11 Adventure Travel Documentaries on YouTube to keep you inspired during the Corona Crisis
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Recently, I came upon several articles about the best travel documentaries on Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, or some other paid streaming platform. But you don't have to subscribe to any of these services in order to watch great travel documentary content - just open up YouTube and be immersed in a plethora of inspiring travel documentaries!
Below are my top 11 adventure travel documentaries on YouTube:
1. Carlos Costa - A journey to the Highest Village in the World
I've been following Carlos for years, his happy-go-lucky attitude makes his videos very enjoyable. In the past, he shot most of his videos with only a GoPro, which shows that you can be a great storyteller without the most expensive equipment. In 'A journey to the Highest Village in the World' he takes you on a motorcycle trip through the South American Andes. I often find myself laughing at the level of unpreparedness that goes into planning his trips (he forgot to bring gloves), but this authenticity is one of the reasons his films stand out to me.
2. Kraig Adams - Hiking 60 Miles Alone in Hornstrandir Iceland
The very first video I ever watched from Kraig Adams was his 60-mile solo hike around Iceland. I was deeply intrigued by his no-talking approach to filmmaking. He tells his entire story through his visuals, sounds, and music. His videos have a calming quality, while at the same time showing off the beauty of some very scenic stretches of planet earth. He is a true advocate of lightweight hiking, and I am again and again astounded by how he manages to pack only the most essential (I always end up with a minimum of 17kg for an overnight trip).
3. Expedition Overland - Alaska/Yukon Series
Founded by Rachelle and Clay Croft, Expedition Overland lifts overlanding cinematography to the next level. They have produced several extremely well-made travel documentaries for trips to Alaska, the Yukon, or South America. I watched the first film of theirs while just preparing a trip north to Alaska as well. Since then they have continued to produce amazing content inspiring many more people to pursue their dreams of overlanding. Watch their full Alaska/Yukon Series on YouTube, as they battle swarms of mosquitos, cross deep rivers, and drive all the way to Deadhorse at Prudhoe Bay.
4. Ronny Dahl - Kimberly Adventure Series
The first time I came upon Ronny Dahl from 4-wheeling in Western Australia, was in 2015 when I was learning the absolute basics about going off the beaten path. His instructional videos helped me to gain an understanding of tire pressures, tire repairs, and offroad adventures in general. Since then he has produced many great travel documentaries from his offroad trips through Australia, including a nine-part documentary series about his travels in The Kimberley of Western Australia. Be prepared for a mix of beautiful drone footage, heavy offroading, and late-night campfire sessions.
5. Morten Hilmer - Solo Camping in Polar Bear Land
Professional Danish photographer Morten Hilmer has balls of steel. His trips take him anywhere from quiet Danish woods to raging blizzards in Greenland. Often he goes out to hike or ski long distances through vast and desolate stretches of landscape. Of course, he is uniquely qualified to do that, as he used to serve in the Danish military special forces, the Sirius Patrol, for two years. His travel documentaries often have a calming quality, as he takes us on long journeys to truly remote destinations, taking pictures of arctic foxes, deer, or musk oxen. Especially endearing is his love for coffee, a commodity he takes on any trip.
“I find silence and serenity in myself when I spend time in nature and feel its authenticity. When the blizzard is raging, when the rain and the wind make animals and people seek shelter, or when night descends over the forest. For me, it’s not only about getting the perfect picture of an animal or a bird, but more about capturing the uniquely intense mood or feeling that I only experience in wild nature.” - Morten Hilmer
6. Karl Watson - New Zealand Roadtrip
If you are more of a people person, then Karl Watson's travel documentaries may be the right pick for you. His trips are not taken in solitude to areas of remote wilderness, but often in groups of people with other travelers. He has produced many backpacking adventure documentaries from his trips around the world, covering countries such as New Zealand, Marocco, Namibia, or Japan.
7. Danny McGee - The Ultimate American Roadtrip
American filmmaker and photographer Danny McGee takes you on a three-week, 5000-mile roadtrip in his travel documentary, exploring North America from Colorado to Vancouver in a van. This travel documentary mixes vlog-style narration with great drone visuals. It will have you itching to go on your own roadtrip. Make sure to check out Danny's Instagram, his photos are amazing!
8. Visual Moto Travel - Up&Down Central Asia Adventure
Michal Prskavec from Visual Moto Travel takes you on a two-month, 23.000km motorcycle journey through the less frequently visited countries of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Mongolia. The voice-over of the documentary is of very high quality, giving you many great insights into the visited destinations along the way.
9. Brady Bilgake - First Trip to Ireland
Ever wanted to learn more about Ireland? Then look no further. Brady Bilgake (pronounced Bray-dee Big-Awl-Kee) and his wife take you on a Guinness-drinking, step-dancing, beautiful-nature journey through The Emerald Isle. The travel documentary mixes vlog-style narration with incredibly beautiful drone shot sequences of castles, cliffs, and landscapes. You will also learn more about Irish food and culture during the trip, so buckle up!
Oh, and did I mention he is criminally good looking?
10. TIM and FIN - Motorbike Vietnam South to North
Digital Nomads Tim and Fin (aka Allison) are traveling full-time, creating travel videos along the way. Their travels have taken them around the world, from Cyprus to Canada, Indonesia to New Zealand, and Austria to the Philippines. Their adventurous Vietnam motorbike travel documentary has them travel from Saigon to Hanoi across the country. Their 90-min video combines several of their vlogs into one long travel documentary. They are also a great resource of information if you think about quitting your job to travel. Check out their blog to learn more!
11. Lucas T. Jahn - Costa Rica Travel Documentary
I will finish this list by sharing our very own travel documentaries on YouTube with you. Together with my wife Anna, I have produced roadtrip documentaries covering our trips through Australia, Canada and Alaska, Namibia, Botswana, and Costa Rica. We plan to visit a lot more countries in the future, so if you like what you see, make sure to subscribe!
Did I miss an inspiring travel documentary? Let me know in the comments!