The WildeBeat

The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.



The WildeBeat
Wilderness newsBeat

The outdoor recreation and adventure radio show and podcast about backcountry news and activities, like camping, backpacking, skiing, and snowshoeing. MORE...



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The WildeBeat is a public benefit project of the Earth Island Institute, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.



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The directories, review sites, or other podcasters listed below have recognized The WildeBeat for its quality of content and production.

As featured in an interview on the main page of Feeds

As featured in the June/July 2006 issue of the magazine
[Plenty Magazine]

[Podcast Bunker - 5 stars]


Thu, Feb 01, 2007

Reprise: Staying On Top of the Snow

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Avalanche photo by Brad White, courtesy of] This skills program is a reprise of our February 2nd, 2006 introduction to avalanche safety.

Gary Bard, an avalanche safety instructor for Mountain Adventure Seminars, talks about easy ways to stay out of avalanches, and describes a rescue. Brandon Schwartz of the Sierra Avalanche Center talks about avalanche forecasting and the Snow Condition Report. Tom Murphy, of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), talks about avalanche safety education.

There's a lot of additonal information about avalanche-related organizations, and avalanche safety, under the To find out more... link, below.

Mon, Jan 29, 2007

Vox WildeBeat for January 29, 2007

Posted at 17:00 /vox [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

In this week's edition of The WildeBeat, number seventy three, we presented a fourteen month old interview with Nina Roberts, Ph.D., of San Francisco State University. After listening to the show, she called to update her answers to a couple of Steve's questions, based on more timely information.

Thu, Jan 25, 2007

Race in the Backcountry

Posted at 09:00 /shows/wild_places [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Doctor Nina Roberts]This wild places program asks why ethnic minorities are even more in the minority in wilderness recreation areas.

Steve interviewed Nina Roberts, Ph.D., in November 2005. Dr. Roberts is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. An expert on the demographics of National Park visitation, she previously worked for the National Park Service as an education and outreach specialist.

The National Park Service has this web page on diversity issues and resources that Dr. Roberts originally developed while working with the NPS. She also conducted a major study of diversity issues in Rocky Mountain National Park, published in 2004.

Update: (1/29/2007) Listen to Vox WildeBeat number 11 for some updated information provided by Dr. Roberts.

Thu, Jan 18, 2007

History of Backcountry Skiing

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Backcountry Skiing] This skills program is a look at the evolution and history of the sport of backcountry ski touring in California.

Howard Weamer, who also appeared in edition #69: Indoor Snow Camping, has been the keeper or master of the backcountry ski hut at Ostrander Lake in Yosemite National Park for 33 years. Over that time, and in his formative years before, Howard saw tremendous changes in the sport of backcountry skiing. Howard talks about some of those changes, and his experiences in the early days of backcountry skiing in California.

Thu, Jan 04, 2007

Two Week Break

Posted at 11:40 /blog/news [link [Bookmark Link]]

Happy New Year! And thanks to all our listeners for your interest and support in 2006.

In case you missed the announcement in our edition #71, we're taking a two week break from production of The WildeBeat. Our next show will be published on January 18th.

Until then, if you're relatively new to the show, we encourage you to look back through our archives. In a year and a half and 71 shows, there are hours of our programs and bonus content you might not have heard.

Before we return, we'll have an announcement about the future of The WildeBeat, and our plans to keep bringing you more and more informative programs.

Thu, Dec 28, 2006

Year in Gear '06

Posted at 09:00 /shows/gear [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Backpack Gear Test] This gear program is a wrap-up of Backpack Gear Tests's reviews of 2006. Steve asked the volunteer editors and moderators from Backpack Gear Test to pick their favorites; three replied: Ray Estrella1, Rick Allnutt2, and Jim Sabiston3. Out of more than a thousand reviews published on BGT this year, they recommended these:

  1. Nunatak Skaha Plus Down Sweater1
  2. Nunatak Back Country Blanket1
  3. Kershaw Rainbow Leek Knife2
  4. SureFire L1 LumaMax Flashlight3
  5. Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove System2
  6. Suunto Vector Wristop Computer Watch3
  7. Six Moon Designs Essence Pack2
  8. Exped Wall Creeper Sleeping Bag3

Backpack Gear Test has more gear to review than reviewers. You can start out by reviewing gear you already own, and then you might be able to get other free gear to review. Read: How to become a tester.

Tue, Dec 26, 2006

Bonus material for Park Pass Pique

Posted at 15:45 /blog/wild_places [link [Bookmark Link]]

Scott Silver of Wild Wilderness has done considerable research on the origins of usage fees on federal recreation lands. In particular, he has evidence which supports a theory that the new America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Interagency Recreation Pass (ATB pass) has been the goal of some political groups for more than 20 years. We discussed this pass in our most recent edition, #70, titled Park Pass Pique.

Below is a bonus segment of our interview with Scott, which gives his view on the history of the ATB pass, fees for public recreation lands in general, and his vision of how these lands should be managed. Scott argues that the intent behind the ATB pass may not be to improve our wilderness experiences.

Thu, Dec 21, 2006

Park Pass Pique

Posted at 09:00 /shows/wild_places [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[2007 America The Beautiful Pass?]This wild places program investigates the new America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Interagency Recreation Pass. Is this new public lands pass a sneaky price hike, or a great new bargain?

Steve visits Muir Woods National Monument and buys a new National Parks Pass. He tells the rest of the story with the help of:

The America The Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Interagency Recreation Pass will be available at most federal fee areas, including national parks, after January 1st, 2007. In the remaining week or so, the original National Park Pass with the Golden Eagle sticker, or the Golden Eagle Pass, looks like a pretty good deal.

Tue, Dec 19, 2006

Digg the WildeBeat?

Posted at 15:45 /blog/recognition [link [Bookmark Link]]

No, this isn't a rhetorical question in Hippie or Beatnick speak. The technology-oriented social networking and bookmarking site,, now has a podcast directory. If you digg The WildeBeat, and are a registered member of their site, you can help others discover us by clicking on the "Digg it!" link on our Digg page.

Thu, Dec 14, 2006

Indoor Snow Camping

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Sieera Club's Bradley Hut] This skills program presents a way to try snow-camping without actually sleeping on the snow, but rather in a rustic backcountry ski hut.

Steve starts out at a volunteer maintenance work-party at the Sierra Club's Bradley Hut in the Tahoe National Forest. We hear from Dick Simpson, the volunteer coordinator for the four huts in the Sierra Club's system.

Steve then talks to Howard Weamer, the Hut Master of the Ostrander Lake Hut in Yosemite National Park. He wraps up by talking to Ben Dodge, the Executive Director of the Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association in Colorado. Ben mentions Vance's Cabin as being a typical hut in the system.

Mon, Dec 11, 2006

National Park Pass Price Increase

Posted at 13:30 /blog/wild_places [link [Bookmark Link]]

If you expect to visit a national park more than twice in the coming year, you may want to buy a National Park Pass before the end of this month. The cost of an annual pass, which has been $50 for the past few years, will go up to $80 with the introduction of a new kind recreation pass called the America The Beautiful pass. The new pass will also be available for free if you're willing to volunteer 500 hours of labor valued at $0.16 per hour.

We'd love to hear your comments on this new pass. Please call our toll-free comment line: 866-590-7373.

Thanks to Kurt at National Parks Traveler, and Scott at Wild Wilderness for tipping us off about this.

Thu, Dec 07, 2006

Light Lofty Jackets

Posted at 09:00 /shows/gear [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Backpack Gear Test] This gear program presents reviews of two lightweight synthetic-insulated jackets. These jackets can serve as lighter, more compressible replacements for the ubiquitous fleece jacket. The reviews are provided by volunteer reviewers from Backpack Gear Test.

Pamela Wyant reviews the Big Sky Products Convertible Sweater. Christine Korhonen reviews the Integral Designs PLQ Jacket.

Backpack Gear Test has more gear to review than reviewers. You can start out by reviewing gear you already own, and then you might be able to get other free gear to review. Read: How to become a tester.

Thu, Nov 30, 2006

Reprise: A Winter Storm Warning

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Winter Storm]This skills program is a reprise of show numbers 15 and 16, first posted on October 20th, 2005. It's the story of backpacker Mike Bargetto and his three relatives, who started out on a casual autumn backpacking trip in October of 2004. The weather was pleasant when they arrived at their Rae Lake camp site, in California's John Muir Wilderness.

Unfortunately, the weather changed drastically, and their only hope was a rescue. The rescue team was lead by Lieutenant Phil Caporale, of the Fresno County Sheriff's Search and Rescue unit. He and Mike tell the story of the rescue from both perspectives.

See the supplemental information link, below, to learn about how you can be better prepared for unexpected mountain storms, and how to stay safe in such conditions. Follow that link, as well, for a bonus audio clip of our interview with Lieutenant Phil Caporale, with his final analysis of Mike and his companion's predicament.

Sat, Nov 25, 2006

Apologies to Mark Eller

Posted at 11:30 /blog/letters [link [Bookmark Link]]

In our original posting of the article and script for edition #66, Wilderness Deals for Wheels, we misspelled the name of IMBA communications director Mark Eller as Mark Ehler. We corrected this in our published transcript and in the article.

Unfortunately, we were unable to correct the pronunciation in our program from AY-LER to EL-ER. Sorry about that, Mark!

Fri, Nov 24, 2006

Wilderness Deals for Wheels

Posted at 20:30 /shows/wild_places [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[No Bikes in Wilderness] This wild places program investigates the relationship of the popular sport of mountain bicycling to wilderness preservation. What do these groups want when they lobby for the protection of wild places?

Steve tells the story with the help of:

A recent point of contention between wilderness groups and mountain bicycling groups was over the establishment of the King Range Wilderness. This wilderness was established in October, 2006, as part of the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act.

The bonus material linked below includes additional interview clips about responsible mountain bike riding in the backcountry. Steve talks to Tom Ward, the California Policy director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and Ben Lawhon, the education director of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Thu, Nov 16, 2006

Steve Appears on the One Minute Howto

Posted at 20:00 /blog/recognition [link [Bookmark Link]]

George Smyth produces a podcast called One Minute Howto. Twice each week, he challenges someone to explain how to do something within one minute.

Steve appears in show number 77, How to Bear Bag.

Steve Interviewed on Podcast Alley

Posted at 19:45 /blog/recognition [link [Bookmark Link]]

Podcast Alley is a large and popular directory site which lists tens of thousands of podcasts.

About two months ago, Steve was interviewed for a future cover story on Podcast Alley. That interview was just posted last night.

Read it HERE.

Backcountry Home Cooking

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Vegetarian Spaghetti]This skills program illustrates how easy it is to prepare your own home-cooked meals in the backcountry. Though the commercially-packaged foods are very convenient, you could save money and get exactly what you like by making your own.

Steve demonstrates how to make one of his favorite pre-packaged dried meals, a vegetarian spaghetti. We also hear from:

See the supplemental information link, below, for the text of that recipe, and links to sources of dried ingredients. If you're looking for more recipes, Backpack Gear Test reviewed backcountry cookbooks in our edition number 9, Backpacking Cookbook Reviews.

Tue, Nov 14, 2006

NEW: Listen to The WildeBeat by Phone

Posted at 11:00 /blog/news [link [Bookmark Link]]

In case you can't, or would rather not listen to audio on your computer, and you don't have an MP3 player to download The WildeBeat into, there's now another option: You can now listen to the latest edition of The WildeBeat by phone.

Call: (818) 688-2747 (in the U.S.)

This free service (except for the cost of a phone call to the Los Angeles area) is provided by

Thu, Nov 09, 2006

Fast Food for the Backcountry

Posted at 09:00 /shows/skills [link [Bookmark Link]]
Listen now:

[Backcountry Kitchen] This skills program is a look at the dehydrated food options for backcountry travelers. What goes into making these things? Are they real food? Are they good food and good for you?

Steve talks to three manufacturers of dehydrated meals:

Mary Howley Ryan, the nutritional advisor for NOLS wraps up the story with her take on the value of fast food for backcountry travelers.

Other dehydrated food manufacturers include (in alphabetical order):

Many of these companies use the freeze drying process to preserve their foods. It's a rather complicated, energy-intensive process requiring expensive equipment. Other manufacturers use a more simple heat and dehumidified-air dehydrating process.


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