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The Top 5 Adventure Movies to Inspire Your Next Trip

These films will get you off the couch and into the wild before the credits are done rolling.

By: Aaron Rickel Jones + Save to a List

1. 180° South

"The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life; it's so easy to make it complex. The solution may be, for a lot of the world's problems, to turn around and take a forward step."
-Yvon Chouinard 

This documentary epic follows Jeff Johnson on his wild escapade to follow in the footsteps of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Complete with sailing, surfing, mountaineering, traveling, action, and serenity, 180 Degrees South is sure to inspire you to set off on the road and not look back.

2. Into The Wild

"Happiness is only real when shared."
-Christopher McCandless

After graduating from university, Chris McCandless donates his life savings to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live off the land. Essentially a chapter-by-chapter telling of Jon Krakauer's book by the same name, Into The Wild will inspire anyone to live more simply.

3. Meru

"It was worth the risk. It was worth possibly dying for."
-Renan Ozturk

In 2008, renowned alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk attempted to make the first ascent of Meru and were defeated by sub-zero temperatures and raging storms. In 2011, they went back to try again. This chilling story of sacrifice, suffering, and endurance won the 2015 U.S. Documentary Audience Award at Sundance. If that's not enough to convince you, it was co-directed by Jimmy Chin, arguably the most badass and influential outdoor photographer of our time.

4. The Art of Flight

"We will never know our full potential unless we push ourselves to find it. It's this self discovery that inevitably takes us to the wildest places on earth."
-Travis Rice

You don't even have to like snowboarding to be awestruck by this movie. Kurt Morgan's jaw-dropping cinematography and style paired with Travis Rice's next-level riding makes The Art of Flight the best snowboarding film ever to hit screens. And if you really can't get into the riding, the film provides some absolutely breathtaking views of winter mountains as it wanders around the globe.

5. The Endless Summer

"Summer means many things to many different people. For us, it's surfing."
-The Endless Summer

I'm sure you've heard the phrase Endless Summer even if you don't know where it comes from. In the most influential and iconic surf film of all time, filmmaker Bruce Brown follows legendary surfers Robert August and Michael Hynson around the globe in search of the perfect wave. Complete with an awesome 60s nostalgia, if this doesn't inspire you to get out on the water, I don't know what will.

Honorable Mentions:

Valley Uprising - The wild history of rock climbing in Yosemite Valley

Wild - One woman's 1,100 mile solo hike along the PCT

Mile... Mile and a Half - A group of friends hike the John Muir Trail

Under an Arctic Sky - Surfing + Iceland + Northern Lights + Icebergs + Cold

Which ones did I miss? Let me know so I can be inspired, too!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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