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34 Awesome—and Awesomely Bad—Outdoor Movies You Can Stream Right Now

From painfully obvious to just plain painful, these outdoor movies are worth a watch.

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Invite the outdoors to movie night. This list features some of our favorite movies, from a chilling horror flick set in the forests of Sweden to a ground-breaking climbing documentary, as well as a few so-bad-they’re-good pulp masterpieces. Grab your popcorn and settle in.

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180° South

best outdoor movies 180 south

If this modern-day retracing of Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard’s iconic 1968 journey through Patagonia doesn’t inspire you, you may be dead inside. Rent on Amazon

The Ritual

the ritual

We watched this horror flick right before a backpacking trip—don’t make our same mistake. Five college buddies reunite for a hiking trip in Sweden, but something in the forest is watching them. Stream on Netflix

Free Solo

None

This palm-sweating documentary, which documents Alex Honnold’s ropeless climb of El Capitan, isn’t just a record of one of history’s great athletic feats, it’s a triumph of on-location filmmaking that sent its crew up the side of America’s largest cliff. Stream on Disney+

Touching the Void

best outdoor movies touching the void

This bracing adaptation of Joe Simpson’s memoir is arguably the greatest mountaineering movie of all time. Rent on Amazon

A Walk in the Woods

best outdoor movies a walk in the woods

Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are an odd couple on the Appalachian Trail in this adaptation of Bill Bryson’s bestselling book. Rent on Amazon

Maidentrip

best outdoor movies maidentrip

When Laura Dekker was 14, she took to the sea in her two-masted ketch in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo. Compiled mostly from her own footage, this movie tells the story of what turned out to be an incredible journey. Stream on Amazon

Leave No Trace

None

No, it isn’t a documentary about environmentally-friendly camping. This drama, about an Iraq War veteran and his daughter who live in an Oregon park until an incident forces them to emerge into society, became a critical darling after its premiere at Sundance in 2018. Stream on Amazon

Jeremiah Johnson

Robert Redford = quintessential mountain man.

Robert Redford = quintessential mountain man. Rent on Amazon

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

None

How are these for unlikely hiking buddies? Two dogs and a cat (voiced by Michael J. Fox, Don Ameche, and Sally Field, no less) cross the Sierra Nevadas in search of their departed owners. Whether you grew up with the original or this remake, their journey is sure to bring back childhood memories. Stream on Disney+

The Way

best outdoor movies the way

Far and away the top pick of BACKPACKER’s Facebook audience, The Way follows Martin Sheen’s grieving father on a soul-searching hike along Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Rent on Amazon

Into the Wild

best outdoor movies into the wild

This handsomely directed adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s classic bestseller features a star-making turn from Emile Hirsch and a haunting score by Eddie Vedder. Rent on Amazon

Grizzly Man

best outdoor mvoies grizzly man

The life and death of grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, as captured by director Werner Herzog. This powerful documentary is as gut-wrenching as it is beautiful. Rent on Amazon

Moana

best outdoor movies moana

“See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me. And no one knows, how far it goes.” Stream on Disney+ Plus

Alive

best outdoor movies alive

A survival classic, Alive chronicles the tale of an Uruguayan rugby team struggling to escape the wilderness after a plane crash. Rent on Amazon

127 Hours

In arguably his best role ever, James Franco stars in this gruesome, gripping adaptation of Aron Ralston's survival memoir.

In arguably his best role ever, James Franco stars in this gruesome, gripping adaptation of Aron Ralston’s survival memoir. Stream on Amazon

Mile Mile and a Half

Five friends hike the John Muir Trail and capture the stunning landscape of the High Sierra. Gift it to any aspiring thru-hiker.

Five friends hike the John Muir Trail and capture the stunning landscape of the High Sierra. Gift it to any aspiring thru-hiker. Steam on Amazon

The Edge

Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins battle a predatory grizzly—and each other—in this pulpy drama.

Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins battle a predatory grizzly—and each other—in this pulpy drama. Rent on Amazon

The Grey

Liam Neeson is as badass as ever, but his bloodthirsty wolf foes are a little over-the-top.

Liam Neeson is as badass as ever, but his bloodthirsty wolf foes are a little over-the-top. Stream on Starz / Rent on Amazon

A River Runs Through It

Spectacular Montana scenery and a young Brad Pitt provide eye candy galore.

Spectacular Montana scenery and a young Brad Pitt provide eye candy galore. Rent on Amazon

Cast Away

WILSON! WILLLLLSSSONNNNNNN!

WILLLLLSSSONNNNNNN! Stream on Cinemax / Rent on Amazon

Chasing Ice

See glaciers melt before your eyes as James Balog travels to Iceland and beyond in order to document the Earth's changing landscape.

See glaciers melt before your eyes as James Balog travels to Iceland and beyond in order to document the Earth’s changing landscape. Rent from YouTube

Cliffhanger

A guilty pleasure if we've ever seen one, this action flick set in the Dolomites features vintage Sly and a nasty villain turn from John Lithgow.

“If you’re looking for Qualen, try about 4,000 feet south of here. He’ll be the one wearing the helicopter.” Rent on Amazon

Deliverance

Warning: may invoke an irrational fear of banjos.

Warning: may invoke an irrational fear of banjos. Rent on Amazon

Happy People

How is it possible that the residents of one of the most inhospitable places on Earth also happen to be the happiest? This Siberian documentary…

How is it possible that the residents of one of the most inhospitable places on Earth also happen to be the happiest? This Siberian documentary (directed by Werner Herzog) is a quiet stunner. Stream on Amazon

K2: The Ultimate High

A dramatized account of two friends' near-disastrous ascent of the world's second-tallest peak.

A dramatized account of two friends’ near-disastrous ascent of the world’s second-tallest peak. Stream on Hoopla

Lawrence of Arabia

“Sweeping” hardly does this singular epic justice. It’s probably the best desert film of all time (and certainly the longest). Rent on Amazon

March of the Penguins

Admit it: These little guys melted your heart. Also, Morgan Freeman should narrate everything ever.

Admit it: These little guys melted your heart. Also, Morgan Freeman should narrate everything ever. Rent on Amazon

Never Cry Wolf

A young biologist investigates whether wolves are really as bad as they're made out to be in this adaptation of Farley Mowat's landmark book.

A young biologist investigates whether wolves are really as bad as they’re made out to be in this adaptation of Farley Mowat’s landmark book. Rent on Amazon

The River Wild

Meryl Streep and David Strathairn are terrorized by a villainous Kevin Bacon during a rapids trip down Idaho's Salmon River.

Meryl Streep and David Strathairn are terrorized by a villainous Kevin Bacon during a rapids trip down Idaho’s Salmon River. Stream on Starz / Rent on YouTube

The Great Outdoors

Dan Aykroyd and John Candy go family camping with disastrous, hilarious results.

Dan Aykroyd and John Candy go family camping with disastrous, hilarious results. Stream on Starz

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Famous for its

Famous for its “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges” line, Bogie’s gold prospecting classic is a sly and insightful examination of human greed. Stream on Turner Classic Movies / Rent on Amazon

Vertical Limit

Preposterous in almost every way, this mountaineering action flick makes Cliffhanger look highbrow by comparison, but still works fine as pure…

Preposterous in almost every way, this mountaineering action flick makes Cliffhanger look highbrow by comparison, but still works fine as pure popcorn entertainment. Stream on Amazon

Walkabout

A brother and sister stranded in the Australian outback enlist the help of a young Aborigine in Nicholas Roeg's hallucinatory avant-garde classic.

A brother and sister stranded in the outback enlist the help of a young Aboriginal Australian in Nicholas Roeg’s hallucinatory avant-garde classic. Stream on Criterion / Rent on Amazon

Wild

best outdoor movies wild

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of self-discovery on the Pacific Crest Trail was an instant best-seller, and Reese Witherspoon brings it to life on the big screen. Rent on Amazon

Need more ideas? Check out 14 More Awesome (and Awesomely Bad) Outdoor Movies You Can Stream Right Now