Must-Watch Adventure Docs to Fuel Your Wanderlust

Watching an Adventure Documentary

Some of our Favorite Adventure Documentaries and More!

So, we’re spending a little more time inside than we normally would be. I’ve been feeling a little cooped up during social distancing and only traveling locally. My wanderlust is itching to see the sights, explore, and be surrounded by nature. While we stay put, we’re watching some adventure documentaries to keep the travel monster at bay. Here’s a few recommendations!

Classics

The ones that you’ve watched years ago and go back to often: 

  • 180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless
    • Watch as Adventurer Jeff Johnson retraces a 1968 trip from California to Patagonia by Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins(founder of The North Face). This documentary can be found on Amazon.
  • Mile... Mile and a Half
    • A group of artists in a variety of mediums take on the John Muir Trail, a 221 mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney in the Sierra of California. This documentary can be found on Amazon Prime.
  • Touching the Void
    • A survival docu-drama that recounts two adventurers summit of the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. Definitely a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat, especially if you haven’t seen it or read the book. This movie can be found on Netflix.

180 degrees south Mile... Mile and a Half Touching the Void

Sweaty Climbing Palms

If you’re a climber and you miss your gym and/or local crag, and your climber hands just aren’t the same, beware/enjoy these documentaries. If you're not a climber, these documentaries will still thrill you, keep you on the edge of your seat, and inspire you to reach for more out of life!

  • Valley Uprising
    • Take a dive into the roots of American climbing, specifically in Yosemite National Park. You'll see just how much it's changed throughout the climbing generations and have different outlook on the famed National Park. This documentary can be found on Netflix.
  • The Dawn Wall
    • Watch as climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson take on The Dawn Wall, a 3,000 foot climb in Yosemite National Park. This documentary can be found on Netflix.
  • Meru
    • This documentary will keep you on the edge during it's entirety. See how climbers push their limits on the mountain as they take on the "Shark's Fin" route on Meru in the Indian Himalayas. This documentary can be found on Netflix.
  • Free Solo 
    • Your palms will definitely sweat while watching Alex Honnold take on the first free solo on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This Oscar-Award winning documentary can be found on Netflix.
Valley Uprising Free Solo Meru The Dawn Wall

    For the Sake of Adventure

    Sometimes you just need a documentary completely around the sake of adventure. These all will spark some adventure goals for next year or years to follow:

    • Unbranded
      • Follow 4 friends and a herd of mustangs on a 3,000 mile journey of self discovery, friendship, and unbelievable landscapes. This documentary can be found on Amazon.
    • The Barkley Marathon: The Race That Eats Its Young
      • Folks attempt this insane race every year that you must apply to even have the chance. Watch a small group make their attempt and the grueling challenge they face. This documentary can be found on Amazon.
    • Losing Sight of Shore 
      • Watch as a 4 woman team make history rowing 8,000 miles across the Pacific ocean. See the mental and physical challenges they overcome to reach their goal. This documentary can be found on Amazon.
    Unbranded The Barkley Marathons Losing Sight of Shore

      Docu-Series

      Need something to last a little longer than a typical movie? Try these series to watch every now and then or binge all at once:

      • Down to Earth
        • Follow Zac Efron around the world as he travels with wellness expert Darin Olien to find healthy, sustainable ways to live. This series has 1 season on Netflix.
      • An Idiot Abroad 
        • Award winning duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send their simple and close-minded friend around the world on a hilarious trip to learn more about different cultures. This docuseries has 3 seasons and can be found on Amazon.
      Down to Earth  An Idiot Abroad

        Movies to Fuel your Wanderlust

        Ben Stiller and 1990’s JTT really know how to make you want to travel the world! Maybe it’s not really a documentary, but will fill your heart with adventure:

        • Secret Life of Walter Mitty
          • This is my favorite movie of all time as it reminds me to chase adventure and explore the places that call my wanderlust. Ben Stiller dominates as he acts, but also the production of this film. You can rent this movie on Amazon to stream.
        • Wild America
          • This movie, which was made in 1997, is what started my love for adventure and that feeling of wanting to see the world. Granted, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, a 90's heartthrob starred in the film and that definitely helped, but this movie is based on the documentary filmmaker, Marty Stouffer and his two brothers. It's hilarious and heartwarming. You can rent this film on Amazon to stream.

        Secret Life of Walter Mitty Wild America

        Though we may not all go to the movies at the moment, I hope that you watch some of these adventure documentaries and movies with your loved ones to keep the spirit of adventure alive. If you've watched one of these or we missed one of your favorites, let us know in the comments below!

        See y'all out there!

        -Sam


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