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Re: Bringing the outside into our homes - what are the best outdoor movies, books, and podcasts?

Sweat, sunshine, fresh air—we love our time outside. But despite best-laid plans, sometimes weather, illness or the unexpected forces us indoors. So, it's time to generate a list of the all-time best adventure books, movies and podcasts to help others stay inspired by bringing the outdoors in. Share your opinions below!

And if you're looking for a more suggestions, check out our new blog in the Co-op Journal!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
23 Replies

For a little comic relief; one of my all time favorites: The Great Outdoors. That followed by @REI-KaraS 's recommendation of Into the Wild (book or film) makes for a nice combo afternoon.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I like Dervla Murphy for outdoor adventure writer.  Her book Full Tilt is about how she rode her bike from Ireland to India carrying few belongings (and armed with a pistol).  I think it was in the early sixties.

Also GearJunkie.com has posted an interesting list of outdoor themed video documentaries that can be viewed on Amazon.

I have a whole shelf full of good aventure books.  The best ones are the old-timers like Joshua Slocum, who wrote Sailing Alone Around the World.  

I could add more . . .

I'm an off-duty English teacher don't forget.

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One of my all-time favorites (and hard to find since it’s OOP) is Curse of the Dutchman’s Gold by Helen Corbin

If you’ve ever been to Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, you have heard the story of the legendary rumored gold mine and the Apaches that rule these mountains.  A great historical and folklorical recap of the legend of these amazing mountains.

I’m currently reading Death In Zion National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in Utah’s Grand Circle by Randi Minetor.

There’s also one about death in the Grand Canyon that was recommended to me by a retired BLM employee who worked on SAR and recovery efforts.  It’s really quite interesting.  There is also one for Yosemite that I haven’t read yet.

If you’re morbid and not bothered by these tales, there are plenty of websites out there in the canyoneering and outdoors communities that talk about accidents, rescues, and deaths.

One person’s misfortunes can be another person’s life-saving experience.

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I'm a big fan of the Outside Magazine podcast. The Fern Line has some fascinating interviews with alpinists as well.

As a way to listen to audio books, the Libby app is great. It lets you check out audio books from your library.

Touching the Void was a fantastic audio book.

Apocalyptic Planet was one of my favorite books lately. Craig's first person writing really puts you in the place that he's experiencing. Highly recommend.

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Youtube: Path Less Pedaled and Gravel Guru both get me excited to think about my next gravel bike race or adventure! I also enjoy watching the Groad to Kanza  series that followed Ted King's prep for racing Dirty Kanza in 2019!

For some huge inspiration, check out "I Just Want to Ride" which follows Lael Wilcox racing the 2019 Tour Divide. Every time I watch or think about this, I get so inspired to jump on my bike, but for right now, I'll have to make do with some indoor trainer rides!

One Podcast I've been digging lately is by Silk Road Mountain Race Ltd and PEdALED - season three follows the very first Atlas Mountain Bike Race and is full of quick interviews with the riders - everything from gear choices to their favorite foods to eat while riding - lots of fun and quirky answers!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

A few of my favorites ways to live outdoors when we can't get outside:

YouTube:

Man + River, a channel where a guy goes diving in lakes and rivers to find the stuff people drop when they go rafting.

Homemade Wonderlust, a hiker talking about her adventures hiking the big trails (AT, PCT ect)

Podcasts (I listen to a lot of podcasts):

The Fitst 40 Miles is a podcast by a husband  and wife hiking family, they have great advise on hiking with kids, saving money on the trail and plenty of other good advise. they ended the show in December of 2018 but they have over 200 episodes to last you for a while.

America's National Parks Podcast

Outside/In

Happy Camper Radio, mostly about RVing but some good info on campgrounds

Dirtbag Diaries

Outside Podcast

Trail Tales

Weekly Hiking Tips

Overheard at National Geographic

Wild Ideas Worth Living (REI)

Wildfire (REI) only an 8 episode, but a fascinating look about the wildfires in Oregon in 2017

 

So many books!  How to choose?  Edward Abbey. Desert Solitaire (I read it once a year);  Felice Benuzzi. No Picnic on Mount Kenya; Erik Weihenmayer. Touch the Top of the World; W. E. Bowman. The Ascent of Rum Doodle; Polly Letofsky. 3MPH  That's only about 1/10th of the ones in my library I'd like to list.  Oh! I can't leave this one out although it doesn't quite fit the theme: Robert M. Pirsig. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Good List johnt.  I've read some of those titles.

It must be difficult to write a serious book about a place called "Rum Doodle" though.

Here's another little known title to throw on the pile: Canoeing With the Cree, By Eric Sevareid.  It's a true story about two young guys who decided to paddle a canoe from Minnesota to Hudson's Bay the summer after high school graduation.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Yeah, not at all serious.  The Ascent of Rum Doodle is a spoof on the British mountain assaults in the early years of mountaineering.  Rum Doodle is a 40,000 1/2 foot mountain. Think literary Monty Python.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I think I'll see if I can locate a copy. Sounds like fun.

Another book that's a fun one is The Incomplete Anglers, by John D Robins.  It was written during one of the world wars, I think, and is very light-hearted, but still evocative.  The author and his brother go on a canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, back in the days of cedar/canvas canoes, canvas tents, and wool blankets.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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