If you’re anything like the Camp Master team, the ‘adventure itch’ could strike at any moment. Unfortunately, sometimes, that itch happens when you’ve just finished a 9-hour workday, have a weekend full of admin ahead of you, and 0.75 days’ worth of leave at your disposal.
We know, as much as we’d love to pack our sleeping mats and galivant off to the nearest mountain range, it’s just not an option. The next best thing we like to do is settle in for an hour or two of solid silver-screen expedition entertainment.
We’ve seen a lot of camping films (some good and some… questionable?) and we got together to carve those down into our 10 faves to share with you. Set these cinematic journeys up in your lounge – or even an outdoor projector next to a campfire in your garden – to satisfy that urge until your next mission into nature.
1.Into the Wild (2007)
A young man named Chris McCandless decides to leave his privileged life behind and go on an adventure in the wilderness. He donates his savings to charity, cuts off all ties with his family, and sets off to Alaska. Along the way, he meets various characters who impact his journey, both positively and negatively. He eventually reaches Alaska and tries to survive in the harsh environment, but tragedy strikes. This is a must-watch for every adventure buff, but be sure to get the tissues ready!
Based on a true story, Cheryl Strayed decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail after a series of personal tragedies including the death of her mother and the end of her marriage. She has no prior hiking experience and faces various challenges and dangers along the way. She meets other hikers and forms friendships, but also has to deal with loneliness and fear. Through her journey, she learns to confront her past and finds healing. This flick is an inspiring watch for anyone who’s looking to travel solo.
3.The Revenant (2015)
This addition to the list is also based on a true story! That might be a theme here… Hugh Glass is a frontiersman in the 1820s who is brutally attacked by a bear while on a hunting expedition. His companions leave him for dead, but he survives and embarks on a treacherous journey to seek revenge on those who abandoned him. Along the way, he faces harsh weather conditions, hostile Native American tribes, and internal struggles. Also, as we’re sure you’ve seen in the memes, Leonardo DiCaprio is doing the most. We’ll leave it at that.
4.A Walk in the Woods (2015)
Based on a memoir, Bill Bryson decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with an old acquaintance named Stephen Katz. Despite their lack of hiking experience, they set off on the journey and face various obstacles and mishaps. They meet other hikers, encounter wildlife, and confront their own personal issues. Through their journey, they develop a deeper appreciation for nature and each other. This one’s a great feature to watch with your favourite adventure buddy.
5.The Way (2010)
After his son dies while hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a grieving father named Tom decides to complete the journey in his honour. He sets off on the pilgrimage and meets other travellers who impact his whole emotional process. Along the way, he confronts his own past and learns to let go of his grief. This one sounds really emotional, and it is – but in a good way. If you’re treating nature as a healing space right now, let this film act as an inspiration to you.
6.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Walter Mitty is a daydreamer who works as a negative assets manager at Life magazine. When a crucial photo negative goes missing, he embarks on a real-life adventure to find it. He travels to various locations around the world and faces danger, but also finds love and self-discovery. The photographers and ‘pioneer guys’ among you are going to adore this one. Ben Stiller is, as usual, a delight in this film!
7.Moonrise Kingdom (2010)
Set in 1965, two (very) young lovers named Sam and Suzy decide to run away together on a small New England island. They navigate the wilderness and elude authorities as they try to start a new life together. Think ‘running away from home’ in grade 2. Along the way, they encounter various delightful and eccentric characters. As a Wes Andersen film, this is an indie visual delight. We’re looking at YOU here, hipster trail runners! Your ironic moustaches will be tickled pink at how delightfully, awkwardly twee this film is. In the best way.
8. Free Solo (2018)
This documentary follows climber Alex Honnold – a titan in the rock climbing scene – as he attempts to free solo climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Free solo climbing means climbing without any ropes or safety equipment, for those unaware. The documentary explores Honnold’s mindset and journey as he attempts the legendary 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. This is a must for the intrepid climber and speaks to the gold standard in this growing sport’s vision: to go places and do things nobody’s ever done before.
9.The Great Outdoors (1988)
John Candy and his family head to a peaceful lakeside resort for a vacation, but their tranquility is quickly shattered by obnoxious and wealthy fellow campers. Hilarity ensues as the two families engage in a hijinks-laden feud full of pranks, boating mishaps and an unforgettable encounter with a grizzly bear. This is a great one to watch with your whole family, so order in some pizza and make a night of it!
10. 14 Peaks (2021)
Nims Purja, a former Special Forces soldier from Nepal, takes on the ultimate mountaineering challenge: summiting the world’s 14 highest peaks in just seven months. With only his team and his willpower, he battles altitude sickness, harsh weather and deadly avalanches to make history and inspire others to chase their dreams. This is a filmed-in-real-time (and very recent) adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll also get some views of Tibetan mountain ranges that have never been seen on film before!
After the credits are rolling…
We can almost bet you’re rearing to plan your next expedition. The ‘adventure itch’ may be scratched, but if you’re anything like us, you’re probably already mapping out the next road trip. We hear you! That’s why here at Camp Master, we’ve developed a range of accessible yet high-quality outdoor gear to enable your exploration.
You can get our hands on all the equipment you might need for your next bush crusade at a Game, Builder’s Warehouse or Makro outlet near you! We know what drives you and it drives us too – so let’s enjoy it together. Meet us there with a full complement of Camp Master gear. See you on the trails ASAP, we’ll be the ones on the coolest fold-out chairs.