You’ve probably noticed that adventure travel and sports have increasingly become popular in the past few years. Hiking has come to look and sound appealing to you, what with all that talk about climbing mountains and the rush you get on reaching the top.

And then there are those movies starring mountains and the people who scaled them. You’d have to admit the view is just spectacular, magnificent: snow capped peaks rising above clouds, the rugged terrain shrouded in green and cascading toward the sea or plains. Your breath catches at the sight of all that glorious panorama – a bird’s eye view of nature and the vastness of the earth. Who doesn’t feel a lump in the throat looking at all that?

Such scenery, especially in a movie setting, can inspire you to explore the outdoors. There’s just so much possibilities out there! If you need more of this inspiration and get really motivated enough to hike, here are 5 great movies that will do just that.

5. Gerry (2002)

While this story involves vast expanses of desert-like vistas and plenty of walking, it’s not exactly for the faint of heart. However, it will get you thinking and even having a taste of what it feels like to go out on a hot trek with an insufficient supply of water. Which may effectively bring home the important lessons that you should never underestimate your hydration and that you should never go to a hike not knowing the route – or maybe going with someone who knows how to get to your destination.

4. Southbounders (2005)

This film is centered on a woman who attempts a 2,000-mile hike through the Appalachian Trail. While the movie’s highlight is the trail, there are memory flashbacks (note: Wild) that peppers the storyline. Although this is a rather low-budget, indie project, the trail and the vistas look fantastic – perfect for those looking to trek through or a part of the Appalachian Trail. By the way, the heroine of the story takes the southbound route (hence the title), which is said to be a more difficult path.

3. Wild (2014)

This film isn’t just about conquering a trail – a very long 1,100 mile-journey along the Pacific Trail Crest straddling the California-Mexico and Canada border – but is also a story about healing and overcoming one’s inner mountains and obstacles. The fact that the movie is based on a real-life story and involves a heroine who’s virtually a rookie at hiking, adds to its appeal, especially among those just beginning to get into hiking or is still flirting with the prospect of trekking. All these on top of breathtaking scenery, as well as inspiring interactions with fellow hikers, some of whom gave her tips for her 94-day journey. A must watch for those looking to go on their first hike!

2. The Way (2010)

You may probably think this title sounds familiar. It’s how the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage route that takes one across some areas in Spain  and ends at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, is also known. The film is a story of a physician who goes on the pilgrimage, which can stretch for days or months depending on the starting point, in memory of his son who died trying to complete the Camino.

Considering the film follows the journey of a pilgrim through mountainous terrain, this movie offers generous and beautiful views of the route, as well as scenes showing various backpackers and travelers in their gear. You’ll feel as if you’re trudging the path along with them with your own gear strapped behind you. At the end of this film, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wondering whether you should check out the Camino or start doing a journey like it at the most accessible trail in your area!

1. Into the Wild (2007)

This is yet another film based on the true-life story, this time it’s of a rather affluent college graduate who decided to go on a journey through the wilderness, without telling his family where he’s going and not keeping in touch with them either.

Needless to say, this movie is a documentation of a very adventurous journey that involves trekking, kayaking, cross-country driving, hitchhiking, and even learning to work with leather. If you’re looking for a visual story of survival in the midst of sparse or virtually no resources, this is it. You’ll learn other ways of surviving in the company of raw nature and appreciating the wisdom of the wilderness. As such, this may ignite in you a thirst for adventure and even push you to go on a hike very soon, although not in the same way as the hero of the story did. If the guy can do it and survive, why can’t you, right?


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