best outdoor tv shows
The cast of Alone's Season 8; (photo/History Channel)

The Best Outdoor TV Shows Streaming on Netflix

If you’re forced to be indoors for any reason, you might as well watch outdoor TV shows that whisk you into the elements. Here are the top shows according to GearJunkie.

You could be the most outdoorsy person you know. But when push comes to shove, sometimes it’s nice to watch folks who push the envelope even more than you.

There’s a lot more variety in this list than you might think. It ranges from top-rated survival shows to goofy reality series, outdoor TV shows showing ethical hunting and fishing, and documentary series that cover the natural world. And the fun of television shows over an hour long is that you get more binge for your buck.

Here are the shows GearJunkie recommends for the outdoor nerd inside all of us.

The Best Outdoor TV Shows on Netflix

‘Alone’

“Alone” reigns as one of the coolest survival reality shows to ever grace the small screen. Ten survivalists are placed in the wilderness with only a few items to depend on, and the last remaining outdoorsperson wins cold hard cash.

But it’s not your typical reality TV show either. These folks self-film, are completely cut off from the outside world, and face actual life-threatening situations daily.

The only downside of watching it on Netflix is that only season 7 is currently available. But you can find seasons 1-8 on History.com (with ads) or seasons 1-7 streaming on Hulu.

‘MeatEater’

“MeatEater” is unlike any other award-winning hunting show you’ve seen. That’s because acclaimed host Steven Rinella approaches hunting with a mind for the culinary, thoughtful, and adventurous aspects of the hunt.

Even if you’re not a hunter, you’ll likely learn a lot about what hunting and fishing have to offer. And you’ll enjoy the colorful cast of characters that join him along the way.

Seasons 6-10 are currently available on Netflix, but you can also watch earlier seasons for free thanks to MeatEater’s YouTube channel.

‘Animal’

“Animal” is the latest outdoor documentary series to hit the Netflix screen. And it’s punch-packed with incredible footage of some of the planet’s most interesting wildlife.

Celebrity narrators like Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, and Rashida Jones add color and drama to a stunning array of species-focused episodes. The first season features big cats, dogs, marsupials, and octopi. And each is fascinating in its own right.

‘Southern Survival’

The folks at Battlbox Ranch are of a different breed. And this show takes a more gear-centric approach to surviving potentially life-threatening situations.

Deadly events such as explosions, natural disasters, and surviving an intruder encounter are covered. And expect a lot of ridiculous shenanigans from this wily bunch of Southerners along the way.

‘Down to Earth’

Actor Zac Efron takes the helm of this travel show, and the main theme is sustainability. His travels bring other celebrities into the mix, like Anna Kendrick and Chef Jose Andres. And he’s joined by wellness expert Darin Olien for the series.

Each episode focuses on a single country. And the theme shifts to wellness and sustainability as Efron and Olien engage with local experts and try new ways of living with ecologically ethical footprints.

‘How to Be a Cowboy’

This goofy and fun show — hosted by cowboy comedian Dale Brisby — attempts to teach a bunch of cowpokes how to be cowboys in the 21st century.

Now, this really isn’t a show to take seriously. Neither is Dale Brisby, a fictional caricature made up by actual cowboy Clint Hopping. However, the silly nature of the show still features a lot of the gritty aspects of life on a ranch.

It’s a feel-good series that, amidst all the jokes, comes back to camaraderie as a central theme of cowboy life. And that’s worth a watch in my opinion.

‘Night on Earth’

It’s not too difficult to figure out what “Night on Earth” is about. I bet by now you’ve figured it out.

But it’s pretty dang cool to see how wild places come alive in the nocturnal hours. And the technology we now have in cameras allows us an intimate look into a bevy of landscapes, from seas to cities to the plains.

‘Our Planet’

I’d be remiss not to include this incredible docuseries in this list. “Our Planet” is the most stunning outdoor TV show of our time. And it’s narrated by the legendary David Attenborough.

Both awe-inspiring and heartbreaking, Attenborough doesn’t gloss over the difficult state our planet finds itself in. But all wonder is not set aside either. This is a show anyone on planet Earth should watch.

And if for some reason you haven’t seen it yet, cue it up asap.

‘You vs. Wild’

This fun take on an outdoor adventure series puts the viewer in charge of famed outdoorsman Bear Grylls’ decisions. Each episode focuses on a deadly situation. And each interactively asks the viewer to make choices that will lead to Grylls’ surviving or perishing.

It’s kind of like a choose your own adventure meets a TV series, and this clever take makes “You vs. Wild” the most unique show on the list. Try it out for yourself.

The many options are interesting, and they give different ways to watch the single series multiple times. This is also a great series for kids to join in on.

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Nicole Qualtieri
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Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.