Podcasts – The (free) Netflix of Radio

While I admit that a lot of the reason I like 4wding, Camping and hiking so much is to get away from civilisation and the ‘noise,’ in the past year I’ve started listening to podcasts and I reckon they are something that is brilliant.

Podcasts are basically an audio recording about a topic. They can be stories, investigative pieces, and even radio focused segments. The beauty of them is that it is like netflix – you can search and choose what you want to consume.

I find that when I’m away from reception of the radio or mobile kind for extended periods, I do sometimes want something to listen to.  And this is where I’ve found that the humble podcast comes into its own.  My favourite thing about them is the fact that you can download them to your phone or tablet, and listen to them anywhere.  And you can set your device to always download the latest episode so you’ve always got something new to listen to. No Radio or phone reception?  No Problem! 

So what sort of content is out there?

There is podcast content on just about every single topic you could think of, and there are some very interesting podcast series too.  At this point in time, the following are the Top 10 Podcasts from Apple Podcasts (as of 11 Dec 19):

  1. The Lighthouse – Investigative series focusing on the disappearance of Theo Hayez from Byron Bay in 2019
  2. Claremont: The Trial – investigative series about the Claremont Serial killings in WA.
  3. The Joe Rogan Experience – Official Podcast of Comedian Joe Rogan
  4. Conversations (ABC Radio) – Series spending an hour on the life story of someone you may have heard about but never met
  5. Unravel True Crime: Snowball – A podcast where some of Australia’s best Journalists investigate unsolved crimes
  6. Casefile True Crime – A podcast on true crime stories
  7. Dolly Parton’s America – A 9 part series into the Dollyverse which takes you on a deeply personal and historical journey into one of America’s great icons.
  8. Loose Units: The Podcast – Authors of the True Crime book Loose Units delve into cases too surreal, brief, or contentious for their book.
  9. Detective Trapp – a fictional story from the LA Times about a female detective on the lonely search for answers.
  10. Interview with Andrew Denton – Andrew Denton gets under the guard of amazing human beings, finding out who they are away from the headlines.

What about 4X4 content?

The first thing you will have noticed here is that crime and unsolved mysteries dominate the Podcast scene right now.  Personally, I was fascinated by the series ‘The Teachers pet’ which looked into the disappearance of Lyn Dawson, the wife of star footballer Chris Dawson, who disappeared 36 years ago without a trace.  I guess it shows that we Aussies still love intrigue and mystery, and we’ve got a strong desire for Justice.

Anyhow, the good news is that there are a number of good 4X4 related podcasts out there, and I’m going to share with you three that I like to listen to whenever I get the chance.  Each of these is quite different in the approach, which I’ve found great because there is always something to listen to.

1. The Camping and Offroad Radio Show with The Duck

The Duck is a larger than life bloke who loves travelling, a good yarn, and a nice cold beer.  He has a 2 hour radio show that is broadcast around the country every week, and he also turns it into a podcast.  He makes an effort to discuss interesting places to go, tracks to drive, pubs to visit, and also has interesting guest speakers that come on to discuss relevant 4WD issues.  Mixed in between are a number of aussie and country hits.  He releases a podcast every week.

2. 4X4 Earth

James Eling is the mastermind behind 4X4 Earth, the most popular 4X4 related podcast around.  While content is generally released monthly, you will find that James’s stories are well researched, and he works hard to craft interesting and thought provoking content every episode. Popular recent topics include Electric vehicles and land access, as well providing inspiration and advice for your next adventure.

3. Whichcar Weekly Podcast

This one is a bit of an outlier in that it doesn’t always contain 4X4 content.  It is the podcast of the Whichcar network, which includes 4X4 Australia, Wheels Magazine, Motor Magazine, Unique Cars and a few others.  The content ranges from new car reviews to topical motoring and sports topics. 

Sounds interesting – how do I do it?

Checking out podcasts is pretty easy.  The best way to start off is through your phone or tablet. 

Apple Devices

If you run an Apple based phone, than there is an app called ‘podcasts’ which you can open.  You can browse or search for topics or things you are interested in, and then you add them to your list.  You can set them to download if you like (my preference) which means you can listen to them anytime…

Android devices

The process isn’t too different on Android devices, although you will locate Podcasts via the Google Play Music app, where you then select ‘Podcasts.’

What are you waiting for?

Whether you want to consume more 4X4 and travel related content, have an interest in unsolved crime, or enjoy listening to something funny, there is an amazing amount of podcast content out there.  So before your next road-trip, why not download a few episodes of a podcast or a series and see what you think?  At worst, you’ve got something to listen to even in the middle of nowhere, and at best, you’ll learn something new, get a laugh out of things, and have something great to listen to while taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

If you’ve found other great podcasts, we’d love to hear about them – reach out and let us know what you like to listen to by commenting below.

Safe Travels,

Aiden

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