One of the most common predicaments facing the adventurous CC student is that of not being able to get outside. Whatever the reason—crappy weather, lack of transportation, or copious amounts of classwork— this situation can easily turn into an extremely aggravating cycle of trying to read, looking out the window at Pikes, thinking of the vast expanse of mountains in Colorado, and yet not being able to satisfy the itch to get out there.
In that case, there’s only one way to turn: to the vast world of outdoor media. It may not equate to the thing itself, but reading, listening to, or watching stories about the outdoors will leave you inspired, stoked and reminded of why you love the outdoors (though, be warned: this may be detrimental to your academic life). Here are some of the best websites, blogs, and video series to look out for:
This online magazine is the jackpot of all things adventure, complete with what is in my opinion one of the best taglines/ mottos imaginable: “The deeper you get, the deeper you get.” AJ was founded in 2008 by Steve Casmiro, and includes pieces on everything from climbing to backpacking to skiing to mountain biking to outdoor lifestyle, and beyond.
It features humorous essays, personal narratives, polls, and in-depth journalism on environmental issues and outdoor controversies. Think of AJ as an Outside Magazine without the macho culture and excessive gym/ fitness tips—plus it’s free and available whenever you like.
This is the blog of one my favorite outdoor writers, Brendan Leonard. According to the about section, “Semi-Rad is enthusiasm for things regular folks can do, adventures for the everyman and woman. It’s a web site for those of us crushing it, kind of.”
The web site, true to its creed, is not another glossy feature on the latest trend or the biggest names in the outdoor world: it’s about real issues for the average person who loves the outdoors, and Leonard’s writing is the perfect blend of humor, vision and sentimentality, adding up to something you can actually relate to. Must-read pieces include: “11 Ways to Make that Chairlift Ride Awkward,” “The Dawn Wall and the Idea of Wasting Time,” and “Pooping in the Outdoors: A Flowchart.”
This mecca of “inspired climbing stories” is an excellent source for stoke about the climbing world (they even have a column called “The Daily Stoke”). In addition to articles about relevant climbing issues (i.e., “Why the Dawn Wall Broke the Internet”), one of this website’s best features is “The Day I Sent,” a collection of vivid narratives of specific climbs written by everyone from the Average Joe to Chris Sharma.
If you don’t climb, this is the website will make you want to learn, and if you already climb, it will make you want to pack up your gear and drive to the nearest crag no matter time of day or season.
A production of Duct Tape Then Beer, The Dirtbag Diaries are a collection of podcasts about the life of adventure, from the people that live it. Perfect to listen to while exercising or driving, these stories will both inform and inspire.