Categories: Activities

Our Favorite Outdoor Films (That You Can Stream Online Right Now)

If you’re looking for inspiring films about the outdoors that you can watch to help avoid cabin fever during time indoors, the Hipcamp team has compiled a list of inspiring movies that are available online.

And we’d like to send a special thank you to the wonderful curators at Wild and Scenic Film Festival and Banff Mountain Film Festival for many years of helping us to discover the very best films about the outdoors. We are deeply grateful for your dedication to the all powerful intersection of art and nature.

Honeyland

Year: 2019
Country: Macedonia
Runtime: 85 min
Watch: Rent on YouTube here ($3.99)

“Honeyland” won 2020 Best of Festival at Wild and Scenic and Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries, among other awards.

From the director: “The ‘Honeyland’ story began long before humans ever lived in the region, but our narrative starts with its last two remaining inhabitants: Hatidze and her mother Nazife. Just as worker bees spend their entire lives taking care of the queen bee which never leaves the hive, Hatidze has committed her own life to the care of her blind and paralyzed mother, unable to leave their ramshackle hut in the mountains of Macedonia… This visual and visceral communication draws the audience closer to the protagonists, and more importantly – closer to nature. Engendering the feeling that we as humans are but one species among many, equally affected by the circumstances around us… Genetic diversity, or biodiversity, enables populations to adapt to changing environments and a changing climate, contributing to the conservation and sustainability of resources. The ‘honey crisis’ in this film illustrates the risk of ignoring these protocols and upsetting the respect for biodiversity… Hatidze’s story is a microcosm for a wider idea of how closely intertwined nature and humanity are, and how much we stand to lose if we ignore this fundamental connection.”

One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts

Year: 2016
Country: US
Runtime: 15 min
Watch: Free on Vimeo

Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures, shares his story of evolution from an industrial to regenerative farmer. This heart warming film shows how possible it is to transform our food system, and therefore our communities, culture, and planet.

From Will Harris: “John Muir has told us that in nature when you pull a string, you see that everything is connected. There’s no reason to believe that the health of the soil is not connected to the health of the community. In rebuilding the soil, we are rebuilding a farmer middle class.”

The Super Salmon: A Real Trip

Year: 2016
Country: US
Runtime: 25 min
Watch: Free on Vimeo

An uplifting and comedic story about the deep passion of people who love nature and want to protect what they love. Follow a salmon in Alaska as it makes an unlikely journey on “the Mount Everest of rivers” – the Susitna – as residents consider the costs/benefits of a mega-dam.

The Biggest Little Farm

Year: 2019
Country: US
Runtime: 91 mins
Watch: Rent on Amazon Prime ($3.99)

“The Biggest Little Farm” is a heartwarming tale of a family’s trials and triumphs while transforming a largely barren piece of land into an incredible farm with plants, animals, and soil all working together in harmony.

SEED: The Untold Story

Year: 2017
Country: US
Runtime: 94 min
Watch: Rent on Vimeo ($4.99)

Fact: we have lost 94% of our seed biodiversity in the last century.

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds — they have been worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, and rightfully so — they are the source of life. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. They are protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy that we need more than ever for the future ahead.

Featuring luminaries such as Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

Island Earth

Year: 2017
Country: US
Runtime: 61 min
Watch: Buy on Vimeo ($9.99)

At once both modern and ancient, this excellent documentary explores the complex science of GMOs, community movements against harmful chemicals, and ancient Polynesian permaculture practices — urging us to raise our awareness of the planet we all share, Island Earth.

Iran: A Skier’s Journey

Year: 2016
Country: Canada
Runtime: 12 min
Watch: Free on Vimeo

An excellent short film that truly captures the freedom that being outside can provide, even within the context of an oppressive regime. Two skiers decide to visit Iran, and are welcomed with profound warmth and  stunned by the immense beauty of the landscape and culture. Threaded through Tehran’s bustling bazaars to Isfahan’s dazzling mosques, the two skiers get a glimpse at the complex dichotomy that divides public and private lives in Iran. Nature is certainly an antidote to oppression.

Sky Migrations

Year: 2018
Country: US
Runtime: 16 mins
Watch: Free on YouTube

Sky Migrations captures the annual and ancient migration of raptors, and the biologists, volunteers, and organizations who are all working together to ensure the epic migration lives on.

Fantastic Fungi

Year: 2020
Country: US
Runtime: 80 mins
Watch: Rent on Vimeo ($4.99)

Dive into the magical world of mushrooms! In this film, renowned scientists and mycologists explore the unique properties of fungi, and the organism’s potential to change the world as we know it for the better.

Dammed To Extinction

Year: 2019
Country: US
Runtime: 50 mins
Watch: Rent on Vimeo ($4.99)

Chinook salmon, the main food source of wild Orcas’ along the Pacific Northwest coast are becoming fewer and fewer, and the orcas are left with no food-supply and are facing extinction. Four obsolete dams on the Snake River in the Pacific Northwest choke off access to thousands of miles of rivers, and removing these dams can save money, salmon and the orcas.

The Memory of Fish

Year: 2018
Country: US
Runtime: 55 mins
Watch: Free with Amazon Prime or Rent on Youtube ($3.99)

Dick Goin and his family have been fed by the Elwha River’s salmon since migrating to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula during the Dust Bowl. Dick has never forgotten his debt to the fish who have been steadily disappearing.

A pulp mill worker and master fisherman turned salmon advocate, Dick uses his memories and persistence to battle for the biggest dam removal project in U.S. history.

His goal: bring the salmon home.

Made in Cambodia

Year: 2017
Country: Cambodia
Runtime: 10 mins
Watch: Free on Vimeo

A film short by Asad Faruqi, the cinematographer for Oscar winning documentary short “A Girl in the River” and “Saving Face.” In the film, follow three Parsons fashion design students as they embark on a life changing journey to Cambodia to experience the day-to-day lives of the invisible women behind our fashion.

Valley Uprising

Year: 2014
Country: USA
Runtime: 98 mins
Watch: Free with Amazon Prime or Rent on Youtube ($5.99)

Valley Uprising explores the history and lore of America’s climbing mecca: Yosemite National Park. Born of counter-culture and beatnik roots, climbing had it’s true “boom” in Yosemite National Park, where rebellious spirits and early climbing legends cultivated the climbing traditions and culture that have defined modern-climbing for the past 60 years.

Free Solo

Year: 2018
Country: US
Runtime: 100 mins
Watch: Rent on Amazon Prime ($3.99)  Free with Disney+

Watch as climber-superstar Alex Honnold climbs Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan with no rope or safety equipment. The film explores the risks associated with rock climbing, the ethics of filming dangerous feats, and the art of navigating relationships where high-risk is involved. Trust us — you’ll be feeling more grateful than ever to have two feet on the ground while watching this nail-biter.

The Accord

Year: 2016
Country: Iceland
Runtime: 19 mins
Watch: Here for $8+

Facing harsh weather patterns, unpredictable winds, and a culture far different than the surf-culture of warmer weathered shores, this short film follows Icelandic surfers in pursuit of what they love most — the perfect wave.

Ace and the Desert Dog

Year: 2016
Country: US
Runtime: 9 mins
Watch: Free on Vimeo

If you’ve got a pup, you’ll love this short film. If you don’t, we’re pretty sure you’ll still love this short film. Watch as Ace takes his Blue Heeler, Genghis Khan, on the adventure of a lifetime through the Utah desert.

Northbound

Year: 2017
Country: Norway
Runtime: 8 mins
Watch: Free on Vimeo

Northbound is just pure pretty — featuring unbelievable frozen landscapes and mesmerizing “how is that even real?!” skateboarding shots. Treat your eyes to 8 minutes of visual bliss!

Before the Flood

Year: 2016
Country: US
Runtime: 95 mins
Watch: Rent on Amazon Prime ($3.99)

Before the Flood follows Leonardo DiCaprio’s journey to uncover truths about the state of climate change globally, where exactly we’re headed if nothing changes, and ultimately suggests that individual people, when working together, have the power to make real change in the world —before it’s too late.

Find Yourself Outside

Year: 2016
Country: US
Runtime: 1 min
Watch: Free on Vimeo

This is a short video we created with our friends at Avocados and Coconuts to celebrate the outdoors. No soundtrack. No voice over. Just the real sounds of getting outdoors.

Which films have you enjoyed that you recommend we watch?

Have a recommendation for an excellent film about the outdoors we should know about? Please let us know by tweeting to us @hipcamp. If you found our list of films helpful, share the article with a friend. Sharing is caring!

Coffee-drinkin', true-crime obsessed, small-town gal from Texas, living in a big city + trying to save our planet!

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