The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.
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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Sat, May 28, 2011
This is a long overdue update. I appreciate the many e-mail and phone messages I've received asking me about the future of our work.
As producer and host, I'm still seeking the resources to re-launch regular production of The WildeBeat as a long-form show. I continue to post bits of news about wilderness policy and recreation issues on Twitter @WildeGeek and on FaceBook as The WildeBeat Podcast. We will continue to keep our three years of archives and 163 shows online.
For the full update, See more.
Fri, Nov 07, 2008
Steve made an announcement in an audio porogram yesterday about a change to our show schedule and format. You can download a PDF file of our press release, or read the text of it below.
Wed, Aug 27, 2008
The WildeBeat and BackpackGearTest (BGT) are redefining and strengthening our relationship in order to provide you more impartial gear reviews. This new relationship gives BGT more editorial control over our gear review editions.
Until now, the WildeBeat selected topics and BGT reviews for each gear review edition, grouping reviews of similar products. In future gear review editions, we'll present reviews of an assortment of products selected by BGT's moderators. The moderators will base these choices on the quality of the reviewers' testing and reporting, not necessarily on the qualities of the product.
Since the the WildeBeat was launched in 2005, gear reviews have been an important category of our programs. Steve wanted to provide listeners with impartial reviews. Independent from sponsors and advertisers, BGT could provide that impartiality, and could also benefit from the exposure the WildeBeat provides. So an understanding was arrived at that allowed Steve to regularly interview BGT testers. Steve's goal was to provide a wide range of opinions on a wide range of products.
BGT was created by Utah hiker Jerry Goller. Goller, according to About BackpackGearTest, "saw a need for impartial reviews in a world where most people got their information from publications that accepted money from the same manufacturers whose gear they were testing." He started a Yahoo group of hikers and backpackers willing to test and review gear. After successfully recruiting skilled reviewers and diverse manufacturers interested in receiving independent feedback about their products, the independent Web site, BackpackGearTest.org, was launched in August of 2002.
We plan to present the first of our new gear review editions at the end of September, with two shows each season. The new shows will typically feature fewer products that will be reviewed in more detail.
If you want to contribute gear reviews to the WildeBeat, you can do so by joining BGT. BGT is looking for qualified testers. To get qualified, you start out by writing reviews of gear you already own. After that, you could be offered free gear to review. Read: how to become a tester to find out more.
Tue, Jun 24, 2008
We'd like to welcome Kate Taylor to the WildeBeat project as our new Assistant Producer. In addition to producing entire editions by herself, she'll also help Steve and Jean research and edit other stories in progress.
You can look forward to hearing Kate's voice and creative work in future editions of the show.
Sat, Jun 14, 2008
Chelsea Griffie wrote to tell us about an outing she's leading for the Balanced Rock Foundation. Chelsea is the program director for Bay Area Wilderness Training. Chelsea appeared in our editions 91 and 92, Bay Area Wilderness Training, part 1 and part 2.
Announcing our Women of Color backpacking trip from the evening of July 16 through July 20. If you are a woman of color, please join us! This trip is a super fun way to recharge your batteries.
Official information for this trip, as well as the registration form is on the Backpack Trips page of the Balanced Rock Foundation.
Tue, May 06, 2008
Wilderness.net is a reference web site maintained as a partnership project of the Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation, the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute.
Wilderness.net has chosen to feature the WildeBeat on their main page. We thank them.
Mon, May 05, 2008
If you're a user of Facebook and a fan of the WildeBeat, you can become our fan on Facebook.
Just go to the WildeBeat page on Facebook and click on become a fan.
Fri, Apr 04, 2008
We're delighted to welcome Alpine Aire Foods as new sponsors. They are supporting the WildeBeat by providing a Three Day Gourmet Instant Meal Kit as a thank you gift to new WildeBeat members. This kit retails for $55.70.
If you join as a full member ($48/yr.), or above, we'll thank you by sending you a coupon for one of these kits. The kits include: All American Roast Beef Hash, Beef Rotini, Mountain Chili, Pasta Roma, Peanut Butter and Cracker Lunch, Spaghetti Marinara with Mushrooms, Alpine Minestrone Soup, Strawberry Honey Granola with Milk, Apple Almond Crisp, and Chicken & Almond Salad w/Crackers.
Not only that, but you'll get all the other regular benefits of being a WildeBeat member: Access to discussions and premium content on our WildeBeat Insiders Web pages, a subscription to the the award-winning Earth Island Journal, and most importantly, the feeling of having helped others explore and appreciate our wild public lands.
Now you have one less excuse for not getting into the wilderness. We've got your meals taken care of!
Fri, Mar 28, 2008
Have you ever travelled to a wilderness trailhead using a major commercial airline? If so, what difficulties did you have taking your gear? Did you have to leave anything behind at a security checkpoint? When you claimed your checked bag, did you find that your gear was searched-through and it's contents disturbed?
We'd like to hear your comments for possible use in next week's show. Please call-in your stories to our toll-free (in the U.S.) comment line: 1-866-590-7373
Mon, Mar 10, 2008
In response to our two-part program, Scared Indoors, we saw quite a bit of lively discussion in various forums online...
Wed, Feb 27, 2008
In last week's program, Scared Indoors, part 1, We asked for your examples of scary or reassuring mainstream media stories about wilderness travel. A couple of people wrote in...
Fri, Feb 15, 2008
A factual correction (and I should have mentioned it as it was posted the day we did the interview) is that we have extended the comment period to March 20, 2008. That will make the comment period a total of 150 days, hardly a "stealth tactic".
You can read the official notice of the extension of the comment period here: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period
We'd also like to clarify that it wasn't our intent to assert that the Forest Service was trying to implement these rule changes without public scrutiny. Rather, our comment in the story describing the proposed rule changes as a semi-secret document was meant to be a comment on the relative lack of mainstream media coverage this issue has attracted.
Wilderness Press has just provided us another book to offer you as a thank you for supporting the WildeBeat: Outdoor Navigation with GPS by Stephen Hinch
We interviewed Stephen Hinch for our recent edition number 124 of February 7th, 2008.
Wed, Jan 30, 2008
We're offering discount coupons to WildeBeat members, but these deals expire soon (between February 4th and March 15th, 2008). These coupons allow you to order outdoor gear online at dealer cost or below. We have a limited number of coupons for products by Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Helly Hansen, Suunto, Zeal, Ogio, Mammut, and Kayland.
Fri, Nov 23, 2007
This week's program, Desert Roadless Traveled, prompted a thoughtful comment from a listener, and a response from Kurt, our guest reporter who contributed the story.
Wed, Nov 21, 2007
The discussion ranges from calls for drastic changes in park management, to expressions of satisfaction with the status quo.
We encourage you to provide us audio comments about our shows. Just pick up your phone and record your thoughts by calling our toll-free comment line at 866-590-7373. We'll post any comments you provide on our companion podcast, Vox WildeBeat.
Tue, Nov 06, 2007
iGearList is free classified ad directory web site focused on outdoor gear. You can buy, sell, or trade used outdoor gear and equipment by placing an ad in their listings.
iGearList also offers a gateway to a number of online retailers of new gear. Between now and the end of February, iGearList will donate 100% of their referral commissions from new gear sales to the WildeBeat.
Just browse to their new gear page, and click on any of the retailer banners or buttons, or use any trip planner you see on iGearList, and buy what you need.
The proceeds go to support the WildeBeat's educational mission to help more people to discover our wild public lands.
Fri, Sep 28, 2007
Among the ways in which Yosemite Ranger Laurel Boyers has been an inspiration to people, she's the role model for the protagonist in a series of spy novels. This week's edition of our show is a tribute to Ranger Boyers.
We're delighted to welcome Wilderness Press Books as new supporters. They are sponsoring editions of the WildeBeat by providing promotional copies of their books for us to give to WildeBeat members as thank you gifts.
If you join as a full member ($48/yr.), or above, we'll thank you by sending you a copy of one of these books:
Higher levels of supporting membership will get you more of these books. A $250 donation will net you all five! Our quantities are limited, so if you want one title in particular, join soon.
Tue, Aug 21, 2007
In this week's edition number 99, Andy Mytys of BackpackGearTest.org described the SPOT Satellite Messenger as a potentially cost-effective alternative to the Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) that Doug Ritter of the Equipped to Survive Foundation recommended in our edition numbers 78 & 79, titled Counting Up Essentials.
The SPOT Satellite Messenger, as well as a conventional PLB, are devices that are designed to summon search and rescue services in life-threatening situations. They're proven to be more reliable in remote locations where more conventional communication techniques might be ineffective.
Andy's preliminary impressions of the product, before actually having one to test, is that it promises to provide more user-friendly features than a PLB, for less than a quarter of the price. While it's too soon to tell whether this claim is true, or too good to be true, Doug Ritter has published a more thorough analysis of this product.
If you want to know more, you can read Doug Ritter's article, First Look, SPOT Satellite Messenger.