Local podcasts found wherever you download your favorites (one features wilderness bathroom breaks)

Drive-time, treadmill time, or even after-dinner kitchen cleanup time are all great times to take in a podcast, pre-recorded audio files on topics as far reaching as — well, as far as a Google search can go.

News organizations, churches, sports teams, businesses, and individuals produce podcasts, with quality and content that vary considerably. And whether you seek enlightenment or pure entertainment, there are plenty of podcasts produced in or aimed at an audience right here in the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area.

Here’s a sampling:

Trail Dames, a national organization for women who hike, has a thriving chapter in Kalamazoo. Archived podcast topics cover solo hiking, tips for an uphill climb, and the challenges and pleasures of hiking.

Ever wondered how women hikers manage the finer points of survival in the wilds? Check out Trail Dames’ March podcast, “Peeing, Pooping, and Periods in the Outdoors!” 

Anna Huthmaker, founder of Trail Dames and host of the podcast, tells listeners that how to manage bathroom breaks in the wilds is “by far the most popular topic at backpacking seminars and summits of women on backpacking. 

“Guys have no shame talking about their bathroom habits, ever.” But in the hiking world of women, euphemisms abound — taking a bio break, using a tree, watering the horse, or scratching the cat box.

Anna Huthmaker, seen here, Victoria Heckler, and Kathy Rioux, all experienced hikers, share their expertise during a 45-minute podcast.Whatever humorous terms hikers use, feeling comfortable relieving oneself is a serious issue, Huthmaker says. If they are worried, newcomers to hiking may be inclined to avoid drinking adequate water in hopes of not needing to take a rest stop away from a bathroom.

Huthmaker and guests Victoria Heckler and Kathy Rioux, all experienced hikers, share their expertise during the 45-minute podcast. In keeping with its blunt title, the women get right to the point about the best ways to manage a woman’s bodily functions — how to pack toilet supplies, how to adhere to the principles of leave no trace, how to avoid getting lost when stepping far enough off trail for privacy, and even how to avoid bear trouble when disposing of feminine hygiene products. 

“If this podcast helps you to bite the bullet and give it a try,” Huthmaker says, stay tuned — at the end she tells listeners how to send for their own “I peed outside”  stickers.

The Trail Dames March podcast and others can be found at or on the group’s website www.traildames.com

Here’s a sampling of other podcasts with Michigan pizzazz:

A podcast from Bell's.1. Craft beer lovers may wonder what it’s like to actually spend their days making beer. Listen to what employees of one popular Kalamazoo-area brewery have to say about their work in Episode 5: HR at the Bar from The Shifty: A Bell's Brewery Podcast in Podcasts. 

2. From a source of electrical power to an industrial sewer to a recreational attraction, the Kalamazoo River has a history as circuitous as the river itself. Check out “WSW: The Kalamazoo River's History Of Business, Recreation, Flooding And Contamination.”

In this  Nov. 28, 2018 podcast Western Michigan University authors Mary Lou Brooks and Lisa DeChano Cook discuss a book they have written about the river’s history.

3. Did you miss the 10th annual Kalamazoo Improv Festival in October, 2018? No worries: Season 2, Episode 85  of Gettin' Nuts has you covered. The festival featured the hour-long live recording of the internationally known podcast Gettin’ Nuts, presented by its sister podcast, Hello from the Magic Tavern. You can hear it here.

4. Listen to a slice of southwest Michigan radio history in this November 2017 episode of Kalamazoo's Podcast, with Scotty 'Bud' Melvin. It’s an interview with “Kalamazoo Radio Legend Jim Higgs at his kitchen table to talk about his 55 years in the radio biz, but mostly about his time at AM 1360 WKMI in the '60's and '70's.”

A podcast by Crawlspace Eviction.5. NPR’s Fresh Air took a look at the history of Battle Creek and breakfast in its 2018 podcast with medical historian Howard Markel, author of the book The Kelloggs: How the Battling Kellogg Brothers Revolutionized American Breakfast.

6. Michigan Radio’s compelling podcast “Believed” is hosted by award-winning Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith. The podcast’s nine episodes tell the Larry Nassar abuse story. Allegations first surfaced against the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor in the fall of 2016. Michigan Radio's more than 200 news stories related to the case can be found online at michiganradio.org.

7. On a much lighter note, those interested in chatting about all things Golden Retriever, may want to check out Episode 35 of The Golden Ratio podcast, which includes a Kalamazoo-themed question from a Michigan listener.

Read more articles by Rosemary Parker.

Rosemary Parker has worked as a writer and editor for more than 40 years, most of that time in Southwest Michigan.