Brendan Leonard

Brendan Leonard

Today on the show I have Brendan Leonard, who you may also know as Semi-Rad from his popular and hilarious long-running blog by the same name. Brendan is one of those outdoor and adventure creatives who kinda does it all. He’s a columnist and contributing editor for Outside Magazine and Adventure Journal respectively, he crafts stories and even produces and shoots his own films, and creates humorous cartoons depicting relatable everyday shit we all go through as human beings and outdoor enthusiasts.

What I like most about Brendan and his work, is his ethos (which perhaps not surprisingly as a writer Brendan articulates best). He says:

"I created my blog as a channel for those of us who aren’t elite climbers, skiers, ultra runners, and alpinists - the folks who love to get out there, but maybe don’t take it or themselves too seriously. Semi-Rad is enthusiasm for things regular people can do, adventures for the everyman and woman. It’s a website for those of us crushing it, kind of.”

That is to say that Brendan believes in the democratization of adventure. You don’t need to be climbing 5.14 or kayaking class V whitewater or medaling at your next mountain ultra. Instead as Brendan says, we simply 'need to spend more time doing things we love, going to places that make us feel small, remembering to laugh at ourselves, and getting a little cold, tired, and scared every once in a while.”

I couldn’t agree more Brendan.


Show resources:

Semi-Rad (Brendan’s) blog

New book coming out! “Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems”

The Art of Getting Lost and other books by Brendan

Guide to Peak Bagging

Films by Brendan Leonard

Blog post about releasing a book

Mountaineer’s books

Between the Covers - bookstore in in Telluride, CO

Mountain Film (film festival)

5Point Adventure Film Festival

Banff Mountain Film

Platforms for creating books: Lightning Source, Ingrim Spark, Create Space

The Dirtbag Diaries (great podcast by Fitz Cahall of Duct Tape Then Beer)

Adventure Journal - Steve Casmiro (editor)


Outdoor Research (brand partner)

Forest Woodward - Film Maker

Seth Godin - Marketing thought leader

Canon 5D (recommended camera)

Show topics/themes:

Self publishing— the pros and cons of doing it yourself, marketing yourself, and finding the balance when making deals with publishers

The path to sobriety from addiction

Keeping up a blog— making a commitment, being patient, and practicing determination

The writing process: anyone can be a writer, just not everyone sticks with it. the difference is actually sitting down and doing the work.

With writing, filming, or creating anything, you have to REALLY believe that you have something to say.

Making the outdoors accessible to everyone, not just the big famous athletes— finding the small things we can bond over and find humor in.