Backpacker Gives Us 37 Great – and Not so Great – Outdoor Movies

With Free Solo taking the win for best documentary at Sunday’s Academy Awards show, there is a chance that there will be some people who are looking for other outdoor films to watch but aren’t sure where to turn. If that’s the case for you, never fear, as Backpacker magazine has compiled a list of 37 awesome –– and awesomely bad –– outdoor movies. Unlike a lot of these types of list however, the films weren’t picked by the editors themselves but readers of the magazine.

The list starts off with the most obvious of recommendations by suggesting the aforementioned Free Solo. From there it moves on to quite an eclectic mix with some movies you’re sure to recognize and others that may have slipped under your radar. For instance, last year’s Leave No Trace is a drama about an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD who escapes to the woods with his teenage daughter. It won all kinds of critical praise, but has largely gone unnoticed by audiences. It’s joined by The Way –– starring Martin Sheen and directed by son Emilio Estevez –– which joins a grieving father on his trek along the El Camino de Santiago in Spain. That one in particular is a favorite of mine.

Others suggestions range from Disney’s Homeward Bound, which follows lost pets on a grand adventure to find their family and Maidentripwhich is a documentary about Laura Dekker who sailed solo around the world at age 14. I won’t spoil too many more of the suggestions however, as part of the fun is finding out which movies were good –– and bad –– enough to earn a spot on Backpacker’s list. Needless to say, there are some truly fantastic films here, and some that you’ll probably wish you’d never spent two hours watching.

Check out all 37 films here.

Kraig Becker