It’s in the air, it seems. A feeling of defiance for the establishment. A desire to seek out our own path. It’s not surprising, really, considering the absolute chaos that 2020 turned out to be, how one year broke down the illusion of normalcy we had been duping ourselves into believing simply so we could go on. I know I have felt it, this defiance. And so have the creators of Unqualified and The Outdoor Evolution.
Unqualified with Berin Kinsman is a podcast about minimalism, defiance, and inner peace. Creator Berin Kinsman is an independent author who has been talking about and living a life of minimalism before there were Netflix documentaries about it. With Unqualified, he takes his message to a podcast format in ridiculously convenient 10-minute episodes, starting out with an episode on why the show is called thusly. See, I’m unqualified. Berin is unqualified. Chances are so are you. It’s a reference to all those voices that seek to drown our dreams, our desire for far more than the bare minimum, to all those voices that say, “you can’t do that, you’re not qualified!” In Kinsman case this takes the form of being told, after five years of successfully supporting his household as a self-published author, when is he gonna get a real job? For you it probably is something different, but it’s definitely something many of us have heard before.
With lo-fi , utilitarian production that roots both creator and message in a bygone punk aesthetic where urgency of dissemination is far more critical than bells and whistles, Kinsman traces a clear line from minimalism, to defiance, to inner peace that is easy to follow and, more importantly, easy to learn from and emulate in part or in whole. Unqualified empowers a quiet defiance that is nonetheless powerful and radical, and I can’t wait to hear how this show develops and grows.
You can listen to Unqualified With Berin Kinsman on Patreon. The first two episodes are (and will remain) free, with monthly support starting at $5.
The Outdoor Evolution
The Outdoor Evolution Podcast is a show by Darwin Rakestraw, who through his YouTube channel, Darwin OnTheTrail (sic), is already something of a celebrity in the outdoors social media world. It is precisely this microfame that fuels Darwin to create his new podcast where, if the first episode is any indication, he’s out to take that niche notoriety and put it to the best use possible, influencer stats be damned. In The Outdoor Evolution Podcast, Darwin wants to ask serious questions, have proper conversations, on topics that affect the outdoors community and environment, a definite far cry from the videos about hiking and gear reviews that propelled him to notoriety. And that’s exactly the point: he wants to do more than that. He is, Darwin argues, more than just the version of him that people know from those videos; he’s a hiker, yes, but also a a bikepacker, a filmmaker, a documentarian. He’s someone with serious interests, like the stewardship of public lands, and when he finds those other sides of him weren’t not only not well received, but actively panned, it forced a moment of self-reckoning. In many ways, the podcast is the result of that moment.
Darwin urges of himself and his audience a defiance that dares to ask more of his particular community (one I feel I belong to given my interest in hiking), but really, of anyone listening. Are we content to be unidimensional people interested only in the superficial (the YouTube gear reviews, the awesome Instagram photos), or are we willing to explore our multidimensionality (and accept that of others) and use it as the launching point for thoughtful conversation? I am greatly enjoying the conversations coming out of this podcast, in many ways because the host is enjoying finally being able to be all his various selves in pursuit of the whole. But go listen to Darwin tell you himself; after all, as he very much stresses, I don’t know him.
You can listen to The Outdoor Evolution Podcast on The Outdoor Evolution website and wherever podcasts are streamed.