Out Alive from Backpacker


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.

Recent Episodes
  • Goodbye for Now
    Jan 24, 2024 – 01:24
  • A Rescue Gone Wrong
    Dec 14, 2023 – 23:33
  • The Toll of SAR
    Dec 14, 2023 – 27:13
  • Vertical Peril
    Dec 14, 2023 – 14:27
  • How to Save a Life
    Dec 14, 2023 – 25:56
  • In Death's Wake, He Decided to Survive
    Oct 25, 2023 – 27:33
  • Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant on Being Chased by an Elephant and Why She’ll Take Her Chances with Bears
    Oct 11, 2023 – 15:31
  • Fallen Into An Ice Cave
    Sep 27, 2023 – 24:10
  • Are the Animals Sick of Us?
    Sep 13, 2023 – 13:30
  • Stabbed by a Trekking Pole
    Aug 30, 2023 – 32:39
  • Why Extreme Heat is Nature's Stealthiest Killer
    Aug 16, 2023 – 10:41
  • Hit by Rockfall Deep in a Cave
    Aug 2, 2023 – 29:32
  • Liquid Gold or Fool's Errand? Should You Drink Pee to Stay Alive?
    Jul 19, 2023 – 11:46
  • A Deadly Rescue on Mount Rainier
    Jul 5, 2023 – 52:57
  • Pack Like Your Life Depends On It
    Jun 21, 2023 – 10:43
  • Eric Larsen on Surviving Cancer and Polar Travel
    Jun 7, 2023 – 34:43
  • Skier Rescues Stranger From a Tree Well
    May 24, 2023 – 13:41
  • Four Nights Lost in the Cold
    May 10, 2023 – 37:38
  • Signal Fire Strategies: Dos and Don'ts for Survival
    Apr 26, 2023 – 13:57
  • Battling the Brain: A Neurological Illness Backcountry Skiing
    Apr 12, 2023 – 26:33
  • Survival Short: Unleashing the Secrets of Search and Rescue (SAR) Dog Training
    Mar 29, 2023 – 15:07
  • A Bystander Saves a BASE Jumper's Life
    Mar 15, 2023 – 35:30
  • The Bike Crash That Helped Her Find Her Way
    Feb 22, 2023 – 11:33
  • A 13-Year-Old Saves His Dad’s Life
    Dec 14, 2022 – 39:46
  • Lost in Plain Sight
    Dec 14, 2022 – 45:32
  • I Fought Off a Grizzly
    Dec 14, 2022 – 49:29
  • A Deadly Disaster at Mt. Everest Basecamp
    Oct 19, 2022 – 41:18
  • Impaled by a Tree Branch
    Oct 12, 2022 – 25:20
  • Paralyzed by a Scorpion
    Oct 5, 2022 – 31:19
  • They Fell Nearly 1000 Feet
    Sep 28, 2022 – 40:36
  • Attacked by an Alligator
    Sep 21, 2022 – 19:09
  • High Alpine Amnesia
    Sep 14, 2022 – 34:34
  • The Thai Cave Rescue
    Jul 13, 2022 – 54:56
  • A Rabid Animal Attacked
    Jul 6, 2022 – 27:33
  • Finding Life on the Edge of Death
    Jun 29, 2022 – 41:06
  • Miracle on Mt. Hood Part 2
    Jun 22, 2022 – 38:07
  • Miracle on Mt. Hood Part 1
    Jun 15, 2022 – 32:48
  • Their Plane Went Down in the Sea
    Jun 9, 2022 – 37:28
  • Alone and Injured in the Wild
    Jun 16, 2021 – 41:47
  • A Snowy Second Chance
    Jun 9, 2021 – 29:56
  • Broken & Alone
    May 26, 2021 – 27:06
  • From Desert Paradise to Death Trap
    May 12, 2021 – 25:45
  • We Fell Down the Mountain
    May 5, 2021 – 28:52
  • Arctic Nightmare: Mauled by a Polar Bear
    Apr 28, 2021 – 22:17
  • SAR's Secret Weapon: An Ultra-Running Volunteer
    Apr 21, 2021 – 22:08
  • The Mountains Called, I Shouldn't Have Listened
    Apr 14, 2021 – 23:00
  • At the Heart of the Matter
    Apr 7, 2021 – 27:56
  • Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail Part 2
    Apr 27, 2020 – 29:04
  • Tragedy on the Appalachian Trail Part 1
    Apr 20, 2020 – 21:51
  • Mystery on the Mountain
    Apr 6, 2020 – 27:58
Recent Reviews
  • BlatantBell
    Oh Noooo!
    I just found today this podcast and got stuck few hours listening to the episodes! I almost lost my wife 10!years ago in a flash flood and had to be rescued! Therefore I can relate to the survival stories since mine seems to had happened yesterday! Hopefully somebody else will take it over and continue. It! Thank you so much for such a great podcast!
  • CloseoutConnoisseur
    Best Podcast to end?!
    As many long time listeners, I’m grieving the end of Out Alive. Louise or anyone brave enough… please pick this thread back up. We are out there to support you!
  • Anon-Listener
    5-Star Podcast
    Have been listening since the beginning and am incredibly sad to see this podcast end. An incredibly body of work that the team should be proud of!
  • praxis78
    Indefinite hiatus??? My favorite show is gone! I need this podcast back in my life.
  • Bean of Pinto
    Oh no!!!
    So sorry this podcast is ending. Thanks for the great stories Louise and best of luck in the future.
  • KJerry
    I love this podcast
    I am sure there are countless stories of wilderness adventurers who have had brushes with death. Please don’t end this podcast 😕
  • IamNewGirl
    My Favorite Podcast
    So sad this is ending (for now) Yours is my absolute favorite podcast. Great story telling, fascinating adventures, and I learn something everytime. Thank you & good luck with your future endeavors!!!
  • Bugsy and Maxx
    Sad to see this podcast go!
    I love this podcast. I like it way better than the Outside Magazine podcast. I’m assuming it’s about lack of funding since it’s not about quantity or interest in the show.
  • annieowens
    Excellent show - despite…
    Oh no! Out Alive is going away indefinitely. Surprised at how um, sad this makes me. I think every outdoors person should listen to these gripping, informative stories to help understand what could go wrong and what to go RIGHT. The story tellers they've had on the show have been candid, humble and knowledgeable. Thank you Out Alive pod and Louisa Albanese. You'll be sorely missed.
  • walkerpercy
    Amazing show
    Super bummed to learn of the “indefinite hiatus”. News that one of the best podcasts out there is no longer producing content is sad news indeed.
  • MichelleinVegas
    Oh no!
    So sorry to lose this one. Such a great podcast with compelling stories. I truly hope we survive the corporate shrink of journalism.
  • Pink Cardnation
    Love these
    Sad to hear this podcast is ending. It’s such a good one.
  • Yelaheener
    High-quality Production, Respectful Storytelling
    High-quality and respectful production, storytelling, interviews, and everything in between! Just the type of podcast I was hoping to find. I just listened to the episode about the deadly rescue on Mt. Rainier about the four climbers and Ranger Nick Hall and was brought to tears by the stories of so many people involved in that incident.
  • stopsignS123
    Love the variety of topics. Well thought out and put together. Keep them coming.
  • Disappointed with Vanguard
    Well Done
    The storytelling is done very well which allows for the suspense to build. I always look forward to the next episode.
  • Dh Betty
    More please!!
    Please, please, please, please bring this back! This was my most favorite podcast. I love this podcast and need more in my life
  • Kjmorty
    Favorite podcast
    Excellent survival stories. I love that we are listening to the survivors tell their stories and not someone else telling it for them. I hope more episodes come out because there is no other podcast as good as Out Alive.
  • R&A365
    Superb Stories!!
    Excellent survival stories--professional, engaging and informative!
  • ಠ_ಥ
    Booo haters get tomatoes 🍅🍅
    Stories full of bravery, hope, and love. Seriously recommend. Also, if you are just getting into it, ignore the two fellows who commented here in October. Out Alive is as political as a microphone — in that it gives voices to a diverse range of characters, all of whom are human. Some are Christian white men. Others are black women. It's not their fault you choose to focus more on the person's identity than their survival story. Also, if you like this pod, I recommend you listen to "The Wild" with Chris Morgan. Both stellar podcasts and deserve more attention!
  • Jemagord
    Great stories, great survival techniques. So entertaining and moving. Cried in public a few times too many.
  • Projekt Havoc
    Stick to Survival
    Episodes showcasing survival stories - 5 stars Episodes showcasing social justice causes - .001 stars
  • GiveUsSurvivalStories
    I used to like this show
    The episodes seems to have gone off topic and aren’t very good anymore. Also, if you’re going to replay episodes the right thing to do is to mark them as repeats. Seems like this show might be over.
  • Rolfdenver
    I’ve loved and learned so much from every episode
    These stories are so well presented. They’re entertaining, thoughtful, and compassionate. I’m an experienced outdoors person but I have learned so much. A common thread seems to be people failing to tell others where they are going and when they will return, and failing to have a reliable signaling device such as a personal locator beacon. (Another common thread is traveling alone, but you can experience great joy and beauty in doing so. Solo travel just requires being even more careful and to let others know where you are.)
  • hanbie228
    Great podcast
    Super informative and adventurous podcast!!
  • Jerjohn146
    Stick to Survival
    I subscribed because I love the outdoors and survival stories, not because I wanted to hear activism about pushing social agendas.
  • shaner41
    Excellent show, but too political
    I absolutely love the Out Alive episodes that simply recount survival stories. Ten stars for those episodes! They are so good! However, some Out Alive shows are more like political views with a survival story mixed in. One star for those episodes. Give us survival stories, not politics.
  • MorgJayR
    Every single listen
    I have listed to every single episode, and each one I’ve loved.
  • totheback
    Good for sure
  • AhnnaW
    Love this Show
    My Favorite show - Great stories of adventures gone wrong and no idle chit chat to wade through.
  • HorrorHikerMN
    Love it!
  • ErinNicholas
    Hiking/outdoor lover approved!!!
    I’m in love with this podcast! So happy I found a unique podcast like this one! My new favorite!!
  • ugh Reds
    Cut the grass in a few minutes to see what
    The app crashes every time I try to open the mail and I have a lot to say I have a few minutes of crashes when it crashes on my iPhone to
  • Got scout
    Just misses the mark…
    I, for the most part, find some of the shows interesting and informative, but when it comes to environmental issues it really misses the mark. The latest on heat related deaths turns toward the climate crisis, which has nothing to do with heat related deaths. In fact, heat related deaths are on the decline! Further, according to a 2021 study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, cold is far more deadly. For every death linked to heat, nine are connected to cold. So, instead of going down the climate rabbit hole, just talk about what is important…how to survive extreme temperatures hot or cold! You driving an electric car is not going to save someone from heat exhaustion…well unless you consider the children in poor countries mining heavy metals to make your electric car batteries…you might actually be killing them.
  • Enjoyer of game
    All time fav!
    This podcast is amazing! I binged every existing episode in just a little over a week. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast like me and are trapped inside due to the heat this summer, I’d highly recommend listening to this podcast to pass the time. It definitely helped to scratch my adventurous itch :) Every episode is an amazing story of survival and resiliency told by the people who lived through it. I absolutely love the narrative story telling and the minimal interruptions by the podcast host. I only have a few complaints, which are so minor they’re hardly worth mentioning, but I want to include them in case they are helpful! 1) Sparesly spaced episodes. Now that I’m all caught up, the wait between episodes feels so long. Although to be fair, I suppose that with this genre, running out of content might be a good thing, since it means less people are having harrowing, life-threatening experiences. 2) The intro of this podcast mentions that it will give tips for “how to survive the worst case scenario if it happens to you”, but few episodes really go into this. I think that would be a great addition to the show if, after the survivor tells their story, experts weighed in with helpful advice about how to survive similar scenarios. 3) The episodes are pretty short; with how good the content is, I wish they were twice as long! Like I mentioned above, I think including a survival tips section at the end would add some really great length to the show. 4) The way the host speaks sometimes is a bit odd, as if she’s reading off a script written by somebody who doesn’t understand how commas and natural pauses in sentences work. This is such a nit-picky thing and probably wouldn’t bother most people, but after listening to so many episodes back to back, it kind of wore on me a little bit. She just sometimes doesn’t pause in the appropriate spots as she’s talking, and mushes her sentences together really fast in an awkward way. Even with all the above points, this podcast is in my top five of all time and most definitely worth a listen! If you like it, check out the Outside podcast too!
  • eeking261
    Dangerous Misinformation
    I recently discovered this podcast and loved it so much I binged the full series in a week or two. Love most of the content, but the last episode has catastrophically, dangerously incorrect information on managing venomous snakebites. Please check reputable sources like wsed dot org and FB group National Snakebite Support for the latest evidence based practice on venomous bite management, which is NOT to sit down and chill in the backwoods and tough it out. That’s a good way to end up with preventable permanent injury, or to end up dead.
  • Kevin’s Ears
    Suspenseful Music
    The suspenseful music throughout makes it unbearable.
  • Backpacker34
    Love it!!
    Did they run out of stories?! Bummer they don’t come up very often. Love this podcast! Please bring us more!!!
  • Harvey Butthole
    I listen to this while hiking
    Nothing like a stroll through the mountains with this blasting in your ears
  • jklm505
    Maybe add tips?
    I started listening after commercial on another podcast. I’ve listened to a few stories and I was taken aback by two stories where narrators ignored their own bodies and symptoms they were having, especially the one that works for Backpacker. Are you trying to sell the idea that hikers/outdoor people are invincible? I do like the interviews/ first-hand accounts.
  • This is seriously ridiculous!!
    Mostly great
    Awesome stories but I cannot stand when it turns into a stupid lecture on god. The cognitive dissonance of it being gods plan to throw you off a cliff or let a bear maul you or whatever but he also saved you?? Please leave the religion out of it, god didn’t save you, trained professionals risking their lives did!!
  • Julieat906
    Great show
    I appreciate the first hand accounts of their trials and tribulations. Very moving
  • MommaMandaPanda
    Captivating and Clean
    I like that language is mostly clean. Music and narration and first person interviews weave a great story.
  • LieseS
    Good stories BUT unexpectedly religious
    Almost every story (both from storytellers and host) has a christian flavor that made me think that maybe this podcast has an agenda. Sometimes really overt, sometimes more subtle, but the whole podcast has a bit of a creepy evangelistic vibe. If you are cool with that, the stories are told pretty well!
  • Bizarro Jeronimo ever after
    Storytelling at it’s best - interviews, music, sound effects all bring these survival stories too life. My whole family, ages 6-45, love this podcast.
  • Packgoat
    Incredibly first hand accounts
    This is undoubtedly one of the BEST outdoor experiences podcasts available. Well edited, each episode includes interviews by the survivor and the rescuers, and often medical professionals. Louisa Albanese does an incredible job of writing nonjudgmental accounts of experienced, inexperienced, unlucky or downright foolish individuals, allowing us to identify without shame with the variety of mistakes outdoors enthusiasts make. Her youthful voice used to bother me until I realized what a relief it is not to have to be pounded by the usual low sensationalized "death-is-near! marine drone" sensationalizing voice. Albanese's tone reminds us that the usual outdoor enthusiast is someone like ourselves, and each one of us is vulernable to hubris. Can't wait for the next season!
  • mekski
    I always enjoy listening to these real life stories in the great outdoors. The story content and composition is very engaging and well done. Thank you for such amazing recounts that bring tears at times and more importantly how to learn from the life threatening experiences of others. Situations can change so suddenly and this podcast is a great reminder!
  • Dizzzzzllll
    Endless excitement!
    I just discovered this podcast and have been relentlessly flying through the episodes. Captivating, exciting and entertaining to say the least. The episodes are very well done and pretty good editing. I’d highly suggest this podcast to anyone, it’s so interesting hearing these stories.
  • BeTrueToMe
    Fabulous, heartbreaking, terrifying and annoying!
    Absolutely love, love this podcast. Such great stories and pro editing. I learned so much about the outdoors and human spirit. it all helps me prepare for my ventures into the outback. One thing that I find super annoying is that a lot of times, these people get into situations that they have no business being in. their ego gets in the way, or whatever. That’s when I want to shake them, and insist that they pay for all the rescue efforts to save their butt. That’s the annoying part from the review title I used! Ha!
  • MartyandFranky
    One of my favorites
    Love this podcast!
  • travelswithtea
    New Episodes? Hope so!
    I’ve been enjoying these stories and hope more are coming in 2023?
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