9 Outdoor Adventure Films Featuring Women

We got an email a while back asking for outdoor film recommendations. The message read: “I want to watch a good movie about an outdoorsy woman (besides the obvious Wild that I have already seen) but I don’t know where to search for that. I Googled it and every result said “12 movies that every outdoorsman should see” or something like that. I want to know what movies feature WOMEN!”

Thanks to organizations like No Man’s Land Film Festival and Never Not Collective, the scene of outdoor media is growing to be more representative. Still, it was harder than we’d hoped to flush out this list. We’ll check back later to see how things are changing…

For now, check out these 9 Outdoor Adventure Films with strong female leads:


1. Losing Sight of Shore (2017)

Film type: Feature-length documentary

Over nine months at sea, four women row over 8,000 miles from America to Australia. The story that this documentary so beautifully tells is a testament to friendship, survival, and the human spirit. As the tagline says, “Everyone has a Pacific to cross.” The feature-length documentary is directed by Sarah Moshman and features the Coxless Crew.

Learn more about the documentary at losingsightofshore.com

How to Watch: Streaming on Amazon or Netflix


2. Women Outward Bound (2016)

Film type: Feature-length documentary

“It was 1965. Girls back then were not welcome in the man’s world of the outdoors.”  Ffity years ago, women were not allowed to participate in Outward Bound Wilderness School. In this documentary, filmmaker Maxine W. Davis tells the story of how 28 women broke that barrier by surviving four weeks in the woods and changed history in the process.

Learn more about the documentary at womenoutwardbound.com

How to Watch: on DVD


3. Tracks (2014)

Film type: Adventure drama

Tracks, the movie, depicts the story of Robyn Davidson on her 2,000 mile trek across Australia in the mid 1970s. It’s based on the book of the same title.

How to Watch: Streaming on Amazon

Editor’s Note: Tracks the book is featured on our Fall 2016 reading list with 11 other book recommendations!


4. Blood Road (2017)

Film type: Documentary

A finalist in the 2017 Banff Mountain Film Fest, Blood Road is a documentary film that follows the journey of mountain biker, Rebecca Rusch, and her Vietnamese riding partner Huyen Nguyen as they bike the Ho Chi Minh trail. On this journey, Rusch explores the death of her father with the complex history of the Vietnam War. It brings two cultures and two female professional athletes together, and unites them on bicycles in Laos.

Learn more about the documentary at bloodroadfilm.com

How to Watch: Streaming on Amazon


5. Intersection: Micayla Gatto (2017)

Film type: Documentary short

This short film showcases the intersection between art and athleticism. Professional mountain biker Micayla Gatto is also a painter, and on film the textures collide. It’s a dense examination of the exchange between creative energy and physical feats, and we’re oh-so-glad the full film is available online.

Watch the full film on Vimeo:


6. Pretty Faces: The Story of a Skier Girl (2014)

Film type: Feature-length documentary

Pretty Faces is an all-female ski film written and directed by professional skier, Lyndsey Dyer. The film aims to capture what it really means to “ski like a girl” and to give women skiers both reflections and role models.

How to watch: Rent or buy on Vimeo


7. Wildlike (2015)

Film type: Drama/Thriller

A genre-bending movie, Wildlike is a drama/thriller set predominately in the Alaskan wilderness. A teenage woman experiences sexual assault and then flees into Denali en route to escaping back home. The movie explores her trauma and the capacity of nature to heal. It’s sort of like Into the Wild, but with a female lead.

How to watch: Streaming on Amazon


8. Within Reach (2017)

Film type: Documentary short

Presented by REI for their Force of Nature campaign, Within Reach is a short film that examines the world of women’s climbing. The film delves into larger culture and touches on the ways that women and marginalized groups face challenges in climbing pitches and climbing corporate ladders. “I hope that this film and the continuing women’s movement in the outdoors show women that we are already strong, bold, beautiful and capable. And we have nothing to prove.” —Shelma Jun, founder of Flash Foxy and the Women’s Climbing Festival.

Watch the whole film on YouTube:


9. Into the Sea (2015)

Film type: Documentary

Three young women introduce surfing to Iran. Irish pro surfer Easkey teaches Iranian pro snowboarder Mona and Iranian diver Shalha how to surf in the remote southeastern region of Iran. All three women share a passion for sport, and embrace it as a way to break down social and cultural barriers.

How to Watch: Rent or buy on Vimeo


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What are your favorite outdoor films?