Top 5 Documentaries Inspired by The Outdoors

In times where you're unable to go out and truly enjoy the great outdoors, there's no harm in watching other people have some fun. Their travels and adventures may even give you some inspiration for your next big trip, perhaps you'll be the next desert runner! You may even find a new love for outdoor documentaries, whether it's watching wild animals in their natural habitat or tales of mountain climbers, we've got your covered.

Make sure to check out our 'Top 10 Outdoor Films' list, if you need some outdoorsy film recommendations!


Best Outdoor Documentaries

1. Planet Earth (2016)

Length: 1hr each

Number of Episodes: 11

Streaming Service: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube Movies

IMDb Rating: 9.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 95%

About the documentary...

You can't write a list of outdoor documentaries without mentioning the well loved Planet Earth by David Attenborough. The series itself was filmed four years and in 64 different countries. It features some of the worlds most natural wonders, including grasslands, mountains, deserts, oceans from different ends of the globe. It shows you how animals hunt and the things they do to survive, as well as giving us an insight to creatures we haven't ever heard about. A truly fascinating documentary to watch, that will leave you in awe and amazing at what our planet really has to offer.


2.  Meru (2015)

Length: 1hr 30mins

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube Movies

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%

About the documentary...

Three elite alpinists (Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk) are on their ascent of the 'Shark's Fin' route on Mount Meru, located in the Himalayas - which hadn't been completed. Whilst on this impossible climb you learn how the three have to put aside their past and work together in order to survive. Not only will you be kept on the edge of your seat the whole time, but you will also see how the characters develop through interviews and really appreciate the camera work behind this Sundance winning doc,


3. Desert Runners (2013)

Length: 1hr 39mins

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89%

About the documentary...

I'm sure you can guess what this documentary is about based on the title. This Docufilm follows a group of non-professional runners attempting to complete a series of ultramarathon races which have been identified as the most difficult ones in the world, across 4 deserts. Whilst running through The Atacama Desert (Chile), The Gobi Desert (China) The Sahara Desert (Egypt) and through Antarctica, they encounter many different conditions from dry to windy to hot. You're with them through their ups and downs and observe how they keep each other going through tough terrain and painful blisters. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes and learn about each runner, as they all have their own story to tell.


4. Under an Arctic Sky (2017)

Length: 39mins

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube Movies

IMDb Rating: 7/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%

About the documentary...

A group of surfers and their cameraman decide to travel along Iceland's north coast shores in order to ride the 'perfect waves', in the cold winter season. Not long after their arrival they come face to face with Iceland's worst storm in 25 years, turning their 'perfect' surfing trip to a near death experience. Even though they are experienced surfers, nothing could prepare them for this, they encounters constant darkness (3 hours of daylight) and the stormiest of seas, but was the experience really worth it just to surf under the northern lights? This doc shows you that mother nature really is in charge.


5. Earth from Space (2019)

Length: 1hr each

Number of Episodes: 4

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube Movies

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: There isn't one yet...

About the documentary...

The BBC docuseries gives us a new perspective of earth, from cameras up in space. Each episode reveals something new, whether it is the stories behind the most exquisite patterns and shapes or inspiring us to help out as we can see how quickly everything on our planet is changing. Seeing the planet you live on from a whole new perspective may open your eyes to how beautiful our earth really is and will show you things you've probably never ever seen before.


Feel free to let us know your favourite outdoor documentaries!

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