Watching camping movies can either get you in the mood to go camping or think twice about going out there to camp in the wild. Either way, these adventure driven films are the window that can lead to opportunity to experience the outdoors.
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Camping Movies to Get You Excited About Camping!
What is a Camping Movie?
A camping movie typically refers to a film that features outdoor camping as a central theme or backdrop.
These type of movies often involve characters engaging in camping activities, such as wilderness survival, exploring the outdoors, setting up tents, and campfires.
The movie plots may be about capturing the true essence of outdoor experiences, adventures and challenges while camping in nature.
Camp movies may span different genres. For example, they may engage viewers to enjoy adventure, drama, and comedy. But also, they may sway towards horror.
Now, when it comes to rating favorite camping theme movies, they are subject to opinion. But, no doubt there are some adventure films that seem to top the list with everyone.
So, with that said, here’s our list of the best camping movies that we think will put you in the mood to pack up your vehicle and head for a memorable outdoor experience either by yourself, with family or friends.
Camping Movies to Get You to Go Camping
A Walk in the Woods
A Walk in the Woods is a comedy drama featuring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. It’s an adaptation of Bill Bryson’s memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project is a horror film that follows three student filmmakers documenting the legendary Blair Witch as they venture into the Black Hills Forest.
As they navigate the dense wilderness, they encounter mysterious and unsettling occurrences, leading them to question their sanity and the true nature of the forest. The group becomes increasingly disoriented and frightened.
The film creates a sense of realism through its handheld camera style, immersing viewers in the characters’ fear and the eerie atmosphere of the haunted forest.
Campfire Tales is a horror anthology film that intertwines camping and suspenseful scary stories together set around a campfire.
This 1997 film follows a group of friends on a camping trip. Sitting around an evening campfire, each takes a turns telling terrifying tales in attempt to scare each other.
However, as the night progresses, the boundaries between reality and fiction blur, leading to unexpected and chilling outcomes for the characters.
Watch this Camping Movie on DVD
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The classic film of the 70’s, Deliverance is about a canoe trip gone totally wrong, featuring memorable scenes set in the wilderness.
This gripping thriller revolves around a canoe trip taken by four friends through the remote wilderness in Georgia.
Their journey takes a chilling, dark turn when they encounter hostile locals who are on the hunt for these out-of-towner campers.
The plot leads to a harrowing tale of survival, violence, and moral reckoning. The film explores themes of masculinity, the clash between rural and urban cultures, and the brutal realities of nature.
Into the Wild
Based on a true story, the 2007 film Into the Wild follows Christopher McCandless as he embarks on a journey into the Alaskan wilderness.
This camping theme biographical adventure drama movie based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book portraying a young man who decides to abandon typical post-graduate life and hitchhike to Alaska to live in the wilderness.
As he sets out to explore the Last Frontier, he is met with challenges to survive in the harsh Alaskan wilderness. But, you’ll need to watch through. The ending is though sort of expected, it’s heartbreaking.
Get the Book – Into the Wild
Meatballs has been around for a several decades but always a fun classic comedy camping movie! Starring Bill Murray as a camp counselor, this family flick is known for its’ humor and heartwarming moments.
It follows the summer adventures at Camp North Star, a low-budget summer camp. The plot centers around Bill Murray’s character, “Tripper Harrison”, a carefree and unconventional camp counselor who inspires both staff and campers alike.
The film explores themes of friendship, self-confidence, and the spirit of camaraderie against the backdrop of the humorous and sometimes chaotic camp activities.
The 2012 Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, follows two lovestruck, adventurous preteen scouts who run away their New England homes to embark on a journey into the wilderness.
Lead characters, Sam, played by Jared Gilman and Suzy played by Kara Hayward, take you on a quirky and young-love adventure while dodging the search party.
Stand By Me
Another oldie but goodie film of the 80’s, Stand by Me is based on a Stephen King novel set in the summer of 1959.
Characters played by Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell, the four young teens embark on a journey to find the body of a missing boy.
In the process, they discover more about themselves, growing up, their friendships and adventure.
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors, a 1988 camping movie, starring comedians John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, follows two families on vacation in the great outdoors.
The two brothers-in-law’s story unfolds as their families face various comedic misadventures while trying to enjoy their time in a cabin near a lake.
While trying to enjoy their outdoor vacations, they quickly learn their differences with clashing personalities, family dynamics, and the challenges that arise during their camping experiences.
While not solely a camping movie, The Revenant follows the story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
The survival epic Based on true events, this survival epic showcases the character as he barely survives the wilderness after a brutal bear attack. But even worse, his hunting team abandons him leaving him for dead.
Defying death, severely injured Glass embarks on a harrowing journey through the uncharted American wilderness to seek revenge.
The River Wild
The River Wild is a thriller camping movie that follows Gail, played by Meryl Streep, and her family on a white water rafting trip down a river in the remote wilderness. But their fun ends and real edge-of-your-seat dangerous adventure begins.
The rafting family encounters two criminals, played by Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly, who force Gail to guide them through dangerous white water rapids.
This 1994 adventure film has viewers dive deep into how they survive, strengthen family bonds, and a mother protects her family in the face of dangerous unknowns.
Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer is a satirical comedy camping movie that’s set on the last day of a fictional Maine summer camp in 1981.
This hilarious movie features a star-studded cast of camp counselors Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon and Elizabeth Banks, who are each trying to complete their unfinished business before the day ends.
The entire summer of pent-up sexual frustrations, unresolved post-traumatic stress, pending separations and of course, the talent show, all weigh heavily on the minds and groins of counselors and campers alike.
It hilariously parodies the teen sex comedies of the ’80s while celebrating the absurd and exaggerated aspects of camp life.
The 2014 raw and gut-wrenching adventure film Wild is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” The movie Wild traces her 1000 mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Played by Reese Witherspoon, the emotionally-charged adventure film gives movies goers a deeply emotional look into her journey. She learns to cope with personal loss, self-discovery, extreme physical challenges and redemption along the rugged wilderness trail.
Get the Book – Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
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✰✰ CAMPING MOVIES PRO TIP ✰✰
Watch these camping movies with your family, friends or fellow campers! Check out how you can create your own outdoor movie theater at your campsite or in your own backyard!
As you see, watching these favorite camping movies can definitely either get you in the mood to go camping or think twice about going out there to camp in the wild.
So, grab your popcorn and beverage of choice, sit back and relax while watching these awesome camping movies in your own home.
If you have a different camping movie favorite, we’re interested in reading what it is!
Plan Your Camping Trip!
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