Here’s what we’re bingeing by the campfire, snuggled in our sleeping bags, (and sometimes just at home) this winter.


As someone who’s summer hopped between Australia and Canada for the best part of four summers, I’m leaning into the natural hibernation that our bodies crave during winter – but with adventure-inspired content of course.

As the evenings become darker, colder, and the weather more temperamental, here’s a list to keep your adventurous soul happy and to inspire you with stories from others’ epic missions – that aren’t the classic Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Rug up, make a cuppa, and lean guilt-free into the comforts of reading, watching, and listening to inspiring stories.

Read more: 20 Adventure Books to Read While You’re Stuck Inside

What We’re Reading

Books can be expensive, so consider signing up for a membership at your local library, starting a book swap with your friends, opting for audiobooks, or using an e-reader to help lessen the financial costs of reading these stories.


1. The Sun is a Compass

Caroline Van Hemert 



At the beginning of The Sun is a Compass, there’s a really endearing meet cute storyline between a tradie and a contrasting academic. After a few trips, they eventually begin planning an absolute epic trip – traveling 4,000 miles (nearly 6,500km) from Bellingham, Washington to the depths of Alaska without motor transportation.

From homemade row boats, canoes, inflatable rafts, backpacking, and skiing, this is a beautiful story learning about their relationship, while they ponder some of life’s bigger decisions: if and when to have a family and what the heck am I doing with my career?


2. Miracle in the Andes 

Nando Parrado and Vince Rause



Many people know the premise or have seen the movie Alive which is based on this story, but I still recommend reading the book. In the 1970s there was a plane crash in the Andes in South America… and that’s really all I want to give away. It’s a story of people enduring some beyond-imaginable scenes and group dynamics in a dire situation. 


3. What I was Doing While You Were Breeding 

Kristin Newman



This biography is about Kristin exploring what’s outside of the traditional post-graduation lifestyle, so she sets off travelling in her time off. Sometimes with a friend, but often solo, she travels far and wide documenting, at times in great detail, the situations she finds herself in while traveling in the early 2000s.

It’s just a really beautiful biography that’s reassuring if you feel like you’re in the, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, but everyone else around me seems to know’ mindset.


4. One Step 

Amanda Westwood 



This story hits a little closer to home, being written by a fellow We Are Explorers contributor. When faced with immense tragedy, Amanda packs her bags and heads to the Himalayas. Using the stillness of the wilderness and this vast landscape to process her experience, she finds a new way to come back to herself and trace a path to a life she’s excited and fulfilled by.


5. Touching the Void 

Joe Simpson



Another harrowing story, Touching The Void recounts an ice-climbing trip gone wrong. Joe and his climbing partner Simon set out to climb the 6,344 metre peak Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. The weather turns, leading to near-fatal incidents for both climbing partners and they find their way back to base camp without the help of the other.


What We’re Watching 

If anyone can live out the dream of an outdoor projector, piles of doonas, and being surrounded by friends, these are the films / docos to put on the weekly roster, now that Alone Australia has come to an end.

1. True Spirit 



At 16, Jessica Watson sets off to sail solo and unsupported from Sydney around the world in a 33 foot boat. The film does a great job leaning into both the highs and the lows of what it means to be 16 and alone for 210 days, while she sails the four capes.


2. Frequency 



This short film covers the first all women’s ski/snowboard event and competition called the Sister Summit. The seven-day backcountry event brought together female skiers/snowboarders, and all female media teams, guides, CAT drivers, and a speakers series in order to raise the feminine frequency and representation in a very male dominated industry. 


3. Valley Uprising 



Valley Uprising tells the story of climbing in the Yosemite Valley over multiple decades, from pushing the boundaries on the walls as well as within the National Park.

Honestly, I think this film is relevant to anyone who’s noticed the increased visitation to areas they frequented in quieter times, while we all navigate everyone’s right to the outdoors and balance accessible ways to implement leave no trace policies.


4. Meru 


Co-directed by Jimmy Chin and his partner Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, there’s definitely some foreshadowing in Meru, with the takeaway being, always wear a helmet during adventure sports. It’s primarily a mountaineering doco which aims to complete the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin in the Indian Himalayas, with a crossover into some snowboarding trips as well. This ultimately leads to a serious injury for one of the climbing partners.


5. The Alpinist



Another climbing film, The Alpinist follows the progression of a young solo climber as he makes bold moves, while trying not to let the onset of ‘fame’ alter the lifestyle he lives. A classic dirtbag just trying to progress his skills before he gets picked up as someone with a lot of talent, especially for his age, and the highs and lows that come with this. 


What We’re Listening To 

Here’s what we’re listening to out on the trails and at home on the couch.

1. Dig – Saving the Franklin



The most recent season of ABC’s Dig is a six part series explaining all about Saving the Franklin, a major environmental battle within Australia. The Franklin River is in Tasmania’s wild West Coast and was proposed to be dammed for hydropower. This series breaks down the history of what happened.


2. We Are Explorers Podcast 



Hear from our local legends, with the premise that we all share at our core: that adventure is for everyone and comes in all shapes and sizes. The fortnightly We Are Explorers Podcast interviews photographers, athletes, business leaders, community organisers, backyard explorers and many others to share stories of adventures past and connect us all back to the importance of getting out and after it.


3. How to Be Superhuman 



As someone who identifies as a leisure athlete, this podcast boggles my mind. The motivation and determination that some people have to pursue their ambitions is truly humbling. Interviewing all kinds of people and with different adventures at the forefront, there’s something for everyone on How to Be Superhuman.


4.The Adventure Stache 



Host of The Adventure Stache, Payson McElveen, is a professional mountain biker from the United States and interviews guests from varying outdoor pursuits with a different lens. Sometimes it’s about practical tips within a sport, navigating mental health within an elite level of competing, or just everyday life conversations. Payson even ventured to our side of the world and cycled across Tasmania, which his interview with Aidan Haley briefly dives into.




I hope this list gives you fellow Explorers plenty to keep you entertained over the coming months and keeps those adventure juices flowing!