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343: She’s Using Outdoor Joy to Build Inclusivity and Tackle Veteran Trauma (Vedia Barnett, founder of Black Vets Outdoors)

Humans Outside

Release Date: 11/09/2023

370: The day we did all of the outdoor winter things … sort of (Outdoor Diary) show art 370: The day we did all of the outdoor winter things … sort of (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

partial selection. Check to make sure intra-doc links work. -----> What would happen if you spent a handful of hours attempting to do every available outdoor activity in a certain area? That’s the question I asked before a Do All The Things day I just did with a friend. We loaded up our cars with outfit changes, equipment and nowhere near enough snacks, and headed into Hatcher Pass for a packed five hours of outdoor fun. Here’s what happened. Connect with this episode: Some of the good stuff: [:35] The siren song of a challenge, even it’s just one day [1:09] Can we even do all the...

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369: The thing I like most about podcasting? It’s the connections (Outdoor Diary) show art 369: The thing I like most about podcasting? It’s the connections (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

With four years of running this podcast behind me, I’ve been thinking about what I have learned from this journey and the many, many guests I’ve interviewed. Inspiration. Thought-provoking lessons. A change in perspective. All of my interviews and outdoor hours have left a mark on me. But this year, those are not my favorite takeaways. Instead? It’s all about connections like the ones I talk about in this episode of my Outdoor Diary. Listen now! Connect with this episode: Some of the good stuff: [:35] Four years = a lot of takeaways [1:33] But my favorite thing right now?...

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368 ‘Like Going Outdoors on a Rainy Day:’ The Power of Nature for Moving Grief and Trauma  (Denali Strabel, semi-pro mountain runner) show art 368 ‘Like Going Outdoors on a Rainy Day:’ The Power of Nature for Moving Grief and Trauma (Denali Strabel, semi-pro mountain runner)

Humans Outside

When life comes at you hard -- pain, trauma, injury, loss, grief -- the outdoors is there just waiting for you to use it for healing. You just have to go outside. That’s what Denali Strabel, a semi-professional mountain runner and life-long Alaskan has found as she navigates the wide variety of victories and challenges life has thrown at her. From addiction to the loss of her identical twin sister, Rubye, Denali knows that by keeping the mountains a part of her, she can move through pain. In this episode Denali gifts us a rare window into what it’s like to actively move through grief after...

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367 ‘What do you do if you’re sick?’ I still keep up the outdoor streak (Outdoor Diary) show art 367 ‘What do you do if you’re sick?’ I still keep up the outdoor streak (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

It’s a question I’ve heard several times over my more than 2,300-day outdoor streak: ‘what do you do if you’re sick?’ Since I’ve never missed a day, and I’ve definitely been sick more than once, you can easily guess that I still go outside. And fortunately the benefits I find there -- even though getting out in it takes extra effort -- make it all worth it. Of course they do. In this episode I talk about how (and why) I get outside even when I’m sick and down for the count. Listen now! Connect with this episode: Some of the good stuff: [:35] You can tell when I’m sick --...

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366 Best of: How to Use Nature to Heal from Heartbreak (Florence Williams, author) show art 366 Best of: How to Use Nature to Heal from Heartbreak (Florence Williams, author)

Humans Outside

One of my favorite benefits of spending time outside is how doing so daily has worked to better my relationships, giving me space to grow them in the context of nature. But did you know nature can also help when a relationship ends -- that it can literally be a part of healing heartbreak? In this Best Of episode we hear from best-selling author Florence Williams about her up close and personal study on that topic. You might remember Florence from her work on one of her previous books, . She joined us to talk about the book in a . In her (and the ) Florence pairs her own experience with...

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365: This One is About Our Dog Chloe, the Best Good Girl (Outdoor Diary) show art 365: This One is About Our Dog Chloe, the Best Good Girl (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

It was a sad closing to the week in my house as we said “goodbye” to our dog of 12 years. We brought so much joy to each other. But it was time to let her go. Chloe was there when I first started spending time outside for nature’s sake, so remembering her in an episode seemed like the least I could do to honor her place in our lives and the joy dogs bring so many of us. She was a very good girl. Terrible breath; but such a good girl. This one is for her. Connect with this episode: Some of the good stuff: [:42] It was harder than I thought it would be [1:30] What kind of dog is she?...

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364 ‘Ranger of the Lost Art:’ Chasing Down Art from the U.S. National Parks (Ranger Doug Leen, National park poster expert) show art 364 ‘Ranger of the Lost Art:’ Chasing Down Art from the U.S. National Parks (Ranger Doug Leen, National park poster expert)

Humans Outside

Every now and then you run across something that captures your imagination while giving you a connection to an outdoor experience you loved. That’s exactly how I felt the first time I came across one of the National Park posters designed by amateur parks historian Ranger Doug Leen and his team of artists and creators. The colors, design and connection to the past reminded me of all of the work and drama that went into protecting the lands I had come to love -- and why doing so is important. Many other collectors and park enthusiasts feel just as I do about the prints -- and the mystery and...

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363: How to Find Time for Epic Adventures in Normal, Totally Regular Life (Outdoor Diary) show art 363: How to Find Time for Epic Adventures in Normal, Totally Regular Life (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

Wondering if you really do have time for that epic outdoor adventure in the middle of your otherwise normal life, or not quite sure if you can make it happen? That’s how I felt recently while trying to balance my desire to head out for an ice skating trip to a glacier with having 1 million surely very important things to do. Did I actually have time? Would I be dropping too many balls by going? The answer, of course, was that, yes, I had time. You have time to add some fun to your schedule, too. And in this episode I share some ideas for making it happen. Listen now. Connect with this...

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362: When the Outside Thing Just Doesn’t Feel Right It’s OK to Go Home (Outdoor Diary) show art 362: When the Outside Thing Just Doesn’t Feel Right It’s OK to Go Home (Outdoor Diary)

Humans Outside

How do you handle zero-fun outdoor time? Push through and get the goal anyway before calling it quits? Wrap it up and head back to the car? Beat yourself up about quitting? Know that it’s OK? This week on a mountain adventure with a few friends I found myself having zero fun time. The whole thing just didn’t feel right. And I was big done. So what did I do? Listen now. Connect with this episode: Some of the good stuff: [:46] OK, so I like a challenge [:59] But even I have to draw a line [1:55] So I started trying to work with my nervous system [2:48] But you know what? No. [3:44]...

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361: ‘Everything Started to Feel More Amazing:’ The Startling Joy of Exploring Close to Home (Alastair Humphreys, author and adventurer) show art 361: ‘Everything Started to Feel More Amazing:’ The Startling Joy of Exploring Close to Home (Alastair Humphreys, author and adventurer)

Humans Outside

How well do you know the outdoor areas near your home? I don’t just mean the obvious spots, I mean all of the spaces. And what would happen if you took the time to truly and deeply explore them? That’s something British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys set out to discover as part of a personal project that turned into his new book, Local. Dividing the region into one-kilometer grid squares, Alastair systematically experienced all of the outdoor spaces near his urban home, and in the process became not only more familiar with where he lived, but also grew a deep appreciation for the...

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More Episodes

We know heading outside helps us all sort through the junk of life -- a tough day, actual trauma, relationships, whatever. And veterans know spending time in nature also has special power over the wounds of military service.

For Vedia Barnett, a disabled Black Air Force veteran and founder of the nonprofit organization Black Vets Outdoors, spending time outside has extra power. She’s seen it work to heal the double trauma carried by those who carry both the burden of military service and the weight of racism. In this episode she talks about:

  • Creating a sense of belonging outdoors
  • Why reaching out and supporting Black veterans is important
  • The power of heading outside for everyone

Join us as we explore the transformative impact of nature on veterans, the incredible resilience and camaraderie found within veteran-led groups like Vedia’s -- and how you can make an impact for them, too.

Connect with this episode:

Visit Black Vets Outdoors
Connect with Vedia Barnett on LinkedIn
Join the Humans Outside Challenge
Follow Humans Outside on Instagram
Follow Humans Outside on Facebook

Some of the good stuff:

[3:33] Vedia Barnett’s favorite outdoor space

[4:01] Vedia’s outdoor story

[4:40] About Vedia’s military service

[6:18] Yes, to join the military, she really did have to sign over custody of her son

[9:08] Vedia’s work with veterans

[11:06] How does going outside help veterans?

[14:06] Why a sense of belonging matters outside

[16:44] Do military veterans experience healing outdoors differently from other people?

[20:03] All about Black Vets Outdoors

[22:38] Why outdoor affinity groups are important

[25:00] Simply finding outdoor joy

[29:02] How spending time outside impacts the Black veteran community, specifically

[32:00] The impact of historic trauma

[35:18] How Black vets can access the group and how allies can help

[43:12] Vedia’s favorite outdoor moment