20 Outdoor Things to Watch, Read, and Listen To

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve gotten a lot of reading done in the last week. If you need something to take your mind off things, like social distancing or your cancelled trip to the wild, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite YouTube videos, books, music, and podcasts to keep you entertained. 


  • I can’t stop recommend Kraig Adams’ hiking videos to my friends. They’re so relaxing! Huge landscapes, beautiful cinematography, peaceful music, and an occasional trail dog. Though the Iceland video is super popular, the Spain’s Picos de Europa is my favorite.

  • I really enjoyed the documentary Dear Mother Nature, starring Pattie Gonia about the effect of plastic on “Mother Natch,” as Pattie says it. Pattie’s an environmental advocate drag queen, and the documentary is super engaging, inspiring, and hopeful. 

  • This one’s less about the wild, but How to Run 100 Miles - a documentary from REI and Brendan Leonard of Semi-Rad - was a super fun look into a topic I previously had zero interest in: ultrarunning. You maybe know Brendan from his super funny graphs on Instagram, but the dude’s been writing about the outdoors and what it means to be human for a long time.

  • This is a really heart-warming video about thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (and the rad people you meet along the way): "It’s privileged homelessness with intention and your family."

  • What’s better than something from Brendan Leonard? Something from Forest Woodward, too. I love the poem Forest reads from his father at the beginning of the video, and there’s a lot of wisdom in this video about what it means to live a full life in The Important Places. (If you like this, you might like 35 by Brendan and Fitz Cahall, too).


  • Since we can’t really head into the mountains right now, it’s nice to bring them to the living room. Even if you’ve read Into Thin Air before, this page-turning account of an Everest expedition gone wrong is thrilling. Jon Krakauer, who also wrote Into the Wild, writes his first-hand account of the 1996 Everest disaster, when 8 climbers were killed and others stranded by a sudden storm.

  • Ever dreamed of selling your possessions, quitting your job, and hitting the open road? Well, Walden On Wheels might be kindling for your dreams or make you second-guess whether or not life on the road is for you. 

  • Terry Tempest Williams is so good at writing about the desert, I can’t get enough of her latest: Erosion: Essays of Undoing. If you’re curious about how our public land protections are weakening - and how we can find hope in defending the wild - this is a must-read.

  • If you’ve ever thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods is a must-read! Bill Bryson is a super funny writer, and this book’s about his time deciding to hike the AT with his buddy Katz. The book’s much, much better than the movie.

  • Annie Dillard might not be for everyone, but she’s my favorite writer of all-time and can write about nature like no other. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is literary and sometimes pretty philosophical, but seriously, more people should read this one.


This is of course a subjective list, but these are some of my favorite albums to listen to when we’re road-tripping through the wild. And even if I'm spending time indoors instead of the wild, they're making me happy:


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