The Reluctant Outdoorsman

When nature excludes you for not being serious

 Ryan Haupt and friends at the summit of Mt. Elbert. (photo courtesy Ryan Haupt)

Ryan Haupt and friends at the summit of Mt. Elbert. (photo courtesy Ryan Haupt)

Stories about the outdoors often focus on extremes: the fastest runners, the strongest climbers, people who set records and accomplish the impossible. But what about the rest of us?

On this episode, a PhD student named Ryan Haupt shares what it's like trying to enjoy the outdoors, when you're not a pro. It's a story about "in" group and "out" group -- about trying to keep up in a community where everyone is more skilled and experienced than you -- about feeling like an impostor in your own backyard.

And ultimately, it's a story that asks: Who is the outdoors for?

Ryan Haupt is a PhD candidate studying paleontology at the University of Wyoming. He also hosts a podcast called Science...Sort Of, which is about science, things that are sort of science, and things that wish they were science.

 
There’s that type of person for whom existing outside seems more comfortable than sitting in an easy chair. And for those of us that don’t feel that way, those people are crazy intimidating.
— Ryan Haupt