Outdoor Adventures from the Couch — Summer 2016 Movie Recommendations

Office Admin

July 09, 2016

Here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education, we go to great lengths to guide our students through a variety of wilderness settings for education and instruction in all things that are adventurous and fun in the outdoors.

But occasionally it’s nice to kick off one’s hiking boots, pull your feet up on a couch or recliner, and watch others attempt awesome climbs, catch epic waves or pedal miles along a fresh dirt road.

So when you find yourself pinned to your living room furniture — for whatever reason — we want to suggest some short films to keep you entertained, moved and inspired for your next real-life adventure. Below we preview some video options:

Groundswell: A small film about making a big stand

Groundswell is a surf film at heart, a piece of art and a story about taking action to save a pristine coastal forest in British Columbia and the aboriginal community that resides lives there. Surfer Dan Malloy is featured in the film. Woodshed’s film catalog is filled with other inspiring films. Check them out.

GROUNDSWELL from Farm League on Vimeo.

The Adventure Dispatch with Sarah Swallow

Sarah Swallow is an adventure cyclist who has pedaled her bike across the continent on dirt roads. This film is a quick introduction of how she can fill a 24-hour period with adventure.

The Road From Karakol

In summer 2011, Outdoor Research athlete Kyle Dempster took off on his bike across Kyrgyzstan with a couple mostly-accurate maps, a trailer full of climbing gear, and a vocabulary of 10 Kyrgyz words. He spent two months pedaling and pushing the bike more than 1200 km on roads of variable states of neglect, wading through wild rivers, dealing with corrupt military checkpoint staff, and soloing a handful of unclimbed alpine rock and mixed routes. He recorded the journey, his camera his only partner, friend, and sometimes the only receiving end of his conversations for days at a time.

In 2013, Kyle’s self-shot footage of his journey in Kyrgyzstan made it to the desk of filmmakers Fitz Cahall and Austin Siadak, who were asked to look at the footage and see if there might be enough to chop together a 4-minute climbing film. They saw a lot more potential in it, and turned it into the 25-minute “The Road From Karakol,” which debuted at the 5Point Film Festival and took home the Best In Fest award.


What is it like being part of the Dorais family? If you are brothers Jason and Andy Dorais, you are the best in your fields, whether that be ski mountaineering or performing life-saving skills as emergency room doctors. If you count yourself among the brothers’ spouses, things are a bit different. This is the story of two brothers and how they navigate in their professional worlds as well as in their personal lives. If you have a heart, you will be moved by this story of professional motivation and personal challenges.

Depending on how long bad weather or laziness holds you down, these recommended films should fill the time. If such viewing becomes addictive, there are links to the films that can open the doors to many more adventures of similar quality and intensity.

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About the Author: Stephen Mullaney is the staff development director at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) in Wilmington, N.C., where he is responsible for the training and education of NCOAE’s field instructors. He is a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and has taught within the Durham, N.C., public school system. Stephen received his undergraduate degree in English from Framingham State University, and an independent, alternative Masters in Education.

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