YouTube
Credit: YouTube

A lot has changed since the days of waiting for a new episode of Grizzly Adams or Forest Rangers to air on television.

To be honest, I rarely watch TV. Between Netflix cartoons with my daughter and iTunes Game of Thrones with my wife, what remains of my evening entertainment time is spent flipping through my favourite outdoor YouTube channels. Here are the Top 5:

Shugemery

Most subscribers just call him “Shrug,” and he seems to be one of the rock stars of the outdoor YouTube world. Shrug’s one liner — “Woo Buddy” — has been quoted by many other channel creators. Sean Emery’s material is scattered at times, covering things like unicycle trips to backyard BBQ recipes. However, his main focus, and where The Shrug has gathered his fame, are the videos on lightweight backpacking and camp-hammocking. This guy is informative, hilarious and he’s definitely original. Best video in his collection — a winter hammock trip in Ely, Minnesota at -40 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be hooked (if you aren't already).

Paul Kirtley

Paul Kirtley’s channel is more about bushcraft then survival, and that’s why I like it. He’s true to life. It’s informative and well shot. Paul also adds a lot more information elsewhere. He’s a blogger, podcaster and runs Frontier Bushcraft wilderness bushcraft school. If you want detailed content, then find him online. Paul’s calm demeanor seems to take you on his journey, rather than just report what to do if you ever go on one. A real pleasure.

Adventure Archives

Sounds sappy, but these three camping videographers give you hope for the future. This young threesome gathers for backpacking trips, and film their experience and knowledge. Each episode is extremely well-shot, a highlight for me, and provides a solid story line of discovery and true backcountry adventure. It’s like watching three Huck Finn-like characters on an adventure together. To prove this is a good channel to watch — my 10-year-old daughter looks forward to viewing each episode with me, just like I used to look forward to watching Tarzan movies every Sunday afternoon with my father. The best part, of course, is that my daughter and I don’t have to wait until Sunday to watch the latest segment.

Wintertrekker

I’m a big fan of Glen Hooper’s channel. It’s not for everyone though. You really have to love true wilderness travel, especially in the winter. His tips on winter tripping are awesome and the area he explores is my favourite — the northern boreal forests of Ontario. The film quality isn’t as good as some of the others — but who cares? It is true experiences and talent you’re watching, and that’s why it’s such a good channel to subscribe to.

GuideYouOutdoors

This site is definitely full of enthusiasm and helpful tips. I appreciate that. But it’s also full of fresh views and philosophy on being connected to nature. This really adds to the channel. It’s not as glamorous as the National Geographic channel or watching survival shows like Naked and Afraid. But it’s also not like watching home movies of endless canoe trips made up of blurred images and bad audio. It’s perfect, really.

(Check out The Happy Camper & Explore Magazine's channels too!)

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