YouTube travel channels are a great source of inspiration for many of us, especially when we’re not on the road. I’ve built up a big collection of my favourite YouTube travel vloggers, and today I’m sharing with you this selection of travel adventurers. So make a brew, set aside some time, and get inspired by this selection of the best travel vloggers focused on adventure. From hikers and mountaineers to sailors and boaters, we’ve got you covered for armchair adventures.
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1. Hiking and The Big Outdoors: Adventure Archives
This channel sees a group of friends on the trail, road tripping and solo adventuring. What makes it noteworthy is the beautiful footage that accompanies the journeys, with a skillful choice of camera viewpoints. The very natural on-camera presence of the group makes their adventures captivating. I love the camaraderie which sees three people share two pairs of long boots to cross fast-flowing creeks in snow. There’s total honesty about misadventures. Added to which there’s much to be learned about plants and animals here, giving us an insight that is fascinating and useful. You’ll find plenty of laughter, and some epic narration, giving a truly atmospheric experience. Oh, and they make their own soundtrack music too.
Recommended for: multi-day hikes, beautifully captured cinematic footage and epic narration, the dynamics of group and solo travel, learning about plants.
2. From RVing to Catamaran Curiosity: Gone With The Wynns
Jason and Nikki Wynn started out their adventures in an RV, exploring the USA. Then a desire for more adventures sent them further afield, learning to sail and buying the catamaran that became Curiosity (maybe the boat cats Singa and Cleo had something to do with that…). Their footage is most beautifully cinematic (and the voiceovers too), There’s palpable pleasure in seeing others appreciate the beauty of this world so vividly. You’ll find yourself laughing along with the joy at finding whales alongside the dinghy Minion and exploring the islands of French Polynesia.
Recommended for: feeling you have one life so live it, exquisite camera work and drone footage, spectacular underwater filming that will encourage you to dive, and for that wonderful sound of the ocean from on board Curiosity.
3. Solo and Group Trails: Sintax77
This is the channel for those of you who are never sure what to do with small pockets of time available on holidays and weekends. Sean is one of those adventurers who can cram a whole lot of experiences into a long weekend. Here you’ll find backpacking solo hikes in some spectacular parks and wilderness. There’s careful attention to gear choices, and plenty to learn from an experienced hiker. Add in some group hiking adventures, plus roadtrips, and there’s a lot to watch.
Recommended for: appreciating the beauty of the USA’s parks and trails, lightweight backpacking gear choices, hiking and camping in snow, making the most of your time.
4. Solo Sailing Experiences: Erik Aanderaa
If you’ve ever fantasised about sailing solo and island hopping, this is the channel for you. Leaving you in no doubt about the issues and hassles faced by the solo sailor (and therefore plenty sweary at times if that matters to you), Erik captures passage-making with beautiful drone footage contrasted with chilly vignettes of life below deck. Here you’ll find the islands of Scandinavia and Scotland approached by sea in wild and beautiful weather. There are tales of support to travelers (high five to the new drone supplier making a delivery in the wilds of the Scottish islands). Everything is captured with an eye for composition, storytelling and adventure.
Recommended for: the love of the sea, island life, incredible drone footage, laughter in adversity.
5. Outdoor Skills, Gear and Adventures: The Outdoor Gear Review
If you like to face your challenges with enthusiasm and to make the most of every opportunity, this is the channel for you. Luke’s boundless enthusiasm for the outdoor life is contagious, and his knowledge of gear and equipment is encyclopedic. Add in a zest for bad weather, exploring new trails and enjoying the changes observed on repeat visits, and you get truly happy trails. Here’s a chance to head out on all kinds of overnight adventures that celebrate the big outdoors.
Recommended for: learning about gear and equipment, a boundless enthusiasm for adventure, reminding yourself of the importance of having your head in the right place, beautiful footage of trails in all weathers.
6. Exploring the World in an ALiner: Slim Potatohead
It’s amazing how much you can pack into a small trailer that unfolds into a home on wheels. From boondocking to small town exploration, this is a celebration of slow travel, hiking, history and one man’s capacity to add an incredible amount of useful stuff to a small space. Be prepared to laugh, learn, and do more road tripping.
Recommended for: acute observational humour, practical guidance for long trips or life on the road, small town and off the beaten track travels, remembering that a spirit of adventure is ageless.
7. White Knuckle Hike: thrillseekers Anonymous
As a certified wuss especially when it comes to heights, this channel has me checking my office chair to see my seatbelt is securely fastened. The walk on the Camino del Rey above has to be one of the scariest things I’ve seen while grimly clutching my coffee mug. Elsewhere you get triathlons, and more hikes and climbs that hang on the edge of your comfort zone.
Recommended for grit, determination and adventure that you may not be able to stomach (that’s me!) and great shots of climbs cleverly executed.
8. Life at the Extremes: PolarTREC
While many of the adventure channels here have experiences we might realistically aspire to share, polar exploration remains a privilege granted to few. Here you can get to see at first hand some of the conditions under which the polar teams work, and the minutae of day to day life. There are supply ships and icebreakers plus the challenges of scientific field work in the surprisingly lunar-looking landscape.
Recommended for tales of other worlds, experiences of life lived under harsh conditions and the chance to share a place few of us will ever experience in person.
9. Exploration at 4 miles an hour on a narrowboat: Minimal List
You may think 4 miles an hour is not the pace of an adventure, but this channel will surely change your mind. George the dog, Jo and Michael set out to explore England’s waterways by narrowboat. The chronicles of their journeys show an attention to detail that you can only really achieve when the world passes at walking pace. If you think life on a canal comes without danger and privations, think again. From the need to be ever-vigilant at locks to the frankly scary task of taking on the tidal Thames rocking and rolling, canal life isn’t for the faint hearted.
Recommended for: seeing England’s heartlands in detail, and reminding yourself of the pleasures of small journeys observed with wry humour
10: Hiking and Camping (with mountains): 2 Feet Forward
If you want to feel the joy of being outdoors, you can’t get much better than this. With hikes and camps ranging from Wales to Spain, here you’ve got well planned and managed adventures taking in the most spectacular scenery. And in the UK, you’ve even the occasional pleasure of Marley the dog joining the trail. This is the channel for achievable adventures, for making friends on the trail, and for appreciating the efforts and rewards of a strenuous trip. There’s great drone work, and the chance to see how the bothy and refuge system works on the mountains.
Recommended for weekend hikers, people inspired by stoicism and the need for adventure, and for anyone who’d like to make their adventure dreams reality.
Ready to get your adventure fix? Why not pin this for later!
If you like to enjoy more adventures from the comfort of your sofa, then I recommend our guide to books for travelers, designed to show you the majesties of the world. And if you’re contemplating your capacity for adventuring, I’ll offer up the 50 things I’ve learned in 50 years on the road. But if you want to see when I got it wrong – quite often, it would appear – my most epic travel fails are here. They include the attentions of a hyacinth blue macaw, a misadventure with Romeo in Russia, and a flight involving a ground proximity warning alarm.
Got more of the best YouTube travel vloggers to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.