The best outdoor e-newsletters


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Hey, did you need more emails? No? What about the kind that transports you to a peaceful place, gives you great advice, or sometimes has cool photos of bugs? You know, the newsletters. I’m not going to pretend you need more of these either – newsletters are so plentiful and have attracted so many writers to quit their jobs for buckets of money (or sometimes, the freedom to to say really stupid things) that they could now almost be considered a literary genre in themselves. But wait! The types of newsletters I’m talking about are different. They won’t clog your inbox with stressful, blocking shots. Instead, they’ll float peacefully in what I hope is a specific folder that you’ve reserved just for newsletters, so you just have to open them whenever you want. They’ll wait patiently until you need a little pick-me-up, then give you brief thoughts on the natural world, travel, and gas station wildlife. And you can let your spam trigger finger rest.

Pinch of dirt

As a freelance journalist, Jessica mckenzie often covers issues such as food safety and the environment. Her newsletter is a kind of after-hours platform for related interests: hiking, gardening, enjoying nature. In Pinch of dirtMcKenzie primarily shares meandering thoughts from her travels and her storybook, but she’s also an avid reader and includes links that help readers think about the evolution of politics of being a recreationist. McKenzie examines topics such as how fight against climate change like a lover of the outdoors, or his discomfort with misanthropic blanket overcrowding in parks. His advice on urban hike in New York are also convenient.

Letters from a stranger

Travel writer, photographer and podcaster Nneka Julia Odum a no shortage of platforms share his thoughts, but Letters from a stranger feels more intimate than other work, like dispatches sent just before hopping on a plane or before luggage is unpacked. She started the newsletter as a continuation of a project in which she sent handwritten letters answering questions from her nearly 70,000 Instagram followers for 100 days; now she uses it to occasionally answer more questions and foster a sense of community among her readers. But she is also developing her life as a traveler, writing on topics such as talking to strangers at airports and maintaining a sense of spontaneity when traveling. Likewise, the rest of his notes are friendly and full of pep talk and life advice.

Shiny objects

In some ways, Shiny objects uses the newsletter format exactly as it’s intended: quick updates for all who care, out of the way. Dana Pica (trail name: Magpie) is a regular hiker and has used her newsletter to send section-by-section dispatches of her trips including the Arizona Trail, the Great Divide Trail, the Pacific Northwest Trail and the North Country Trail. A quick note sent after a few weeks without a post leads to “I’m not dead!” The extremely detailed letters (right down to the chicken sandwiches on jalapeño-cheddar bread provided by the trail angels) might be a nostalgic trip for fellow hikers or a useful glimpse into what exactly a long hike looks like for those not. -initiated. For the latter, Pica provides non-patronizing explanations at every turn, including glossaries of hiking terms and a giant equipment breakdown called “Why Did You Bring This?” “

Enter the lung

Neko case is best known for her music, including her work as part of The new pornographers, case / lang / veirs, and as a solo artist who often incorporates natural motifs like swans, ferrets and orcas into his lyrics. No wonder his newsletter, Enter the lung, is not a vanity project but a thoughtful reflection on one’s time outside. She often tries to write beyond the obvious tales that crop up when she admires nature: “I work hard to make sure I don’t romanticize such encounters,” she says of seeing a lizard in the park. New Mexico, before reflecting on colonialism and the interior life of reptiles. Case is an ironic and observant writer who vividly describes seeing owls and bats alongside concrete dinosaurs at Sinclair gas stations in one letter and considers hope in the face of climate change in the next.


In her books and in publications such as Telegraph, editor and writer Alice Vincent gives pragmatic advice on gardening and growing plants. But his bulletin Nut-culture, which she has been sending since 2016, is more poetic, taking a close interest in the natural elements that fascinate her—seaweed, sunsets, storms. She also applies her attentive writing style to the practicalities of everyday life (there are many updates from her own garden) and broader meditations on climate change. Writing about how snow is becoming increasingly scarce in London thanks to global warming, she says: and I sometimes think of the icicles that hung from the low roof of my childhood home. But here the only thing that freezes properly is the car windshield.

Do not save anything

Writer Neil Shea is often on mission to National Geographic, so its newsletter, Do not save anything, offers a window on all regions of the world. More recently, he has traveled to arctic regions, documenting trips such as hunting with members of the Tłı̨chÇ« Nation in the Northwest Territories of Canada. You will come for the photos and behind the scenes of the expeditions, but you will stay for the profiles of Interesting people he met during a report and the big questions he explores around whose stories are told. On a former hunting site on Ellesmere Island in Canada, he recalls: “My heart raced, the hair on my neck stood on end. We could feel the depth of what we didn’t know yawn under our feet. Later, remembering the effect the imagined past of the place had on him, he is careful not to get carried away by any fictionalized memory: more on the actual history of the site.


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