Movies transport us to another world and there’s nothing better than when they transport us to outdoor worlds. Men and women test their moxy against the elements, animals, and their own limitations. As such, we’ve chosen our very favorite outdoor flicks and have broken them down into the lessons that you’ll hopefully take away once the popcorn is gone and the credits roll.
Into Thin Air
The Gist: This tragic film is based on the book by outdoor author and adventurer Jon Krakauker. This intense drama details the events of the now infamous Mt. Everest disaster in which eight mountaineers lost their lives and several more were stranded when a sudden storm struck the mountain and rendered the climbers helpless.
-Always observe strict safety precautions, whether you’re climbing the tallest mountain in the world or merely going for a brisk hike in the backcountry.
-Dying in the outdoors is no picnic. It totally sucks. Avoid it at all costs.
2. The Edge
The Gist: The long and the short of this thriller is that Anthony Hopkins is a gazillionaire married to a much younger super model who happens to be having an affair with Hopkins’ business partner, played by Alec Baldwin ( We don’t know what her problem is because we’d take Hopkins over Baldwin any day of the week). Whilst heading to a cabin in the mountains, Tony and Alec crash land in the wilderness where they have to survive by their wits and outrun a murderous bear. Lucky for Alec, Tony doesn’t go all Hannibal Lecter on him, but he does outwit him due to his composer and prior study of survival techniques. Pretty cool, huh?
-Don’t trust Alec Baldwin with your hot wife.
-Reading a survival manual can never hurt, in fact it could just save your life.
-Composure under pressure can save your life in the outdoors.
3. Brokeback Mountain
The Gist: Two men fall in love and carry on a lifelong relationship after spending a season tending to sheep in the mountains. Though this isn’t a survival film by any means, it does teach us a few things about the outdoors.
-The outdoors offers a haven and retreat for lovers.
‑Ranchers, herders, and those that make their living in the outdoors deserve our respect, since it’s hard work and you have to have balls of steal to winter camp for months.
-Jake Gyllenhal looks mighty fine in Wrangler jeans.
4. Into the Wild
The Gist: Yuppy kid is disenchanted with yuppiedom. Yuppie kid travels the US and, eventually, decides to take his chances in the Alaskan Wilderness. Yuppie kid finds an abandoned van, uses it for shelter, gets hungry, eats some poisonous fauna. Yuppie kid dies.
-Yuppie kids, and anyone with common sense, require formal wilderness survival training before walking “into the wild.”
‑Never eat anything in nature unless you are 110% certain it won’t kill you.
-Sean Penn can actually direct, but not as well as he can act.
5. Last of the Mohicans
The Gist: There’s a lot going on in this film but essentially, Daniel “ I Win Lots of Acting Awards” Day Lewis, some Mohicians, and a really hot chick are all fight for survival against the Indians and Redcoats during the French and Indian War. The cinematography is stunning and there’s a lot of jumping off waterfalls and men in buckskins. Yes, please.
-Jumping off waterfalls should be reserved for Daniel Day Lewis.
‑Knife fighting on rocks in the wilderness results in certain death.
-We should respect the wilderness, its animals, and its people.