The weather is improving — slowly — and your urge to venture outside grows. Whether it’s a huge national park or just a green space closer to home, here are some channels that will inspire you to get out and explore.
Illustration by Nick Criscuolo.
9. National Geographic
Everyone knows Nat Geo, but their YouTube channel is full of beautiful videos of the great outdoors, national parks, wild lands, undersea adventures, and more. They also feature some of their award-winning documentaries, “Today I Learned” videos, and other stories on their YouTube channel, so there’s more to see than just time-lapse videos of parks at night or camping trips — but there is that too, and it’s all fun to watch.
GoPro’s YouTube channel is part marketing — I mean, all of the videos are shot with GoPro cameras and they’d love you to buy one — but at the same time, most of them are stunningly beautiful, and capture things that are really difficult to shoot otherwise. Whether it’s action and adventure sports, high-altitude flight, or some backyard science antics, you’ll find tons of inspiration to get out and do something amazing yourself, whether that amazing thing is to go hiking, biking, mountain climbing, or something more laid back like a good long walk or exploring your local park or public garden.
You may know REI as a chain of outdoors stores, but their YouTube channel is packed with a combination of tips, reviews, and walk-along tours of the great outdoors. For example, the video above is a great dress-down of the things you should know if you want to go camping in the winter, but this video takes you on one of the world’s most popular hikes, the Tour du Mont Blanc. If hiking isn’t your thing, this guide to inspecting your bike before urban cycling is a good one, and relevant to those of us who can’t just up and get out to some great wilderness in an afternoon. Then again, this 10 day trek to Machu Picchu might be my favourite.
6. Guide You Outdoors
Guide You Outdoors is designed to encourage you to get outside, explore outdoor spaces and natural beauty, and have a good time while you do it. The videos run from tips on tying knots the easy way to a beautiful winter walk in the woods, with all weather and tons of scenery in between. There are even tips to find and harvest edible mushrooms while you’re out and about. The whole channel is informative and inspiring, and very down to earth.
5. Parks Australia
The Parks Australia channel, run by federal government, has a wealth of sights and sounds, including the exciting and more serious. If you’re wondering what our country has to offer in terms of flora, fauna and fascination characters, this is the channel for you.
If you’re less into the glamour of the great outdoors and more into the fun and experience of being outdoors, camping, setting up your space, and then leaving it better than you found it, then Wintertrekker is a great YouTube channel to catch up on. Best of all, as its name implies, most of the videos are in cold weather or fall/winter months, so you get a great feel for what it’s like to experience the outdoors in some of the most beautiful months, when there are few other people around. Also, since most of the videos here are solo, you’ll have a good idea what to do if you’re ever by yourself.
3. Peak Survival
Peak Survival’s YouTube channel is largely about how to get by in the outdoors and how to prepare for either emergencies or just roughing it without the creature comforts of home. You’ll learn all about packing the right emergency kits, how to hang a bear bag when you go camping, reviews of specific pre-made emergency kits, MRE (meals ready-to-eat) breakdowns and reviews, and more.
2. Adventure Archives
Adventure Archives is a trio of friends who explore the great outdoors and take you along for the ride. That’s a massive oversimplification, but while you follow their exploits, you’ll learn some really interesting tips to hike, track, camp, and survive outside — but also just how to explore and enjoy your time outdoors, see some amazing things, and maybe get out on your own to see some of the same things. Even if you can’t, you can see what they see while you’re sitting at home, comfortable in front of your screen. Follow them through parks like Shenendoah and Yosemite (with video in 4K!), or subscribe to their Campfire Chronicles podcast, but either way, you’ll be glad you did.
1. All Aussie Adventures
Of course, for the ultimate in outdoor experiences, you can’t go past the exploits of
Glenn Robbins’ Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures. Be it ineffectively treating a snake bite or baking up some delicious “hippy biscuits”, Coight has you covered.
OK, it might not be best to take all of Russell’s advice at face value — it’ll probably get you killed. Nevertheless, he does travel to many local attractions and should provide some inspiration to get off the couch.