If you use YouTube enough it’s only a matter of time until the algorithm gets you.
Whether you use the same device regularly or you have your own account, YouTube will slowly get to know your habits over time. Like any well-programmed social media these days, it ends up knowing you better than you know yourself.
YouTube can get inside your head so well that the content recommended is so good people are canceling their Netflix and TV subscriptions. Here’s a roundup of the best outdoor channels to watch in 2021 (in no particular order).
GoNorth Japan 18k Subscribers
This may initially come across as a travel channel, and any Japanophile knows that there are tons of them on YouTube. However, this channel hosted by gentle ex-pat Quinlan is focused on his love for the mountains in the land of the rising sun.
The channel has just turned two years old and has more content than you can shake a snowshoe at, from videos on how to protect yourself from Japanese bears to the essential guide on what to bring on a hike through Japan. If you plan on visiting the country or not, Quinlan’s advice will still help on your outdoor adventures anywhere in the world.
The Homeless Firefighter 75k Subscribers
Have you always dreamed of watching the antics of a 31-year-old Californian firefighter who lives in the back of his pickup truck? Well, look no further; this channel gives us a look into his reasons for choosing #vanlife and the hiking and outdoor lifestyle that goes with it.
You probably won’t learn a whole you didn’t already know about the outdoors from this channel, but Sam brings along humor so dry it almost feels English; the entertainment alone is worth a sub.
It appears that this channel has gone the way of the dodo since Sam has reached his goal of saving enough for a huge house deposit with no uploads for seven months, but he has surprised us before. His content is still worth watching from start to finish to see how his life pans out by thinking outside of the box.
Spend More Time In The WILD 37.7k Subscribers
Abbie is, first and foremost, a survivor. She has struggled for a long time with mental health issues and is very open about in her videos. She is a strong believer in the healing power that the natural world has for the mind.
Her videos are mainly based in the UK and offer a wide range of entertainment and information. Abbie will regularly post kit reviews and videos offering specific advice on the trial. Some of her videos cater to women’s needs when in the outdoors, which is a welcome niche in the male-dominated outdoor community.
The top-tier content she offers, though, is undoubtedly her long-form trail videos. The UK has several national trails which offer very long, often 100 mile plus routes.
Abbie turns these routes into feature-length films that are sometimes over two hours long. She does venture overseas as well with trail films set in Germany, France, and beyond. She’s another contender for making YouTube your primary source of couch-based entertainment.
Paul Messner 103k Subscribers
Paul has recently hit the 100k subscribers milestone, making him almost too “big time” for this list. The quality of his content is just what you would expect for a channel with so many fans. He’s a wild camping expert and gear enthusiast. He’s currently in the midst of converting a van into a mobile home, but don’t let that fool you. This guy is all about canvas-themed accommodation.
Here’s hoping he never stops his wild camping videos because they’re really where it’s at. He gives great insight into wild camping and its strange legalities in England. He camps out all year round and never forgets to bring along a cheeky beer or two.
This is quality content, and the way it’s filmed gives a very intimate look into the British wilderness, a real armchair adventurer’s dream.
Chris Homer 6.81k Subs
This growing channel has been mentioned on The Adventure Blog before and is a real personal favorite. Chris is an ex-forces and a professional filmmaker to boot. The experience from these roles really shows in his YouTube channel, which is based only in the UK.
The most epic videos on the channel are set in a British national park called Snowdonia in the tiny country of Wales. Here Chris uses a combination of top-of-the-range film equipment to create silent films of his hikes. They encapsulate what the outdoors is for many of us, a time of peaceful reflection.
Due to the recent state of the UK lockdown, Chris hasn’t been able to travel as far, and videos are for the time filmed a little closer to home in his native Black Country (that’s the midlands of England for those across the pond). They still reflect his silent style, focusing on the bigger picture and the little details.
He has now started breaking down his films at their finale akin to what you see on David Attenborough documentaries which is a nice touch. Watch this space. When the content is this good before 10k, the sky is the limit for Chris.
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This article is written for those that wish they could be out doing more, with plans of wild adventure sabotaged by lockdowns. If you’re usually spending your free time in the great outdoors but find yourself suffering from an unwanted diagnosis of cabin fever, YouTube could be your new escapism tool.
First things first, get yourself an account so that you are always logged in. Subscribe to all these channels and start enjoying their content. Depending on your choices, YouTube’s intelligent algorithm will start recommending stuff you are interested in. The longer you use it, the better it knows you, and you, too, will find yourself finding little gems like those listed above.