The YouTube Channels That Kept Me Sane During the Coronavirus Shutdown

As summer approaches, many parts of the country are opening up with the expectation that we’re beyond the first wave of this COVID-19 pandemic. While there’s plenty of evidence to refute that claim (the first wave appears more as a tsunami with a long wall of high-water rather than a discrete crest like a normal wave), it’s undeniable that people are leaving the house more, stretching their legs and trying to get back outside.

We all must strike a balance with our risk tolerances. It’s important that we find ways to get outside and stay active while maintaining physical distance and respectful behavior of mask-wearing when near crowds. We must be honest that hiking, sunbathing and swimming are all activities that carry a non-zero level of risk when we must pass by and interact with others engaged in those same activities. But we must also acknowledge that our bodies and our minds will need the stimulation of the outdoors to remain healthy. Vitamin D appears to play an important role in our immune response to C-19, as does our general cardiovascular fitness.
So, get out there and get your heart-rate up! But be respectful while you do it. I wear one of these while hiking. It’s easy to pull up over my mouth and nose as I pass by others.

Inevitably, though, the cold weather will return (if you’re reading this from the southern hemisphere, you might already be there) and with it will come higher risk of illness and probably a more pronounced wave of C-19. So, if we have to shut down once more and you’re feeling stir-crazy from your time inside, I want to share with you some of the outdoor YouTube channels that got me through this first sudden shutdown.

#1) Abbie Barnes – Spend More Time in the Wild

Abbie is a great adventurer, unafraid to get out in the world on her own, and quite skilled at documenting all that she sees. She has filmed her trips to Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro, and Cumbria’s Lake District, but below I’ve embedded one of my favorites: Her journey climbing in the Atlas Mountains.

#2: Thomas Heaton – Landscape Photography & the Outdoors

As he is a lover of a peaceful, quiet outdoors experience, and a phenomenal photographer, I can’t help but have a big ol’ crush on Thomas Heaton. While many of his videos are specifically about the process of photography and therefore not general interest, his truly stand-out videos are featurettes of his photography adventures where he beautifully captures the mood and ambiance of the environment and moments when he’s working his craft.
I find his videos very soothing and immersive.

#3: Adventure Archives – Outdoor Adventures with Friends

These kids! Oh, these kids! I love them so much.
They hike. They backpack. They canoe. They make rookie mistakes again and again and I adore them for it because they film it all for our entertainment.
A person uninitiated in the world of backpacking can learn a ton from watching the successes and errors of this group of friends. Their passion for just being outside carries them through some really rough circumstances when the weather turns on them or a trail’s route becomes unclear. It’s fun to be witness to their deliberations as they adjust to changing circumstances, and it’s a joy to share in the glorious moments that their fortitude earns them. Case in point, the video linked below features the aurora borealis and a glorious dawn.

#4: Kraig Adams – Solo Hiking & Backpacking

I am not like Kraig Adams, but I so wish that I were. I get really nervous and paranoid when alone in the wilderness. I have a strong preference for being out with friends and enjoying a shared experience with the added feeling of safety that affords. But watching solo-hikers like Kraig makes me wish I had the proper mentality to do what he does. He has such beautiful adventures.

#5: C90 Adventures – Puttering Across Continents

I barely have words for how delightful it is to follow the quirky, resourceful and adventurous Ed March on his travels.
Seriously, just start with the video embedded below and enjoy Ed’s trip across the Americas.

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