10 of The Best Camping YouTube Channels
On the days—and during the seasons—when you can’t get outdoors, there are still plenty of ways to plan your next adventure and learn outdoor skills. One of our favorite ways to learn about camping, hiking, and paddling (among other topics) is to watch YouTube tutorials and travelogues. There’s a lot of incredible video content online but that’s also part of the problem. How do you wade through it all to find the information that’s actually informative or inspiring—or both?
One way to dive into the outdoors content YouTube has to offer is to start with a YouTube channel that already has a solid reputation. From there, you can branch out and explore other channels based on your specific interests. You might find you’re especially interested in survival skills, bushcraft, or what it’s like to travel the U.S. in an RV. (No matter what you’re looking for, there’s probably a channel out there for you.) Here are our top 10 YouTube channels to inspire your next outdoor adventure.
1. Joe Robinet
Canadian Joe Robinet’s first network TV appearance was in season one of the History Channel’s survival show “Alone.” But Robinet actually launched his successful YouTube channel seven years before that in 2008. The focus of Robinet’s videos is bushcraft style camping and his adventures with his dog. Today he has a loyal fanbase of 1.33 million subscribers. Recent videos include “Winter Camping in the Ghost Range Through a Snowstorm!” and “Building a Fort in the Woods.”
Survival Lilly is an Austrian survivalist who embraces the outdoor life as she travels the world. Her videos range from basic outdoor skills such as knot-tying, fire-making, and shelter-building, to travel advice and outdoor cooking. (See “Camping in Hippo Territory Dangerous?” or “Bushcraft Pizza in the Forest.”)
Shawn James grew up in the suburbs but he always felt drawn to nature. Now in his mid-forties, James lives off-the-grid in Canada in a cabin he built himself. His weekly videos reveal what an off-the-grid life is truly like from building a cabin with hand tools and locally harvested materials to preparing a dinner of quail and beaver tail. The videos also have minimal narration because according to James, “I prefer to keep my talking to a minimum and let the natural sounds of nature make you feel as though you are there with me.”
Brothers Andrew and Bryan launched “Adventure Archives” with their cousin Robby and friend Thomas to document their hiking, camping, and wilderness trips. Follow along as they—among other adventures—hike the Adirondacks, explore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, camp near California’s Point Reyes, and hike the Sawtooth Mountains in Japan.
Black Owl Outdoors is another YouTube channel launched by a pair of adventure-minded brothers. Krik and Stony document their backcountry explorations but also film how-to videos and post gear reviews for outdoor products.
Long-distance thru-hiker Dixie from Homemade Wanderlust started her channel when she was hiking the Appalachian Trail. At the time, it was simply a way to document and share that particular hike. Since then, the channel has grown to feature Dixie’s subsequent hiking adventures along with her backcountry and travel tips. Dixie has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Camino de Santiago.
7. Paul Kirtley
For Paul Kirtley, his love for the outdoors eventually turned his favorite hobbies into his occupation. The UK-based Kirtley has been a professional outdoor skills instructor since 2005. In 2010, he started his own bushcraft school Frontier Bushcraft that offers courses, trips, and expeditions. On his YouTube channel, Kirtley produces videos on bushcraft, survival skills, outdoor safety, and does a regular series of Q&A videos.
Austin Borg and Scott Ellis launched Guide You Outdoors in 2012 to share their enthusiasm for nature and to encourage more people to explore. Both still have day jobs but create the time to hike and camp as much as possible—and share their adventures with viewers. “We believe that nature is healing,” Borg says. “And that’s a message that resonates with a lot of people. A relationship with nature is intrinsic to being human.”
Jason Darrah was well into adulthood before he rediscovered his love of the outdoors. But once he did, he set out to make up for lost time. Today the outdoor photographer and videographer spends a lot of his time exploring the public lands in his home state of Oregon and camping in locations throughout the U.S. His videos take the viewer along for the ride. “I know the word ‘adventure’ oftentimes gets overused,” Darrah says, “but to me, ‘adventure’ means anything where the outcome can be unknown.”
Unlike the other channels on our best camping YouTube Channels list, Fresh Off the Grid focuses mainly on one aspect of outdoor living—food! Although the channel still offers plenty of outdoor and travel inspiration, their specialty is nutritious and tasty meals that can be prepared while camping or on the road. (Check out their Dutch Oven Mac & Cheese or their Salmon Soba Bowl for backpackers.)