Sometimes the best inspiration comes from the most extreme places.
When considering what makes us pursue outdoor adventures in the first place, what comes instantly to mind? It’s not a pedestrian hike or casual swim at the beach. We look to the far corners of reality, the bleeding edge between dreams and real life, for that perfect catalyst to get us moving.
We’ve gathered our 5 favorite outdoor-focused videos here in the hopes that this compelling magic may spark your imagination. Each of these videos focuses on a wildly different yet equally compelling aspect of human interaction with our natural world. Each of these videos takes a deep dive into the extreme, surfacing far from the mundane reality of our day to day lives.
1. Livin’ Tiny: A Quest for Powder by Outdoor Research
This invigorating video highlights a zeal for powder, emphasizing the importance of following through with your passion and being proactive in life. The story highlights the importance of spirit in any outdoor adventure journey.
The video showcases the construction and cross country journey of a purpose-built tiny house, as the creators search for the perfect downhill sporting conditions. A very real passion and love for sport, adventure, and nature itself suffuses the entire video, where we see an expanding group of people joining forces to get this spectacular small home to the slopes, where it was meant to be.
2. Red Bull Rampage from start to finish by Red Bull
With this video, we see the absolute pinnacle of extreme mountain biking feats. The sport has evolved to a point where superhuman feats are possible. The footage here captures mountain biking at its razor-edge, far beyond the abilities of average riders. While you’re not likely to accomplish feats like this in your own lifetime, the impressive thrill on display is enough to impress and inspire anyone.
Watch as a group of bikers in Southern Utah leap beyond what was thought possible on two wheels. This brief clip showcases one of the most thrilling moments the sport has ever seen. Rider Kyle Strait soars through the air doing backflips, Supermans, and more, achieving the longest hang-time in his career.
3. Extreme ice climbing – Cascade de l’Oule, France (V+, 5+) by Petzl Sport
This is an amazing video of ice climbing at its best, an intoxicating representation of an outdoor sport that is not on everyone’s radar.
A close cousin to mountain climbing, ice climbing involves scaling precipices of sheer ice and nothing more. The vertiginous scale of this sport is matched only by the gorgeous splendor of the environments where it takes place. Says Petzl Team manager Erwan Lelann, “I’ve been ice climbing around Grenoble for almost 20 years, and for at least 10 years I’ve been dreaming of the day when the waterfalls that flow down off the Saint-Hilaire du Touvet plateau would freeze up.” What we see here is that golden moment when the entire waterfalls froze from top to bottom.
The sheer audacity and physical challenge on display is enough to choke anyone up. The freewheeling joy in the climbers’ accomplishment is contagious.
4. Of Man and Beast = The Free Solo Climbers by MrClimbingrock
This clip is fashioned like a music video, taking a panoramic look at the sport of free solo climbing. Created in direct contrast with standard mountain and rock climbing, free climbing is explicitly designed by be performed without the aid of any equipment in making an ascent. One minute with this video will convince you that it’s just as extreme as you could imagine.
Leaping from foothold to tiny outcropping, ascending with absolute freedom, the climbers here are as close to superheroes as you’re likely to find in the world of outdoor sports. One tiny slip could spell absolute doom. Yet these athletes face the vertical facades with fearless energy. It’s beyond thrilling to see this death defying sport in action.
5. Top 10 Amazing Places on Earth You Won’t Believe are Real by Top10Media
For our final video, we’ve moving away from extreme human interaction with nature. This clip highlights some of the most extreme expressions of our natural world, showcasing the surreal beauty of earth at its most unique, far-flung points. The majority of these locations are protected and fairly inaccessible, making the video overview more than simply tantalizing escapism. These are as close as our natural world comes to providing real-life dreamscapes.
The profoundly interesting scale on display can invigorate your desire to explore the great outdoors, appreciating the earth for all of its depth and mystery. While we may personally never set eyes upon these bold formations and landscapes, the fact that they exist is high motivation to get outside and see what we can discover for ourselves.
We hope this eye-popping collection has been as entertaining and informative for you as it has been for us. The audacity of human spirit, the accomplishments of extreme sports, and the wild ends of the earth are all apex events that define the edge of what is possible. When we know the very edge of the map exists, we humans tend to see if we can go further. Knowing how extreme life on earth can be, we’re inspired to push harder, to make every day count.