Whenever I’m feeling lazy, down, or unmotivated, I love to watch outdoor adventure films, usually featuring some endurance sport. For a while, I was binging ultramarathon race documentaries. Then FKT attempts. Sometimes bikepacking films.

Watching these sorts of films serves as a form of escapism and provides inspiration for future trips and challenges. Many are also beautifully-made pieces of art as well, that I’m sure anyone would enjoy.

Below, I’ve outlined a couple of my favorites, in case you’d like to check them out:

REI Presents: How To Run 100 Miles

For reasons I can’t quite put into words, this is my favorite ultramarathon film. It’s short, it’s well-made, and it has brought me nearly to tears every time I’ve watched it. I also really like the creative flairs that shine through throughout the film. There’s a quote somewhere halfway through that I think about whenever I’m doing something challenging: “When you just keep pushing the bar of the hardest thing you’ve ever done further and further out, then all those hard things become way less hard.”

Trials of Miles

Beau Miles is a favorite of mine on Youtube, and he has a several adventure films on his channel. Trials of Miles documents his journey through the Australian Alps, trying to set a FKT. I think that the logistics of attempts like this are fascinating, so it’s great to see in more detail how he is supported by his family and friends on the run.

A bivvy, a phone and a drone: cycling home from China.

This documentary is short but very impressive. Josh Reid does an excellent job of self-filming his journey from China to the UK, not to mention his insane feat of biking over 200km a day for months on end. The drone shots give an impressive view of the landscape. My only complaint about this film is that I wish it were longer!

Biking Borders

Also about a transcontinental bike ride, Biking Borders features two German men who ride from Berlin to Beijing, raising money for education along the way. I really love how much the film focuses on the human element of the journey, featuring heavily the hospitality the bikepackers received throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Bass by Kayak

Also from Beau Miles, Bass by Kayak is different from the others on this list in that it documents a sea kayaking journey, from mainland Australia to Tasmania. Watching Beau navigate the Bass Strait was my first time learning about sea kayaking, and seeing the possibility of journeys like this has definitely made me want to try it out myself someday.