Out Alive from BACKPACKER artwork

Out Alive from BACKPACKER

33 episodes - English - Latest episode: 3 months ago - ★★★★★ - 675 ratings

Raging rivers, hungry bears, huge avalanches—no matter how prepared you are, a walk in the woods can go from innocent to disastrous in the blink of an eye. Out Alive is a podcast series about real people who survived the unsurvivable. Each survivor takes you through what happened, from the packing mistakes to the missed signals to the plain bad luck, while experts and witnesses weigh in on how things went wrong.

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Episodes

The Thai Cave Rescue

July 13, 2022 12:00 - 55 minutes

For more than two weeks in 2018, the entire world was gripped by nonstop news coverage of the effort to rescue 12 boys and their coach from deep inside Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Northern Thailand where they were trapped by rising flood water. In this special episode of Out Alive, we'll hear in-depth from two of the most influential divers from this unprecedented rescue, and how their pursuit of an unusual and dangerous hobby made them some of the only people anywhere who would have a chance...

A Rabid Animal Attacked

July 06, 2022 10:00 - 28 minutes

We've learned a lot since we first started Out Alive, and the lessons have surprised us. Certainly, we've been indoctrinated to always tell someone where we're going and when to expect us, and as editors of Backpacker, we know all about the ten essentials. But the lesson we keep coming back to is that sharing--storytelling--is healing. Dr. Alison Roy is a licensed clinical psychologist and trauma expert--she knows a thing or two about long-term mental recovery from a professional standpoint. ...

Finding Life on the Edge of Death

June 29, 2022 10:00 - 41 minutes

To a lone hiker, the woods teem with threats. There are wild animals, of course, and exposure to the elements. There are the looming risks of dehydration, starvation, and the terror that comes with the fall of darkness. But for some, worse than the fear of the woods themselves are the ruthless fabrications of one's own mind, especially in stressful situations. Inner demons can be as powerful as a stroke of lightning or a sudden blizzard. In this story, we explore what happens when the biggest...

Miracle on Mt. Hood Part 2

June 22, 2022 12:00 - 38 minutes

Part 2: In every story we tell on this show, there is an element of the miraculous, someone who defies the odds and lives through a seemingly impossible situation in the wild, but we don't all see miracles the same way. For some, a miracle is falling off a cliff and being lucky enough to get caught by the branches of a welcoming tree. Or, running from a raging forest fire when, just in time, a rainstorm saves the day. But for others, miracles, aren't about luck or random natural occurrences. ...

Miracle on Mt. Hood Part 1

June 15, 2022 12:00 - 33 minutes

In every story we tell on this show, there is an element of the miraculous, someone who defies the odds and lives through a seemingly impossible situation in the wild, but we don't all see miracles the same way. For some, a miracle is falling off a cliff and being lucky enough to get caught by the branches of a welcoming tree. Or, running from a raging forest fire when, just in time, a rainstorm saves the day. But for others, miracles, aren't about luck or random natural occurrences. They are...

Their Plane Went Down in the Sea

June 09, 2022 12:00 - 38 minutes

Sydnie Uetmoto and David McMahon were young pilots in Hawaii making their way through advanced levels of flight training when they got a call to crew a short flight together in a four-seater plane. But what should have been a routine route between two islands turned into every aviator’s worst nightmare. This season of Out Alive is brought to you by Stillhouse, the official spirit of adventure. Stillhouse makes award-winning bourbon, vodka, and whiskeys that come in unbreakable 100% stainless...

Alone and Injured in the Wild

June 16, 2021 12:00 - 41 minutes

There’s a special kind of appeal to a solo adventure—being out on your own, away from everything and everyone. Unless, of course, something goes wrong and you find yourself in serious trouble. In this gripping story by our friends at The Outside Podcast, we hear from Claire Nelson, who was seeking peace and solitude in the desert but ended up badly injured, all alone, and unable to call for help. To survive, she would have to hold on to the hope that eventually someone would find her.

A Snowy Second Chance

June 09, 2021 12:00 - 29 minutes

This show is all about near-death experiences, and the lessons we hope to learn from those who made it Out Alive. Each of the stories we tell is incredible in its own right, but now and again we hear a tale of someone who seemed to survive something approaching miraculous, and we can’t help but marvel at their luck in the direst of circumstances. And it seems like these are the experiences that are so transformative that you wonder if they were actually in the wrong place at the right time.  ...

Broken & Alone

May 26, 2021 12:00 - 27 minutes

Many hikers and backpackers search out areas off the beaten path. There’s something alluring about visiting a trail or lake or summit that few other humans get to see. We covet peace and solitude, and we thrill at the idea of having a campsite, swimming hole, or waterfall all to ourselves. But tranquility comes at a price. Secluded beauty tends to be safeguarded by challenging terrain. And when things go wrong, it’s hard to tell the difference between solitude and desolation. 

From Desert Paradise to Death Trap

May 12, 2021 12:00 - 25 minutes

At the crux of every survival story is a pivotal decision point. The choices we make when the stakes are high can mean the difference between salvation and struggle, misery and hope, life and death. When it comes to dire situations in the backcountry, the options can be imperfect and the time in which to weigh them is often short. In today's episode, we witnessed the fast decision-making of three separate survivors, all at the heart of one historic and catastrophic flash flood on the Havasupa...

We Fell Down the Mountain

May 05, 2021 12:00 - 28 minutes

Many survival stories include an element of helplessness. When you're far from civilization hurt, unable to move. There's little, you can do to keep yourself alive. It's helplessness that sets in when things get really, really bad, but there's another feeling, however, dim that keeps you going: hope. Though you may be unable to help yourself in the face of extreme danger there's comfort in knowing that someone out there may be looking for you. That comfort, that hope can be what allows you to...

Arctic Nightmare: Mauled by a Polar Bear

April 28, 2021 12:00 - 22 minutes

Polar bears, the grand beasts of the arctic, are one of the most fearsome predators on earth. Healthy males can weigh half a ton, stand eight feet tall on their hind legs and possess enough power to get all that mass moving at 25 miles per hour. Few sites in nature will inspire the sense of panic and doom as seeing a polar bear loping across the ice headed your way. They are aggression sheathed in fur, spiked with two inch claws and armed with teeth designed to catch and hold slippery prey. A...

SAR's Secret Weapon: An Ultra-Running Volunteer

April 21, 2021 12:00 - 22 minutes

When Jeremy Humphrey set out to find a missing hiker in July of 2020, he didn't have any training or fancy rescue gear. But he had something else, legs that could carry him for miles and miles in a day, an intimate knowledge of his local mountain range and a voice inside him telling him that he was the right man for the job.

The Mountains Called, I Shouldn't Have Listened

April 14, 2021 12:00 - 23 minutes

If you listen to this podcast you can probably relate to a sense of being pulled by the mountains. A feeling that John Muir put memorably when he wrote the mountains are calling and I must go." We answer the call for our own sense of adventure or to recharge our connection to nature. But some of us are called to higher, harder pursuits. These mountaineers head high with safety equipment skill, and experience. Essential equipment on the glaciated peaks of crampon country, close call country. B...

At the Heart of the Matter

April 07, 2021 12:00 - 27 minutes

Months after receiving a pacemaker, mother-of-five Stephanie Ingram was celebrating her newfound health with a solo trek of Washington's Wonderland Trail. But no matter your fitness, Mother Nature can take as much as she gives.

Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail Part 2

April 27, 2020 22:12 - 29 minutes

When there's trouble on the trail, who are you supposed to call? In this week's episode, we examine the missed chances that led to the unthinkable one spring evening on the Appalachian Trail.

Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail

April 20, 2020 10:00 - 21 minutes

To be a hiker is to accept a certain amount of risk. And yet the freedom to expose ourselves to that danger is part of the draw, but, as our next story shows, you never know what – or who – is coming down the trail. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail Part 1

April 20, 2020 10:00 - 21 minutes

To be a hiker is to accept a certain amount of risk. And yet the freedom to expose ourselves to that danger is part of the draw, but, as our next story shows, you never know what – or who – is coming down the trail.

Mystery on the Mountain

April 06, 2020 21:57 - 27 minutes

In October of 2010 search and rescue volunteer Pam Bales happened across an unconscious man while on a solo hike up New Hampshire's Mt. Washington. As the weather became life-threatening, Bales struggled to help the man to safety, all the while wondering what led him up the peak in the first place.

Buried in a Rockslide

January 27, 2020 11:00 - 27 minutes

Blue skies in Grand Teton National Park turn gray when a group of hikers are caught in a powerful rockslide.

Stranded on Mt. Rainier

January 21, 2020 01:08 - 28 minutes

Yev Krasnitskiy and his three climber partners find themselves stranded without supplies while a storm prevents rescuers from reaching them.

The Twenty-Ninth Day

December 23, 2019 11:00 - 37 minutes

On a 600 mile canoe trip, Alex Messenger encounters a grizzly while hiking alone on the Canadian tundra.

Injured on an Ice Ledge

December 16, 2019 11:00 - 30 minutes

In 1999, Malcolm Daly fell 200 feet while climbing a remote Alaskan peak. He spent the next two nights stranded and alone on an ice ledge.

Trapped in Quicksand

December 09, 2019 11:00 - 31 minutes

Ryan Osmun, 35, took a wrong step while hiking in Zion National Park in February, and became trapped in quicksand.

The Science of Survival

July 15, 2019 11:00 - 34 minutes

In our season finale, hear from experts to learn what's happening inside your brain during a survival scenario, what you can do to beat the odds, and how a former BACKPACKER editor nearly succumbed to the greatest threat out there—ourselves. 

Disaster on Mt. Rainier Part 2

July 08, 2019 10:00 - 31 minutes

Stacy Liedle and her team continue to fight for their lives on the Emmons Glacier. With a storm fast approaching, the SAR team rushes to get everyone down safely—and then, tragedy strikes. 

Disaster on Mt. Rainier Part 1

July 01, 2019 10:00 - 29 minutes

For Stacy Liedle and her team, reaching the summit of Washington's Mt. Rainier was the accomplishment of a lifetime. But a fall while descending the Emmons Glacier leaves the four climbers severely injured and in need of a rescue—before a winter storm strands them on the mountain. 

Alone with a Compound Fracture

June 03, 2019 10:00 - 31 minutes

Gregg Hein spent 6 days in Kings Canyon National Park alone after suffering a brutal open leg fracture.

Bit by a Rattlesnake

May 27, 2019 10:00 - 28 minutes

An afternoon hike very nearly turned deadly when Scott Vuncannon was bit by a rattlesnake in the North Carolina backcountry without cell reception. 

Mauled by a Grizzly

May 20, 2019 10:00 - 26 minutes

Todd Orr was out for a morning hike in Madison Valley near Ennis, Montana when he encountered a sow grizzly and her cubs. 

Stranded on a Ledge

May 13, 2019 12:00 - 28 minutes

Alone and distraught, a canyoneer fights to survive.

Buried In An Avalanche

May 06, 2019 15:33 - 29 minutes

Pro skier Amie Engerbretson is buried in an avalanche just outside Alta Ski Area in Utah, and has to rely on her companions to rescue her.

BACKPACKER Out Alive Trailer

May 01, 2019 14:00 - 44 seconds