re-injuring her head and the risk of losing who she is.


You can find more of Carmen’s writing at her website: CarmeneKuntz.com

Direct download: Unlearning_Adventure_Sports.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02am PDT

"For me, it was a way to stay connected--literally: tied to my free-range daughter by a length of 10-millimeter climbing rope, and connected to my own dream of being an adventurer," says David Altschul. "And that was how I found myself, a few days later, on a ledge, high above the Columbia River, in the dark."

For the past decade, David has told the story of the infamous "Escape from Beacon Rock"--a failed attempt to climb a basalt monolith with his daughter, our producer, Jen. At age 72, it dawned on him that, rather than continue to tell the story of the failed climb, he could connect with his daughter by actually climbing Beacon Rock, and doing it this time as a 'real' climber. 

Direct download: Escape_From_Beacon_Rock.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

"Here I was, a professional wilderness instructor with no food or water, a sopping wet tent and wetter sleeping bag, no way to banish the chills or signal that I needed help," says Emma Walker. "For the first time in my career, I began to think I might need a rescue."

Emma's husband Bix has also worked for years as an outdoor guide and educator. So, when the two of them set out on an overnight backpacking trip to a beach on Hawaii's big island, they were unconcerned--maybe a little too unconcerned.


You can find more of Emma's writing at myalaskanodyssey.com or listen to her other two Shorts, "I Poo: A Love Story" and "Exit Strategy"

Direct download: Aloha_Life.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57am PDT

"The notion that there's one dream that we're all after and agreed upon ways in which you can verify that you are indeed living that dream drives me crazy," says Forest McBrian. "Everyone's dream is a little bit different. If there is a dream that we all lust after, then we're all just trying to do what's pushed by the media. So, yeah, this trip felt like an act of rebellion. Like, 'This is what we think is cool. We're going to do what we think is cool'."

In May of 2017, Forest and his friend and fellow ski-guide Trevor Kostanich spent a month traversing the North Cascades from Snoqualmie Pass to the Canadian Border (well, almost) in a style that broke all the rules of an epic mountain expedition--in the best way possible. 

Direct download: The_Punk_Rockers_of_Ski_Mountaineering.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

"It's like being caught in a spiderweb. You'll find yourself pushing with every part of your body, and no part of your body will be able to move. You're totally trapped by--held by plants," says Elsa Sebastian, describing what it's like to bushwhack through a 25-year old clear cut in Southeast Alaska. It's something the lady fisherman did a lot of this past summer in an effort to defend the remaining old growth on her home island, Prince of Wales. 

In January of 2017, Alaska Representative Don Young introduced a bill that would transfer up to two million acres of the Tongass National Forest to the State of Alaska for timber harvest. Much of that land would come from Prince of Wales. 

For the fourth installment of our Endangered Spaces series, we travel with Elsa and her companions, botanical illustrator Mara Menahan and biologist Natalie Dawson, as they trek through the areas on the island selected for transfer to see for themselves what's been lost and what remains to be saved. 


Learn more about the project at laststands.org

Find Mara's illustrations at maramenahan.com

Direct download: Prince_of_Wales.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30pm PDT

"I think the jack of all trades gets a bum rap. The jack is the master of none, but I think the jack probably has a lot of fun," says Fitz Cahall. 

This year, we open our annual Year of Big Ideas with an ode to "mediocrity" from Fitz, then turn, as always, to our community for inspiration for the coming year. Happy 2018! 

Direct download: The_Year_of_Big_Ideas_2018.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:40pm PDT

"I've watched my friends and peers hopscotch across the world," says Fitz Cahall. "Some of them have reached the top of their craft, authored ridiculous lines up mountains, followed rivers into wrinkles of the deepest canyons, found the edge of human endurance.

"If I look back on the last ten years, I'm often surprised that I didn't end up on their trajectory. Something inside, quiet and steady, called me in a different direction--one that I struggled against, at first." 

How you grow varies for each person, and it can differ depending on your stage of life. Some people reach upward and outward; others root down. 


Please consider a donation to the Bears Ears Education Center Kickstarter.

Direct download: Growing_Down.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

"My dad started whistling. That was the first bad sign," Cordelia Zars remembers. "Then walking around the cabin and straightening things. The second. When he tromped up the ladder, rummaged around in the loft, and hollered down at me, 'Oh say, Cord...'? I knew it was over. some ridiculous idea had sprouted in his brain; negotiation was futile, all hope of rationality lost." 

In this particular instance, the idea involved strapping on cross country skis and dragging a ninety pound keyboard ten miles through the snow on a nine degree Colorado evening.

Now, Cordelia reflects on how much these hair-brained excursion--postholes, shivers, sweat, tears and all--shaped the people her and her siblings became, and left hem with a deep sense for what they're capable of. 


Find Cordelia's music here.


Donate to our Bears Ears Education Center Kickstarter Campaign here!

Direct download: Zarsian_Adventures.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT